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Salford grad’s fashion line for teenagers with cancer

Wednesday 7 February 2018

A FASHION designer and business owner who completed a post-graduate degree at the University of Salford has been inspired by his wife’s experience of cancer to create a line of headwear designed especially for young people with cancer.

Manchester-based Masumi Headwear has recently released a new collection specifically designed for children, teenagers and young adults with cancer called Masumi Champions.

The collection was inspired by company owner Ali Nowroozi’s wife Anna Nowroozi, who was diagnosed with cancer when she was just 14 years old. Ali and Anna know just how vulnerable some of young people feel when they lose their hair during cancer treatment, and wanted to help.

People who suffer hair loss as a result of medical conditions such as alopecia or through chemotherapy have to deal with the emotional effect of losing their hair, which can have a big impact on their lives and add to the trauma of illness.
Anna said: "Hair is an important part of teenager’s identity and when going through chemotherapy and losing hair many teenagers feel vulnerable and start to withdraw from their social circles."

Ali said: “Like my wife Anna did at 14, many young people with cancer feel less confident with the loss of their hair. I wanted to help by creating a collection of headwear which is modern, trendy and at the same time soft and comfortable to wear. If small difference can be made by brightening their day up with Masumi headwear that would mean everything to us.” 

Ali Nowroozi, who completed a Master’s degree in Business Management at the University of Salford, went on to founded Avakino limited – Masumi Headwear. The headwear manufacturer, has created its own range called Masumi Headwear “” which is specifically designed for people living with hair loss. 

Avakino only started trading towards the end of 2016 but is going from strength to strength, providing headwear for all occasions. Ali has just secured a host of contracts to supply exclusive products from his range, including the likes of Maggie’s Centre at the Christie Hospital, York Cancer Care Centre, Huddersfield and Pinderfields Hospital as well as Leeds teaching hospitals and Harrogate Hospital.
The company also distributes to countries such as Denmark, Spain, France and the USA and others, and recently have been shortlisted for £20000 prize as a finalist at Venturefest Manchester Innovation Showcase Manchester. 
All products are made from natural fibres to provide headwear that is light and cool. 

As a proud graduate of Salford University, Ali is often very keen to support its academic community. He now delivers talks to postgraduate students at Salford University Business School and takes interns into his company to help them got real world experience.  
“Hair loss is incredibly traumatic and giving them options can provide young people with an element of control during a period when then have little control over everything else that is happening. It can really give them a boost and help them to cope.”
Inspired by Anna’s experience of being diagnosed when she was 14, the couple have fundraised for Teenage Cancer Trust, including running the Great Manchester Run. 

Teenage Cancer Trust makes sure the seven young people aged 13 – 24 diagnosed with cancer in the UK every day don’t face it alone. The charity works in partnership with the NHS, providing expert staff and specialist units in Principal Treatment Centres for cancer, and bring young people together so that they can support each other.

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Sam Wood

0161 295 5361