Three MTHS students build professional clothing line

Juniors Samuel Polevoy (left), Malek Qibba (center) and Bukhari Shakil (right) pose in their Exoticco shirts at the front of the school.

His summer before his sophomore year, junior Bukhari Shakil decided he wanted something different. With the help of his friend, he set up a clothing line, originally named Exotic Clothing Company.

When his friend left the business and juniors Malek Qibaa and Samuel Polevoy helped him set up the website and manufacturer, Shakil changed the name to simply Exoticco, hoping to make it sound less “clunky.” The name stems from the phrase “express yourself.”

The trio launched the clothing line the next summer, going into their Junior year. Since, they’ve sold not only to fellow MTHS students but also to international orders, including South Asia and Europe, according to Shakil.

They’ve also spoken with the manager at Nordstroms, with future plans to have their clothing sold in stores.

However, even with an online-exclusive product, they’ve still made “thousands” in revenue, Shakil said. And, with that, a “good fraction” is kept as profit.

Exoticco has a manufacturing business in California, that produces and ships the clothing to buyers. Qibba said that it will take approximately 10-15 business days for the product to be delivered to the consumer. Shakil, Qibba and Polevoy design all of their own clothing.

Shakil also said that he’s been seeing more and more people in classes and around the community wearing Exoticco clothing. Qibba mentioned another student in his fourth period that “would not stop talking about it.”

They also agreed that the recent Everett Herald article was a major factor in more publicity to their company.

Neither of the three have had any prior experience in entrepreneurial business, they said, but Qibba’s family and Shakil’s father both have careers in business fields.

“I had a lemonade stand when I was like nine [years-old],” Shakil joked. “But I don’t know if that counts.”

For a model, Qibba, Shakil and Polevoy will look at the “above-millionaires” business owners because they know that those people are incredibly successful. With that, they try to replicate small aspects of each business owning strategy into their own company.

From here, the group wants to expand their business to stores and hopes to sell to other international orders.

Exoticco t-shirts, hoodies, phone cases and beanies can be bought at their website: