Female Disruptors: Gauri Shah of Zaffori On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis
Authority Magazine
Published in
5 min readJun 27, 2022


Keep going: Throughout any career, there are going to be highs and lows but if you are able to stay even-keeled, you will be able to problem solve and overcome the challenges in a more effective manner.

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gauri Shah.

Zaffori is led by 22-year-old Gauri Shah.The fashion industry became of such interest to her when she was residing in New York that she knew she wanted to combine her love of business and fashion. This led her to the creation of Zaffori, an e-commerce platform that aims to shine a light on international luxury designers that specialize in made-to-order/made-to-measure apparel.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I’ve always had great interest in business and fashion. While in university, many of the classes that I attended were related to business and fashion, and I knew that I wanted to incorporate both fields into my career, and fortunately, Zaffori has provided me with that opportunity.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

We live in the culture of fast fashion and long-term that model for our environment and society is not sustainable. Where Zaffori significantly differs is that our pieces are hand crafted and made to order only when an order is received. Essentially, we operate in slow fashion.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

So actually the original idea was for Zaffori to operate as a designer itself. However, I quickly realized that there are many designers who are extremely talented and just need a platform to showcase their talents to a global audience.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

The support of my parents has been the most important and impactful in not only my life but in also helping build my career.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

With regards to Zaffori breaking the cycle of fast fashion is a positive disruption. As I mentioned, long term it is not beneficial to our environment and society. When disruption is not so positive, well an example of that would be the opposite of slow fashion when fast fashion really entered in the late 90s/early 2000s it causes big disruption in the fashion industry. As it is so detrimental to the environment but also the value of craftsmanship and true design has diminished significantly over time.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

Work with passion: If you are not passionate about what you are building and trying to put out, the end result will never be what you envisioned.

Keep going: Throughout any career, there are going to be highs and lows but if you are able to stay even-keeled, you will be able to problem solve and overcome the challenges in a more effective manner.

One day at a time: When starting a new career path, many new challenges are thrown your way but if you’re able to stay present and focus on the day’s work ahead and not get caught up in all the work for the future, you will be able to see greater output in your work.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Well you know as mentioned earlier, we are going to take it one day at a time and see what lines up for the future. As of right now, we are all working towards establishing Zaffori in the e-commerce space.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

Lack of credibility, because oftentimes, women have to keep proving themselves over and over again even though their track record is excellent.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

I read The Alchemist last year, and it told a great story about the importance of staying true to yourself and finding the path that’s right for you.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Because of fast fashion, child labor has gone up dramatically over the past 2 decades. This obviously needs to be eradicated from society hence the movement I would like to be apart of would be: a safe working environment with fair labor practices and wages for all people regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, etc.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” — Stressing over small things is just simply not worth it, as time is valuable and those things usually don’t matter after a few weeks.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow us on Instagram @zafforiofficial and Facebook @Zaffori

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Thank you!



Candice Georgiadis
Authority Magazine

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.