Thursday, May 1, 2014



A few years ago maybe, maybe about 7 there was a fashion show held for Muslim women at Nordstrom's Tyson's Corner store in Virgina, in a effort to figure out what Muslim women are shopping/wearing and how best to cater to that market. However, as we see not much has been publicly done in that regard as evidenced by the below article.  Muslim women have been shopping stores like H & M, Zara, Century 21 and others for years, buying long skirts, scarves or what we call hijabs and various items, layering clothing to give the desired covered effect. Now, the article is saying that the opportunity was missed to cater to this market. Why?  I am just wondering if it might be Islamophobia, yeah I said it. Are large retailers afraid to advertise openly to Muslim women consumers?  I am sure they must have weighed and discussed  this, so what happened, I have not seen any commercials, ads, announcements etc. Hey not that we, Muslim designers are looking for competition.  

Fashion’s Missed Muslim Market Opportunity

Socio-economic and political developments, aided by the connectivity of the Internet, have galvanised a newly emergent Muslim consumer demographic, creating significant, if complex, opportunities for international fashion brands.
A still from the #Mipsters video | Source: YouTube
LONDON, United Kingdom — Muslim fashion. Simply juxtaposing these two words can cause consternation in some circles. Interpretations of a Koranic verse (an-Nur chapter 24, verse 30) advocating modesty and espousing appropriate female attire (enforced by law in some countries) have long restricted what many Muslim women can wear, distancing them from Western fashion culture. But, today, experts say, things are changing and increasing numbers of Muslim women want to dress fashionably and express their individuality through clothing.
The shift is being driven, in part, by significant demographic trends in the Muslim world. “There are varying estimates of the Muslim population, but what we use is 1.8 billion, of which about 43 percent, so just shy of 800 million, are under 25,” said Shelina Janmohamed, vice president of Ogilvy Noor, an Islamic branding practice that’s part of global marketing and public relations giant Ogilvy & Mather. “Muslims under 25 make up approximately 11 percent of the global population. Thus, not only do you have more Muslims to target, but they are increasing in numbers faster and they are young. And, contrary to a lot of expectations, they are interested in brands and they are interested in asserting some kind of individuality through what they purchase.”
“For Western labels, and fast fashion retailers particularly, the opportunity lies in the fact that their consumer base will grow exponentially over the next few years,” said HRH Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud, chief executive of Alfa International, a luxury retail corporation based in Saudi Arabia which, among other activities, operates the Harvey Nichols store in Riyadh. Rising employment amongst Muslim women is also driving change. “As young ladies enter the work force they will obviously be earning their own money. Spending an allowance from your father or husband has a very different feeling than spending money you have earned. You can imagine that accessories would also be a good strategic focus for brands.”
“In Saudi [Arabia] our ladies have always altered current fashion trends to suit their modesty needs when not in the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]. They are masters of layering. Within the Kingdom, because we wear the abayah in public, the biggest change has been seen in the styles, material and the colour options,” she continued. “Historically, the abayah has been plain black. Today, it is in many colours, materials and embellishments, allowing the individual to make their personal fashion sensibilities known publicly to those who cannot see the brand names worn under the abayah. The article of clothing that was meant to be your unifier has become your identifier or differentiator.”
“It is part of a bigger social movement in terms of the empowerment of women within the Muslim community,” added Sarah Elenany, a British Muslim designer who caters to the modest fashion market and launched her streetwear-influenced label in 2009. “It might be because of the other revolutions that are happening around the world, it may be a natural evolution, but women are starting to say, ‘How do I dress myself for the modern world?’”
“There has been a change,” said Reina Lewis, professor of cultural studies at The London College of Fashion and editor of Modest Fashion: Styling Bodies, Mediating Faith. “Women who are Muslim have been dressing fashionably, in different ways, for a very long time. But, I think what we are seeing now — and what the market is beginning to be interested in — is the commercial development of self-consciously Muslim or Islamic fashion.”
“After 9/11, young Muslims, especially in the West, found it was their role and their responsibility to take some pride in their faith and I think that is when we started to see the emergence of, today, what we might call Muslim fashion,” said Janmohamed.
Muslim fashion is by no means uniform, however. Followers of Islam are spread across the globe from Jakarta to Alaska and the influence of local climates, cultures and doctrinal interpretations has a huge impact on the way people dress. “If you live in a city like London or Paris, you will see a lot of women from the Gulf wearing an abayah or a jilbab, however, around the wider world there is a huge amount of variation,” noted Janmohamed. “If you were to go to India, or Indonesia, the most populous Islamic state, they have such a wildly different perspective on how people should dress. They use great colours, fantastic patterns and the fabrics are vastly different.”
But despite the complexities of catering to such a large and varied market, the increasing desire for individual identity and the emergence of greater fashion consciousness in Muslim communities — especially amongst the young and connected — is irrefutable.
“This young generation have grown up within the neo-liberal global consumer culture,” said Professor Lewis. “They want to express and articulate various parts of themselves through their participation with global consumer culture: fashion, media, music and so on. This is the way that they are doing it, it is really important that there is this international circulation of image through the blogs, like Hijab Style. It is a form of contemporary Islamic expression that is about the now and about this moment.”

“What is interesting to note is the proliferation of online websites, things that are based in the UK and the US, which are starting from the ground up. Muslim women saying I can’t find what I need to wear out in the marketplace, so I am going to invent it myself. That is particularly where a lot of Western [Muslim] fashion has come from. The Internet has allowed a niche market in modest fashion to develop, because it reduces your overhead and widens your reach. But a lot of these companies are quite small in terms of their production and turnover,” Professor Lewis continued. Indeed, the popularity of blogs such as Hijab Style, which has a following of 484,000 on Facebook, has yet to translate commercially.
“Early bloggers like Jana Kassaibati of Hijab Style told me that she started it as there was nothing there for Muslim women who wanted to find a way to dress — young women like her,” said Lewis. “If you listen to Muslim women talking in the West, H&M, Primark and Zara are typically the names that come up over and over again. They will say that their clothes are most suited to being Muslim friendly.”
“The wider western fashion market has really been quite slow to get its head round the opportunity Muslim consumers represent,” said Janmohamed. “The Muslim population is young and growing and it is completely untapped. Nobody is really reaching out to them with the kind of communication or product innovation that they are really screaming out for. I find it very interesting that it is much smaller brands and start-up entrepreneurs that are grabbing this opportunity. If you’re a fashion brand and you decided that there was one hundred billion dollars in this for you, you can start from scratch and figure out how to be fashion forward within a different kind of parameter.”
“Today it is received wisdom that there is a Hispanic market that you reach out to. Fifteen years ago this was a wildly innovative concept. I think the idea of the Muslim market is very similar to that.”
Lewis agreed: “It is very interesting that a market for Islamic or Muslim branding absolutely mirrors that wake up to ethnic marketing and branding experienced in America. Of course, Islam as a religion is not an ethnicity; it is multi-ethnic. But it is quasi-ethnic in the way that people might experience it. Now, in America they would talk not just of a Hispanic market, but a Cuban market, a Latina market…”
“There is a growing acknowledgement that this is a target group that has yet to be engaged with,” said Janmohamed. “The simple answer is that those buying for fashion companies probably just haven’t realised how big an opportunity this is.”

Saturday, April 5, 2014



As salaamu alaykum,

Well in our quest to become a better business and have a better website, changes are needed. I have asked a lot of questions on Facebook and Alhamdulillah gotten answers. So, Insha Allah we are working on a new website to bring some of the comments and requests into existence. Thanks for all your support and thanks for all the comments and suggestions.


Sunday, February 16, 2014



Jenneh says, Good Question. I think about this often. For us as Muslims what is the purpose of fashion? Is is the same as those at Mercedes Benz Fashion week? I do not think so(See the article). We have a higher purpose of dress, of covering, a covering that has been proscribed for us by Allah(swt). Our clothing/covering encompasses a private life and a public life .Perhaps a new fashion story has to be told.

Op-Ed | What is Fashion For?

Fashion is about aesthetics, theatre and meaning, not merely comfort, argues Eugene Rabkin, in response to Cathy Horyn’s recent piece for The New York Times, “Slave No More.”
Thom Browne show | Photo: Eugene Rabkin
NEW YORK, United States — This weekend, I read a curious pieceof writing by the highly esteemed, recently departed New York Timesfashion critic Cathy Horyn. Horyn, who has devoted twenty years of her life to writing about fashion, argued that today, above all, she and many women like her, want clothes that offer comfort. “The desire to be comfortable is profound, shaping attitudes and markets,” she wrote. Comfort, not in the sense of wearing sweatpants all day, but unfussy clothes.
This seems fair enough. But as the article unfolded, Ms. Horyn pointed her pen at the fashion avant-garde: “From my perspective, having written enthusiastically about the conceptual, art-inspired fashion of the past 20 years — whether by Martin Margiela, Miuccia Prada or Raf Simons — I can say we’ve become increasingly weary of this approach.” The alternative, according to Horyn, seems to be higher-end, mass-market brands like Vince.
But this begs the question: What is the purpose of fashion? What makes fashion distinct from mere clothing? Much ink has already been spilled in search of answers. And it seems that fashion critics and scholars are still unsure. That’s because it is extremely difficult to put into words the ineffable qualities of fashion and the surrounding economic and cultural “system” that surrounds it.
But let’s try. Consider that fashion — as opposed to clothing — comes with a set of intangible values. Fashion is valuable when:
1. It makes a strong aesthetic statement
2. It has a theatrical element
3. It has meaning
The first is easy enough to understand. One could argue that the central role of the fashion designer is to make a strong and unique aesthetic proposition. And though this has become increasingly hard to do, as contemporary fashion builds a history of its own, it is not impossible. Just in the last decade, designers as disparate as Rick Owens and Alber Elbaz at Lanvin have done it. Neither is original in the strict sense of the word, but suffice it to say that if you are familiar with their clothes you can tell them apart.
In her article, Ms. Horyn lauds the 90s minimalists Helmut Lang andJil Sander for their sensible clothes, which stood in stark opposition to the pomp of Gaultier and Mugler. But the critical point is not their sensibility per se, but the fact that these designers made sensibility a new aesthetic proposition. They reflected a newfound sobriety after an age of excess.
The second element is trickier, because unfortunately, theatre can often veer into burlesque. But fashion as theatre is important, as designers such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and, lately, Thom Browne have shown us. Their shows are purposeful exaggerations that make fashion exciting and provide food for thought.
To be sure, some of what is shown on fashion runways verges on the ridiculous. And even a cursory glance around New York Fashion Week will turn up the kind of “fashion victims” that can make anyone with a modicum of common sense long for sweatpants. On the flip side, much of what we see verges on boring. Indeed, the insistence on comfort as the primary purpose of clothing is, no doubt, partly the reason why so many fashion professionals, though few will say it out loud, think New York Fashion Week is a snooze-fest of nice, sellable sportswear and cocktail dresses.
Fashion as meaning is perhaps the trickiest element of all, but also the richest. Consider that a fashion designer has automatic license to destroy all meaning and create it anew merely by putting his own name on the product. Thus, jeans become Saint Laurent jeans, a bag becomes a Chanel bag and so on. But with this comes the responsibility, even the duty, for designers to infuse these products with something deeper through their design skills. The designer who manages to do this well receives critical acclaim.
Yes, much of so-called meaning is merely marketing, but Horyn is wrong to suggest that all meaning is superimposed, or in her words “attached” to fashion. When I interviewed Ann Demeulemeester for the first time, I asked her about some of the intangible elements in her work. She took a jacket off her back, spread it out on the table and proceeded to explain how this seam and this angle of the cut reflected the fragility and imperfection of man that she wanted to manifest. She literally cut meaning into her clothes.
Yohji Yamamoto, no slouch when it came to revolutionising fashion, once said: “You can say that to design is quite easy. The difficulty lies in finding a new way to explore beauty.” That’s what fashion is for.
Eugene Rabkin is the editor of StyleZeitgeist magazine and the founder of
The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Business of Fashion.

Friday, January 17, 2014



Jersey hijabs are relatively new to the hijab market but have been around for a year or more. We have been selling them since 2013 but now officially showing them off as we dealt with fabric and length, width etc. Jersey hijabs are made of a stretchy fabric and these are rayon which are light in weight, although when considering that they are 2 yards plus 30" in width, they have a little weight to them. 

Jersey hijabs are kind of stable on the head due to the type of fabric that it is. Various head wraps and turbans can be styled with jersey hijabs and a customer mentioned they were great for those who have dreads. 

As with any head covering, trying different fabric, styles and looks, will help you determine what is best for you.






Monday, January 13, 2014



Hijab: A Male Perspective:


Amjad Tarsin
Born and raised in Michigan, Amjad Tarsin obtained his BA at the University of Michigan in English Literature and Islamic Studies. After spending a year studying at Dār Al-Muṣṭafā in Tarim, he returned to America to start his studies at University of Michigan Law School. Yearning to fulfill his calling to community building and religious service, Amjad changed career paths and enrolled in Hartford Seminary's Islamic Chaplaincy program. In 2012 he was selected as University of Toronto's first full-time Muslim chaplain.

"There are men among the believers who honored their pledge to God: some of them have fulfilled it by death, and some are still waiting. They have not changed in the least." (Qur’an 33:23)
There is no doubt that, as of late, many Muslim women have decided to remove their head-scarves, despite a consensus among scholars that hijab is required. Oftentimes, when modesty as a virtue is discussed within our communities, the discussion almost always exclusively surrounds the modesty of Muslim women. Personally, I feel that when discussing modesty (both character (inward) as well of clothing (outward)), a greater focus needs to be put on men as contributors to the decline of modesty within the community. Although there are many factors that play into Muslim women’s decisions to remove their head-scarves, that is not part of this particular discussion. It is my belief that many of the causes in the decline of modesty are based mainly upon the lack of modesty amongst Muslim males (and the double standards they tend to enjoy). Through reviving Prophetic chivalry and masculine modesty within themselves, Muslim men can more effectively contribute to sustaining modesty within the Muslim community.
In a profound noble prophetic narration, the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) gives us an understanding of communal modesty and chastity which places the greater (but not exclusive) responsibility upon men. He says (peace and blessings be upon him, "Be kind to your parents, and your children will be kind to you; be chaste, and your women will be chaste." [Tabarani - classified as hasan]
The first half of the Prophet’s statement (God bless him and grant him peace) is general, whereas the second half of the narration is directed specifically at men. One way of understanding this prophetic narration is that if Muslim men implement modesty and chastity within themselves, their virtuous character will spread and positively influence women as well. By extension, the opposite is also true: if men lose their sense of chastity, their immorality will negatively influence women within society. If one takes a moment to reflect on the way this plays within society, they will see its truth, especially in today’s world. It suffices to say that the pornographic industry which essentially turns women into sex-slaves is largely run and sustained by males.
The fact of the matter is that we live in a hyper-sexualized world obsessed with appearances, and this presents severe challenges upon the Muslim spiritual psyche. We are bombarded with immodest images (oftentimes against our will) of the human body that affect us consciously and unconsciously, making it an uphill battle to be a chaste and modest human-being. Nevertheless, the definition of a righteous Muslim is one who fights against their lowly desires and purifies their souls from the tarnishes of this world. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and mercy be upon him) said, "Islam began as a stranger and it will return to being a stranger as it once was. Therefore, blessed are the strangers who remain virtuous when everyone else becomes corrupt." [Muslim, Tirmidhi].
Regardless of what we are surrounded by, Muslim men must hold themselves to a higher standard of morality and virtue. Once Muslim men take their piety, education, and character seriously, our noble female counterparts will recognize and appreciate that within us. We must abolish the double standard that exists in our communities - not by lowering the standard of feminine modesty, but rather by demanding Muslim men live up to standards of modesty already given to us by God and His Messenger. When Muslim males gawk at half-naked women (whether in public, on television, or on the internet), act and speak lewdly, and show a greater appreciation for immoral women, then what kind of message does that send to Muslim women who attempt to maintain their dignity inwardly and outwardly? Oftentimes, when Muslim women see so many Muslim males acting this way, they lose hope in finding a righteous husband and sometimes ask themselves why they even bother to wear the head-scarf. If Muslim men held themselves to a higher standard, acted like gentlemen, and appreciated the greater qualities within women such as mercy, trustworthiness, loyalty, and modesty - then Muslim women would feel more appreciated for their struggle to be modest, or at the very least feel that Muslim men can relate.
Being a male does not make you a man. A man is made through uprightness, dependability, and virtuous character. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and mercy of God be upon him) was the greatest human being and the greatest man to ever walk this earth, and one of his most outstanding virtues was his intense modesty. He is our standard; he is our master; he is our model - may God bless him and grant him peace! We have to hold ourselves to higher standards and not unjustly place the entire burden of communal modesty upon our sisters’ shoulders. When men step up and take greater responsibility in their own modesty, it will show our care for and solidarity with our Muslim sisters, and create a sense of cooperation between the believing men and women. When Muslim men show greater appreciation towards the struggles of Muslim women by being upright men, it will make our sisters feel truly appreciated and create a sustainable moral environment within our communities.
As the great poet, Amir Sulaiman once said, “When a man is truly a man, it makes a woman comfortable to truly be a woman.”
And success is from God.

Saturday, January 11, 2014