Melan Magazine photographer, Nuraan Ackers, highlights the recent trend of acceptance and recognition for the Hijab and Modest Fashion on the world’s catwalks and mainstream fashion.

A romantic trip to Paris with the other half would normally be a reason to celebrate, but being a hijab-wearing, Muslim woman, our planned trip to Paris for mid-August this year evoked nervousness and trepidation, given the recent events in France. My worries floated around the possibility of being interrogated at passport control, treated in an unfriendly manner, or worse, being caught up in another attack. However, my husband reassured me and my rationale side took over and we went to Paris. I reasoned that bad things can happen anywhere. Needless to say, we had a lovely time in Paris, passport control went smoothly and I was pleasantly surprised to see many Muslim women wearing hijab, elegantly going about their business along the streets of Paris

Despite the unfounded and erroneous fear that is often played out in the media, hijab-wearing Muslim women, are not giving in to the fear. We walk around proud of who we are and wear hijab regardless of the trials we might face.

The irony is that feminist wars have been fought and won to safeguard the rights of women to be who they are and people have been arrested for showing too much skin. Today, there are bans on wearing too many clothes! A world that wants freedom of choice for all, but often times makes us feel robbed of that choice.

The reality is that conflict around Islamic wear has not stunted the growth of the modest wear fashion industry, which, ironically, has thrived in recent years.
Designers and retailers have seen a surge in sales for modest wear and many brands, including luxury designers have caught on, and have incorporated Islamic wear lines in recent collections. Dolce and Gabbana released a debut hijab range last January, Tommy Hilfiger debuted his Ramadan collection this year, Uniqlo collaborated with talented Muslim designer Hana Tajima on a modest range and even H&M had a hijab-wearing model on one of its campaigns last year. Closer to home, Marks and Spencer, and House of Fraser now stock Islamic swim wear too.

Modest fashion week held in Turkey attracted many well-known modest fashion bloggers and modest wear business owners, including Dina Tokio and Haute Hijab CEO Melanie Elturk. Inviting digital influencers has caused a ripple effect all over the world, changing the face of modest wear and ultimately causing an upsurge in Islamic wear businesses and consequently, women’s confidence in wearing hijab.

Talking about fashion and being a Muslim, Dina Tokio says:

“I think of dressing smartly as a way to represent myself and my religion.” “I don’t understand why you can’t be interested in fashion and be a Muslim.”

Now more than ever before, Muslim women feel that they too can express their individual style while wearing hijab and not feel excluded from the fashion industry.

On 12 September 2016, history was made when celebrated Indonesian fashion designer, Anniesa Hasibuan, who specializes in showcased her designs at New York Fashion Week. Her models strutted down the catwalk wearing her designs in head to toe hijab.

Introducing…D’Jakarta for @nyfw This time, Anniesa Hasibuan is back to NYC with D’Jakarta, the latest collection depicting colorful and vibrant world of this cosmopolitan city. Famously known for its unique styles reflecting the rich cultural diversity, this Capital of Indonesia inspires Anniesa to once again present another remarkable face of Indonesian stunning ethnic mosaics. For the patterns, Anniesa uses printing techniques for belt and batik to add the Indonesian touch and her bold signature characters. As for the colors, earthy tone combined with gold, green and peach, will dominate these intricate designs. Anniesa Hasibuan is again collaborating with WARDAH make up art, which is the original cosmetic from Indonesia. Sharing the same vivid vision and mision, both Anniesa Hasibuan and Wardah are proud to show the beauty of Indonesia to the world. NYFW the show for Spring Summer 2017 Collections at The Dock, Skylight Moynihan Station NY, 8 PM. #AnniesaHasibuan #AHforNYFW #AHdjakarta #DJakarta #NYFW #NYFWtheshow #NewYorkFashionWeek #NYFW #AnniesaHasibuanOfficial #AnniesaHasibuanDaily #wardah #cantikdarihati #AnniesaHasibuanXWardah #ldjprodnyc #imgmodels

A photo posted by Anniesa Hasibuan (@anniesahasibuan) on

Also, in this week, Mariah Idrissi became the first model to wear a hijab signed to renowned Select Models. Mariah, who is of Pakistani and Moroccan heritage and based in London, was also the first hijab-wearing woman to be in an H&M campaign last year.

With the current momentum, Islamic fashion might be ‘the new black’! With the trend of Islamic wear becoming increasingly mainstream, we can only hope that there will be more awareness and education around hijab. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the fear altogether and living in a more tolerant and peaceful world. We do have a long way to go, but we are headed in the right direction.


Click for a glimpse into Islamic Fashion Week

Images supplied by: Istanbul Modest Fashion Week

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