“Modest fashion” has been a buzz phrase for the last few years. I still remember the day (circa 2016) when Dolce & Gabbana announced they were doing a hijab and abaya collection for their Muslim customers in the Middle East. Today, there are tons of Western fashion companies that are vying for the attention of Muslim shoppers. However, there is also a growing list of Muslim designers that have appeared to compete with their Western counterparts. These fresh faces are popping up so quickly, it’s hard to keep up with who’s who. Luckily, I’ve been keeping tabs and have a handy list ready so you can start shopping!
Henna & Hijabs: H & H is a hijab company that prides itself on being ethically made in the U.S with high quality material. It was founded by Hilal Ibrahim, a Somali-American hijabi, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On Ibrahim’s website you’ll see a limited selection of hijabs, but apparently they’re all sold out. Why? Probably because this designer has recently partnered with retail giant Nordstrom. In at least sixteen Nordstrom stores across the U.S, you’ll find Ibrahims’ small, but powerful collection of luxury hijabs. Ibrahim has said she was inspired to partner with a big brand that could be found in a shopping mall. In an interview with CBS Minnesota News, Ibrahim said that she wanted to make it easier for women to do all their shopping in one place. Nordstrom appears thrilled to support a Black owned business that will surely bring a more diverse clientele to their brand. Even some of Nordstrom’s mannequins will be wearing hijabs. While it’s inspiring to see Muslim fashion make it’s way into mainstream fashion yet again, the prices are a bit steep. So shop with caution!
Nominal: In 2018, husband and wife, Akram Abdallah and Lena Sarsour founded their company, Nominal, a jewelry and accessories brand. On their website, the couple explains that Nominal products are an expression of their culture and language. Nominal is known for incorporating Arabic words and designs into their pieces. Some of their best-selling products include custom name necklaces, crescent shaped necklaces with ayats inscribed, and rings with khaba coordinates. Although, you should definitely shop for yourself, you should especially keep them in mind when planning the perfect Eid gift for family and friends. I personally have experienced the joy of opening a Nominal gift. Not only was the crescent shaped necklace I received made of good quality, but the packaging was beautiful and it made me feel special! They include a protective pouch, and free decals that I put on my phone and laptop. I’m excited to see how Nominal continues to grow over the next few years inshaAllah.
Ayana Ife: If you’re a fan of Project Runway, you might have seen Ayana Ife in Season 16. She’s a New York based, hijabi fashion designer, focusing on contemporary modest fashion for women. Ife is currently working on a high-end sustainable Activewear line that will allow women to feel comfortable and modest while working out. While you’re waiting for that line to drop, you might want to take a look at her sample sale items. Ife sells her custom made dresses that are used in fashion shows or promotional events, to the public. You can purchase the pre-loved (previously worn by models) items on her website for a fraction of the price. She also makes gorgeous, custom wedding dresses. The colors and designs are out of this world and seeing them reminds me of the type of couture designs she had to whip out on Project Runway. Sign up on her website to stay tuned for updates on the Activewear!