Modest Fashion Goes Mainstream: Macy’s Carries Verona Collection

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On the heels of luxury hijabs breaking into mainstream fashion news, we have the exciting news of the retailer Macy’s announcing that they will now carry modest fashion brand Verona Collection online. The modest fashion brand, founded by Lisa Vogl and Alaa Ammuss in 2015, has quickly grown into a powerhouse brand with a free-standing store in Florida.

Verona Collection is also a 2017 Macy’s Emerging Vendor success story from the Macy’s Workshop. “The Workshop at Macy’s is an exclusive retail vendor development program designed to give select high potential minority- and women-owned businesses the tools to better succeed and sustain growth in the retail industry.”

According to Huffington Post, the Verona Collection line at Macy’s e-commerce site will feature a variety of hijabs or headscarves, as well as modest tops, pants, dresses and abayas.

As a Muslim blogger who personally knows Lisa, I am THRILLED for her successes. For now, this line will only be carried on Macy’s website, but I hope this inspires Macy’s to start carrying this line in physical stores soon! What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Curvy Hijabi Brand To Watch: Styled by Zubaidah

Styled By Zubaidah

Styled By Zubaidah offers plus size hijabis stylish yet modest clothing options.

Salaam my loves! It really has been a long time since I have blogged. This time, it is because I am stuck in the throes of being a new mama to the most wonderful little boy alhamdulillah. Between working full time and taking care of two little ones, it doesn’t leave much time for blogging.

However, now that I am a second time mom, I have noticed that the weight I gained from this pregnancy has not been coming off quite so easily. As a result, I am now plus size. Yes, I can honestly admit that I am a size 10-12 instead my usual size 6-8. It hasn’t been too hard on me to recognize that, but what has been hard is trying to dress modestly without wearing a tent-like mumu.

Enter Styled by Zubeidah. Zubaidah Abdul-Hakim, founder and sole designer for Styled by Zubaidah says, “My product is designed for the Curvy Muslim Woman who has always found it difficult to purchase clothing that fits her well, maintains her modesty, and still makes her feel unique and beautiful.”

She founded the line in 2013 for plus sizes 12 and larger. While her line is targeted for plus sized hijabis, she also designs for hijabis with curves in mind. Her pieces are not just larger versions of what is already out there. She uses fabrics that are stretchy but not clingy, fabrics with fun patterns, and other design techniques to ensure that plus size hijabis look beautiful in a tasteful modest way.

So if you are a curvy hijabi looking some modest fashion options without the hassle of layering, check this line out. I will be styling her cream abaya on Instagram soon, so keep an eye for it inshallah.

Follow Friday: Ascia AKF

Ascia AKF

Ascia AKF is a Kuwaiti blogger who shows us you can have great style all the time…even pregnant!

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are having a good day today inshallah. Well even if you aren’t, the bright spot is that today is Follow Friday on Hijabi Life! The hijabi blogger for today’s Follow Friday lives in Kuwait and is a masterful mix of bold, bright and beautiful ensembles. Ascia AKF, aka Ascia Al-Faraj exploded onto the blogger scene and is credited with bringing the turban style into a mainstream staple. Ascia AKF’s blog, The Hybrids follow the fashion diary of not only herself, but her husband Ahmad too. The couple calls themselves “hybrids” since they are both of mixed heritage. The results are just stunning mashallah.

An expert at deftly layering clothes, Ascia AKF’s look is more of a citizen of the world. She combines high low fashion in a way that is not only accessible, but transcends age, ethnicity and even gender. Even during her recent pregnancy with her newborn son Adam, we never saw the lovely hijabi blogger ever resort to scrubby looking sweatpants (which makes me love, yet hate her haha!) even during her last trimester. A big believer in the idea that your mood affects your style, Ascia AKF has said, “When I don’t want to talk to anyone I wear black clothes and black dark eyeliner so no one would enter my world of thoughts. On the other hand, “sometimes I would wear colors with the best accessory and bright colors to express my mood.”

Ascia AKF doesn’t purport to live a charmed life even with all of her successes as a fashion designer and blogger. Ascia is very open about sharing her own struggles as well as her style. She shared her troubles of fertility with her fans last year as well as the sadness she felt with losses in her life. However, she still continued and continues to inspire us all. If there was ever a blogger who was proof of how there is ease after hardship, it is Ascia. She lives up to her namesake’s name.

While I am not a devotee of the turban style for my own personal hijab style, I think @ascia_akf (her account on Instagram) is just a wonderful account to follow for modest fashion ideas. What are your thoughts? Do you have a hijabi blogger you would like me to cover in the next Follow Friday post? Let me know.

Key Learnings From The International Muslimah Fashion Week Scandal

IMFW

International Muslimah Fashion Week quickly turned into a scandal where rumors of a scam erupted.

Salaams my lovelies! Happy Friday to everyone. I typically do a Follow Friday post, but I wanted to address the rumors of scandal regarding a  modest fashion event called International Muslimah Fashion Week. Unfortunately, what was promised to be a few days of bonded sisterhood fun, has quickly turned into a scary situation because of what seems to be either poor planning or bad intentions. Allah (swt) knows best as to what truly did happen, but I will say I was very sad about the sisters who invested so much money and time to be part of what could have been a great event. So many vendors, bloggers, and Muslims were planning to attend and to be told it was cancelled is one thing. However, it is whole other thing to wait till the last minute to cancel. Countless bloggers traveled from all over the world to attend this event and were ultimately stranded in a foreign country! My heart truly does go out to these hard working ladies. However, I am sure they will find the kindness of Muslim Americans can be felt wherever they go. I feel even WORSE for the sisters who scraped and saved to spend over a hundred dollars just to attend this event and meet inspirational hijabis. They may have even flown cross country or internationally to attend. What is their recourse?

When it comes to events, we should demand that they be put on with some professionalism and organization. Last year, I attended a Halal Fest here in the Bay Area and it was chaos! I truly wanted to support a Muslim event, but we need to start expecting that they are organized like all events should be. Melanie from Haute Hijab wrote a great piece on the fallout from the IMFW scandal here that highlights just that. It is time for the Type A Muslims to come forward and start organizing Muslim events that are timely, affordable, and accessible to all with good intentions.

I will make a confession: I was tempted to attend just so I could meet some hijabi bloggers I truly admired and to get the word out about Hijabi Life. I may not be a glamorous hijabi blogger, but I wanted to ensure that my readership got the scoop on all things modest fashion. However, I am really selective about which events I attend and my OWN intentions. If I find it digresses and I am just feeding my nafs for “fame” in the modest fashion scene, I actually pull away. For example, I did MC for Fashion Fighting Famine SF because it was a good cause, but I didn’t want to use it as a means to promote myself. It was more to ensure we helped a local charity in the community. Since I had no such basis for IMFW, I personally did not want to attend it because it felt like I was digressing from my true intent of this blog which is to support my fellow Muslims sisters.

I really do hope for the best for all the ladies involved. Let’s all make dua and think of a better event that inshallah will take away the confusion, hurt, and hate this one may have caused. Perhaps we can have a redo of this event, but at a lower cost per ticket and also with a charity or cause we can all be proud of. OR we can just use this as more reason to BACK organizations like Fashion Fighting Famine who do modest fashion shows but are legitimate and help others. Let’s learn from this and truly come together as a community.

Follow Friday: Cover 33

Cover33

Maryam started Cover33 to provide hijabis an easy way to shop for stylish hijabs.

Salaams my lovelies! Jumah mubarak to you all. As you know, on Fridays, I typically do a Follow Friday post on a specific hijabi that I feel provides not only fashion inspiration, but also inspiration for other qualities such as spirituality, entrepreneurship, etc. I wanted to highlight the a Texan sisters’ company Cover33 whose name is inspired by Surah 33 (Al Ahzab) verse 59 which is the verse where women are encouraged to cover themselves and be modest. The Instagram handle @cover33 features these two sisters from Texas wearing scarves from their line and is always a pleasure to look at since not only do they dress modestly, but they combine colorful elements and provide loads of hijab fashion inspiration.

The main reason that these sisters’ online hijab store is part of my Follow Friday picks is not just because Maryam and Jaserah are beautiful, but I am personally inspired by their ability to see a need for women to buy hijabs online and turn it into a business that is not only growing, but thriving. I personally can’t wait to shop their site and let you know how my own customer experience goes! I am also inspired by their collaboration as sisters. Family bonds are important and I love how these sisters are working together to lift each other up just like my other favorite hijabi sister duo Heba and Farah Jalloul. They serve as examples that sisters need to support and love one another instead of tearing each other down by being competitive.

Make sure to follow @cover33 @mfasadullah and @jaserah for more hijab fashion inspiration! Maryam also has a lovely blog called Sincerely Maryam that you can read too! Check it all out and make sure to let me know what you think!

Online Shopping Review: Simply Zeena

Simply Zeena

Simply Zeena Winter 2014

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are doing well inshallah and that you are having a nice Friday! I typically do a Follow Friday post, but today, I wanted to make it a Fashion Friday post because I am just over the moon in love with a modest fashion clothing line that I am sure that you will love too. Have you heard of Simply Zeena? For some reason, I had heard of the line, but I never had the time to really browse and shop their site online. Another one of the challenges of online shopping is that you just don’t know how something will drape or look on you unless you try it in person. I was lucky enough to have the chance to meet the ladies of Simply Zeena at the Fashion Fighting Famine San Francisco show and see their Winter 2014 collection in person.

The Simply Zeena 2014 Winter Collection is an array of extremely wearable and flattering pieces that can work for anyone looking for a modest wardrobe that is polished and chic. As a working hijabi mom, I need quick pieces like the ones in this collection to put on and go yet still look polished. I love that the materials are wrinkle resistant because who really has the time to iron? Not me! But I also still want to look elegant and professional and Simply Zeena allows me to look my best. I personally bought the purple hoodie and the Audrey which is a classic top in the making. When I wore the Audrey, I felt as elegant as the iconic Audrey Hepburn. I paired it with slim fit black pants, ballet flats and I know I got a ton of compliments from Muslims and non Muslims alike. A mom at Trader Joe’s actually stopped me and asked, “Where did you get that cute top?” I was so happy to share my fashion secret with her and with you. Simply Zeena has clothing for anything you may need. They even sell modest active wear and swim wear. I was super excited to see that.

Online Browsing: Their site is super easy to navigate to find what you need and more. They have a super easy to locate top navigation bar that can take you directly to clothing that are Basics, Activewear (as a gym buff, I LOVE that they have modest activewear), and other categories that make sense for easy shopping.

While Simply Zeena is an online shopping destination, I can’t really give you the good details on how fast shipping is, or the buying experience, etc. However, that gives me a great excuse to go and buy more online. I will let you know how my next pieces come and how the true online shopping experience is. In the meantime, if you have bought from Simply Zeena, what did you think? Share your comments below!

Giving Back: Fashion Fighting Famine SF

20140112-235128.jpgOne of the main reasons that I started blogging about modest fashion was because I wanted it to be something more meaningful than fashion as know it. I wanted it to be more inclusive of all shapes, colors, and sizes. I wanted it to inspire and empower us as Muslim women. I wanted it to give back something to our greater community.

That is why I am so eternally grateful to have had the chance to volunteer with Fashion Fighting Famine for their San Francisco show because that is exactly what they stand for. Not only does the organization raise money for local charities within our communities, it does it while inspiring generations of women that modest fashion can be beautiful inside and out.

From the executive members of the organization, all the way to the models, there was a collaborative spirit throughout. If someone needed help unloading a car, there were helping hands. If someone fainted, there was a sister to pick her back up. If there was work to be done, sisters would pitch in. As someone who has seen tradition fashion shows from the behind the scenes, there was no diva behavior at FFFSF and I truly believe it is because the beauty of the Adab (etiquette of Islam) of the Prophet (saws).

Seeing this beauty behind the scenes gave me my own courage to face the crowd and be able to MC the show. What a wonderful experience that was! To see a crowd of beautiful women of all ages smiling back at me made me realize that Allah (swt) made us all beautiful alh.

By the grace and mercy of God, I felt like after the first few minutes of being nervous that all my fears went away and I was able to not only enjoy the show, but feel honored to help a wonderful charity like the North American Islamic Shelter for the Abused.

So often, the Muslim community ignores domestic violence as an issue. Thanks to the amazing volunteers and the guests of this fashion show, we are able to give these voiceless women a voice in our community.

I sincerely hope that all of my readers reflect on how just one person can make a huge impact by way of example of this show. Anum, one of the executive members of Fashion Fighting Famine, pushed the group to have a second show based in San Francisco. Thanks to her, she motivated hundreds of women to travel from Dubai, LA, and all over to help our community! So never feel defeated to give back my readers. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.

PS: Major thank you to Rahat for glamming me up. And thank to all of you awesome ladies for showing up to the show!

Hijabi Obsession: Jeweled Kaftans

Jeweled kaftans add just the right amount of glitz of glamour while still being modest.

Jeweled kaftans add just the right amount of glitz of glamour while still being modest.

I have a confession to make: I love to look stylish, but comfort and convenience often seems to win out in my personal battle of comfort vs. style. I love how some hijabis can put some effort and time into looking so beautiful, but for me, it is a challenge to ensure my toddler is dressed (and allows me to comb her hair)! Forget about me! What is a mom with an active toddler to do? I truly don’t want to wait till my babykins is in her 20s to start looking good.

The answer to this dilemma of comfort vs. style is a jeweled kaftan. My dirty little secret is that you can always don a jeweled kaftan over your pajamas. I kid you not ladies. I was running late to a dinner party and had no idea what to wear since I literally had 10 minutes to get ready. So I threw on a jeweled kaftan over my pajamas and voila! I was instantly dressy without having to do much else. The hostess pulled me aside to tell me how beautiful I looked and well that always makes anyone’s day right? I happened to buy my kaftan from a specialty hijab shop in Lilburn, GA while I was visiting my sister, but there are plenty of places you can find a nice kaftan to wear for weddings and special occasions.

If you are an online shopper, make sure to try out Mohajababes. They have a large selection of beautiful jeweled kaftans. I also love that they help support one of my favorite organizations as a featured designer: Fashion Fighting Famine. Make sure to check them out and let me know what you think! I will be posting a review on their kaftans, hijab accessories and hijabs soon inshallah!

Online Shopping Review: Abaya Addict

Abaya Addict Solidify

Abaya Addict Makes Amazing Clothing for Hijabis

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are having a great week. With the Bay Area heating up to almost summer temperature, I really can’t complain. However, when it comes to what to wear, I never know quite what to wear. I want to look nice, but I also want to be comfortable too. I always end up in jeans or a maxi skirt, but I always feel too hot in jeans with this nice California weather and maxi skirts get annoying because most of mine need a lining. I just want a piece of clothing that I can slip on and go and do my thing!

Luckily for me, Abaya Addict has the perfect pieces that look stylish, but are made with comfort in mind. I ordered the Solidify Abaya in Caramel in a Medium size. I wish I could say more about the shipping, but I think I had the unlucky timing to order my items when the force behind Abaya Addict was ready to deliver her baby! I will say that the customer service is superb because even though I had a few ordering issues, once they realized my items had not shipped, they just shipped it along with extra scarves! I had originally ordered a Solidify in Denim, but that piece was no longer available so they asked me to pick another one. I am glad when it came because it fit well. It was modest, well tailored and can be dressed up or down. I dressed my abaya up with a sparkly belt when I headed out to halaqa last week. All the ladies kept asking me where I got my abaya from. Thank you Abaya Addict!

I also like how I can wear this to my office and make it a part of my work wardrobe. I would just throw a blazer on top. It literally is a piece you can wear a million ways and if you feel lazy like I do sometimes, you can just throw it on by itself and go.

I wore one of Abaya Addict’s hijabs yesterday in the California heat and it was so lightweight that I didn’t get my usual headaches from the heat. Plus, the print was so festive that everyone in my office stopped and commented on how nice the hijab looked too.

This online shopping destination is one that any stylish hijabi should visit. Once you do, let me know what you think.