Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Baby-Pink Hijab Day!

And finally, a Happy Pink Hijab Day shoutout from the youngest member of Hijabitopia, my 10-month old baby girl. I'll refer to her as our little Babyjabitopian:

For those of you interested in what the little hijabista is wearing: She's outfitted in a light pink Ralph Lauren ruffle mini-dress with the matching ombre pink pashmina-style hijab. Is she eye-candy or what? Masha'Allah!!!

And now, my look for the day:

Once again, Happy Pink Hijab day from me and mine to you and yours! :)

HijabiTopians Pink Hijab Day Styles 2

Keep checking back. We will be posting looks through out the day. Here is more beautiful Pink Hijabis...

Alaa Afifeh
Jerusalem, Palestine
Mona Abou-Sayed
 (aka my really good friend. Isn't it great how her style and my style are so alike. LOVE IT)
Dallas, TX

Mona is a Super Hijabi who is headed off to work. She holds a very high position in a major company as software engineer. And she is a mom! Doesn't she look amazing?

She is wearing a pink satin pashmina with some bling on the edges.
She topped off her Pink Hijab Day t-shirt with her black denim jacket and black trousers. Not to forget the embellished flats.

Let's rock the pink ladies...

My Pink Hijab Day Style!

I'm so excited! Today feels like Eid :-). It's such a wonderful feeling that around the globe, we, as hijabis will be supporting breast cancer awareness! And ladies who don't wear hijab or are not even Muslim will be wearing something pink as well. Oh wait! We have to be politically correct, let's not forget the men who will also wear something pink. How FUN!

Before I'm headed out the door to my older daughter's school to attend a meeting on diversity (perfect timing huh?), I wanted to share my outfit with you.

Today I'm proudly wearing my Pink Hijab Day t-shirt that I've purchased from their website. It's  white long sleeve with the cutest logo on it.

As an inspiration from the logo, I styled my pink scarf in a similar style.

Of course, I had to dress it up right? So, I actually rolled the sleeves of my t-shirt, since I'm wearing a white turtleneck inside. I put on my favorite BLING BANGLES from Forever 21 (I will post the link below the picture).

Now these bangles have been getting complements from every single person! I will do another post on these babies, but here is the link

I combined my t-shirt with my trendy jeans from Nordstrom. Since I will be walking around town today, I had to wear my silver flats from Aldo. They actually have an off white bow on top! Bow-tiful right?

I decided to use my huge silver BCBG purse as well. This is an urban hand bag that can be hung across the shoulder perfect for a mom like me who is on the run and needs her hands free at all times.

And the last but not least, I added my ZARA boyfriend blazer for the cooler morning.

You like?

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My way or the Highway

I absolutely love the confidence of a fashionista who is willing to take a chance. Isn't that what fashion is all about? Fashionistas are always the ones that stand out in a crowd. They dare to be different. To them fashion has no boundaries, no rules. They can mix different trends together and combine them to make it their own, unique style.

Here is a fashionista with an attitude. She dares to say...

It's my way or the highway!

I'm a Hijabi. I dare to be different. If you like it that's great. If you don't I could care less. What I wear is my choice and mine only!

Items in this Look

     Sunglasses by Gucci
Hat by JC
Handbag by 5Preview
Bolero by J Dauphin
Ring by Marina B
Cardigan by Fräulein von Hast
Turtleneck by DAKS
Boots by Vintage
Pants by Ralph Lauren
Over-knees by Wolford

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, October 25, 2010

Are you ready for Pink Hijab Day?

Dear HijabiTopia Readers:

I just wanted to remind you that Wednesday October 27, 2010 is Pink Hijab Day. The HijabiTopia team will be participating. We hope you put on your pink hijabs as well. If you don't wear a hijab, please combine your outfit on that day with a pink neckerchief, a scarf or a shawl.

Let's all take a stand and support Breast Cancer Awareness!

For more information you can go to Pink Hijab Day or watch the video below...


27 EKIM 2010 Carsamba gunu Pembe Basortulerimizi ortelim...

Bilgi icin  Pembe Basortusu Gunu

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Friday, October 22, 2010

Destination: Maui

Growing up, I would always dream of traveling to a beautiful island with secluded beaches where I would essentially have the island to myself, thereby not having to worry about hijab when I swam. I guess because I was the first one in my family to wear hijab, I always felt self-conscious about it, even though it was my decision. I guess deep-down I always felt in some way, that as I grew older, hijab would limit me from doing things I used to love as a child, such as enjoying the beach. As I matured, however, I no longer felt that way, alhumdulillah.

I recently vacationed in Maui with my husband and 2 kids, ages 4 and 9 months. If you haven't been, I strongly recommend it. In fact, this was my second visit! Ever since my first visit 8 years ago, my husband and I compare every beach we visit to the beautiful beaches of Maui. The crystal-clear blue waters surrounded by the cloud-covered mountains and white sand beaches,among other things, are truly a sight to see.

We would wake up early each day and enjoy the first half of the day at the beach. Kaanapali beach in Maui is amazing! Not only is it a beautiful beach, but it is also quite secluded. I felt as though we had the beach to ourselves!

My burqini came in handy during this trip. Eight-years ago I didn't own a burqini, nor did I know of such an amazing piece of hijabi-friendly swimwear! Ladies, if you don't have one, let me just tell you, it is the one thing you cannot go to the beach without! Not only is it comfortable,stylish and slimming, it is also made with SPF material! Additionally, you can swim, snorkel, and boogie board in it with ease. And, people don't really stare at you that much in it. Are you sold yet? I hope I get commission out of this ad. Haha!

Boogie Boarding:

We didn't do much sightseeing this trip. With the kids enjoying the beach, sand and water so much, we decided to really make the most of just relaxing on the beach and spending quality time with them. We did, however, visit Mount Haleakala, which was once an active volcano, but is now a popular tourist destination for its breathtaking over-the-cloud views at sunrise and sunset. We were fortunate enough to be there at sunset. Notice how my scarf matches the sunset--that was all planned to show all you fashionistas how to plan your outfits to match your surroundings. Hehehe! Just kidding!

Mount Haleakala, just before sunset:

Just after sunset:

We had such an amazing time, that when it was time to leave we were all so sad. My four-year old son just wanted to live there. Ofcourse, all good things must come to an end. Here are some kodak moments I just had to include in this post. Enjoy:

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I've got a few exciting trends to share with you all today! I was out- and-about in Manhattan shopping and ran into the most amazing jewelry pieces. The rocker punk in me (yes there is one- don't we all have one?:-) went crazy over the accessories. I wanted to buy and wear every single piece, but since that's not possible, I had to pick and choose my favorites.

This season anything ROCK, PUNK or, BULLETIFIED is IN:

According to Jeremy Gutsche, the editor of Trend Hunter Magazine, "Anything macho has extra appeal right now. Adding a little shock or aggression to fashion makes things that much more interesting".

I personally love the idea of adding something macho to my feminine jewels. Definitely gives it more power!

If you are a huge trend follower and would like to rock your block as a Hijabi, go ahead and pick your favorite!


BCBG Fligree Joint Ring

BCBG Layered Rhinestone Pave Ring

METROPARK Knuckle Ring
BCBG Knuckle Ring Trio
Lucky Beaded Leather Cuff

Studed Leather Bracelet


BCBG Pyramid Spike Bracelet

Faux Leather Goldtone Spike Bracelet

Large Scaled Cuff

METROPARK Razor Acrylic Bib Necklace

Pamela Love Jewelry

Rachel Roy Spike Strech Bracelet


Bullet Bracelet Collection

Karla Fox Collection - Bullet Bracelet

Julie Teeples Bullet Bauble
Amethyst Bullet Necklace made from a real 9 mm bullet shell
Esprit Mystique Bullet Jewelry

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, October 18, 2010

Shoutout to 2 New Hijabi gals!

I recently learned that two girls I have known forever have decided to wear hijab!!!

Congrats to these two beautiful siblings, Nabila and Tasneem! Both are students, and future pharmacists, masha'Allah! May Allah (swt) bless you in all that you do, and may He give you both the best in this world and the next.

CONGRATULATIONS, and welcome to HijabiTopia!!!

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

From Fame and Fortune to Islam

Today I'm very excited to share with you a YouTube video of Nicole. A few months ago, Nicole was filmed for a program called "They Chose Islam", by GS productions. The media followed Nicole around her home, at work, and spending time with her husband.

Nicole's conversion to Islam has gotten a lot of press around the world. Her story is unique because she literally went from one extreme to another. She had to change her whole lifestyle and make the biggest sacrifices ever! And what for? She did it all for the sake of God, and for her love of Allah.

My favorite part of the video is when Nicole explains her feelings about hijab and how she started wearing it. This is what she says "at that time (when learning about Islam) I thought of hijab as something that you have to earn. Like you had to study Islam for a long time before you could wear the hijab.  I thought it's going to take me along time to be like those women (hijabis). I thought it was like a right of passage..."

Nicole first puts on the hijab when she goes to Jordan to visit a Muslim family, out of respect. She experiences wearing it on a daily basis. However, when it's time for her to fly back to Dallas she becomes really nervous about what she's going to do. She is so attached to her hijab that she doesn't want to take it off. The girl that left the airport as Nicole now lands back to the same airport as a hijabi!

"I told my friends and Hassan, I don't think I can take off the hijab" says Nicole.

Here is the first part of her beautiful story.

Nicole Queen: Part I

Stay Tuned for the second video coming soon...


For Turkish Fans: Turk Okurlarimiz
Nicole'un hikayesinin Turkcesini okumak isterseniz Kadinhaberleri sitesindeki yazimi okuyabilirsiniz.

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Blushing Bride

The Blushing Bride...For most its just a saying, but for most Muslim Brides, it's a literal thing!  Instead of months and months of dating and giving and giving, hoping that he will propose, hoping that she's got what it takes to win his heart, Muslim Brides try a different approach to that thing called love. For these veiled beauties, you better face the "Rents" and cough up a pretty sweet ring before you get any fluttering of her endless lashes.  They are true Blushing Brides because being with their husband is a new and exciting time, everything they do with their husbands will be special and sending plenty of butterflies for years to come because they save the best for last.  Proposal for her hand in marriage is how you are allowed to date her and win her heart.  Gives a whole new meaning to the term "Because Your Worth It".  If he wants to date her, he better feel pretty sure she's worth it because nothing less will do!  The "old fashion" system of courtship for these pious beauties is definitely worthy of a comeback for U.S. society.  I know I'm hoping for this royal treatment for my daughter, whenever I actually have one! LOL...

As most of you know I am a professional photographer and photograph a lot of Muslim weddings and events here in Dallas.
I hope you enjoy a few of my favorites from the formal engagement(Nikkah) of Sarah & Zeshaun.  Does she have amazing skin or what!  May Allah bless them both and give them a long beautiful life together.

Fun fact: Sarah is the daughter of Mariam, a friend of mine and also an American revert to Islam of more than 20 years. Mariam is the proud Mother of 7 beautiful children and #8 is on the way! All of her children attend Private Islamic School, and attend college upon graduation. Her older children are already Hafiz as Quranic education is just as important to both parents as well as social studies.  All 4 of her daughters as well as Mariam wear Hijab beautifully.  Ma'shallah I am so proud to see how close Mariam is to Islam and her family, she makes all American Muslims proud and I hope to one day be as great and patient of a Mother as she has been.  

Congratulations Mariam, what a beautiful pious educated daughter you have raised through the guidance of God, in Islam.  May Sarah be every bit as amazing of a Mother as she was taught to be.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Exclusive Interview with Sadaf Syed

Remember Super Hijabi Sadaf Syed? We had informed you in Ramadan that she was going to be honored for her work at the White House. Here is the interview you all have been waiting for!

Sadaf Syed is an American Muslim professional photographer. She graduated from University of California with a degree in Communications and Photojournalism. Sadaf has made it her goal to change the negative image of Muslim women.

In her photo documentary, iCover, Sadaf captures American Muslim women in their daily lives showing their accomplishments.

Photojournalist and author Sadaf Syed displays pictures from her book at her home in Willowbrook. She published "iCOVER: A Day in the Life of a Muslim-American COVERed Girl" to dispell stereotypes of Muslim women as oppressed and forced to wear the headscarf
Could you define iCover for us in your own words?

iCover: a day in the life of an American Muslim COVERed Girl is a photo documentary celebrating the empowering Muhajjibahs of America. Often, Muslim women are misunderstood in the media due to their Islamic attire but it’s the nature of their modesty, humility, and humbled character that often discriminates them from society. Time is the essence, and we (muhajjibahs) need to get out of our comfort and represent - - like, how our beloved Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) spread Islam - - through loving thy neighbor and spreading knowledge.

How did this idea come about?

I took upon this project as a tool to do da'awah. Photography is all about visual and nowadays living in a fast pace world photography is a great way for quick info and a way to stimulate one’s mind. Post 9/11 there was lots of media coverage generally about Islam and Muslims. In particular lots of curiosity and misguided information about covering. There were many questions about what hijab is, why Muslim woman wear it - - is it forced or by choice, etc. With many ideas I was playing with in my mind I decided to embark this project by sending a mass email to people I knew and asking them to nominate one another. I was looking for Muhajjibahs that everyone can relate too. My goal is to show the similarities between American Muslims and rest of the Americans. We all have the same abilities/disabilities, goals, sorrows, likes/dislikes.

Muhajjibah Boxer, muhajjibah soldier in the American army, muhajjibah judge, muhajjibah doctor, muhajjibah surfer, muhajjibah motorcyclist, muhajjibah drummer - how and where did you find these women?

My goal was to feature women from all across the US. Most of my nominations at first came from San Francisco - - being my first city to visit and photograph... and then I flew south to Los Angeles. And then off to New York, etc...

I went off by email nominations, facebook nominations, phone calls, in person... I wanted to photograph Muhajjibahs in all fields of work... from homeschooling to professional boxers. The point being... we rarely ever see these "normal" photographs of women who cover... unfortunately media brainwashes us with images that are not generally true about Muslim women - - being oppressed, having no voice, haters, etc.

Muslim women were so eager to get the truth out and have their voices heard. I am so humbled that they let me photograph them in their private and professional lives. We all are so proud to be American Muslims. Rather than focusing on the differences we should be united through sisterhood! We are mothers, daughters, wives... that itself says a lot!

What does being an American Muslim mean to you?

Being an American Muslim is all that I am and know. It is the freedom I enjoy in my day to day life as a wife, a mom, daughter, friend, and a professional, etc...

The comfort I have to enjoy my American culture with my religious beliefs. Both America and Islam honors and respects a woman which makes us American Muslims very happy people :o) The ability to have so many choices and options in America with the guidance of Islam makes life that much easier and happier.

You are a mother of 2. How did you manage a busy work schedule?

I traveled with my two children EVERYwhere.... pushing the double strollers (my kids at that time were 4 and 1) through scanning lines at the airport and then being stopped for "random checking" due to my hijab... I saw for myself the security people pointing at my scarf before the female guard checked me. There were times my husband couldn't assist me for the out of state photo shoots due to the fact he works 6 days a week ... so I would count on my parents who live in SoCal for assistance. Once I had to fly my mom over to Michigan from California just so I can do my photo shoots. Often when I flew to the east cost... I had to schedule 4-5 photo shoots back to back just so I can get them all done on a Sunday (my husband’s only day off) and then fly out back to Chicago the same evening.

I had to be very organized and patient to get things done and especially to schedule photo shoots according to EVERYBODY's own schedules. Sometimes I had to go back to that particular State if I couldn't squeeze them into my short visit.

But overall it was amazing to see for yourself of how many empowering Muhajjibahs are out there.... too bad they don't get acknowledged. But iA now they are! :)

 Didn't your husband ever say "this is too stressful for our family, you are getting tired as well, why don’t you just give up photography and be a housewife?"

No! My husband has ALWAYS supported me. I am so blessed to have him as my life partner He gives me his moral support, financial support and emotional.

You were recently invited to the white house iftar dinner. How did this come about? Did someone just call you and say, "the president would like to invite you to a dinner at the white house"? What was your reaction?

My invite to the WH for iftar was a total surprise. I had received a message through my website stating that they are trying to get a hold of me so they (White House) can send an invitation to me for the iftar on August 13, 2010. At first, I was happy yet very confused not knowing if this is a hoax email or legit. I googled the individuals name who sent me the email and realized that it’s a real deal. In the message that I received via my website, he had left me his email address along with his phone number to the WH. I called few days later (as I was traveling to Canada to speak at an event about iCOVER) and confirmed my invite to the White House. Several days later I got the official invite via email and snail. After receiving the hard copy, white house invite is when I TRULY believed that it’s official and therefore decided to share with some friends and family who were extremely excited for me. It’s absolutely honorable to be recognized in this dunya (even though the ultimate reward is from Allah in the akhirah, insha Allah!) because once you get recognized for your good intention and good work it motivates you to continue on with full force and the importance of your work is proven. Also, as a parent of two young children its great to have an opportunity where you can inspire them by meaningful work. And now my 7 year old son tells me that he is gonna be the coolest kid in school because his mommy went to the white house and got him a personalized signature from the president of United States!. That too makes me happy -- seeing the beautiful smile on my children face :) Alhumdullilah -- like the saying goes -- you take a step towards Allah and he runs to you. Subhanallah.

After receiving the news of the invite -- I was completely numb. Not sure if I should get excited in case it back fires on me, LOL. Mostly, I am humbled by the invitation and the recognition as a leader in arts (as what the WH officials had said was the reason of my invite). My biggest accomplishment is my photo documentary book, iCOVER: A Day in the Life of a Muslim-American COVERed Girl. Time is the essence and Allah is the Best of Planners -- I am glad iCOVER's (2nd edition) made its debut now while Muslims are all over the news not always being represented justly.

My goal is to educate and inspire people about women in Islam.

Sadaf inside the White House


How does it feel to be recognized for your hard work as a Muhajjibah?

As a muhajjibah being invited to the WH is an American story! what America is suppose to be all about. Freedom of Religion is what America is based on -- is what President Jefferson stood for over 200 years ago. Besides one of the very first signs of Islam/Muslims in the USA goes as far back as year 1500's. We ARE Americans -- we along with other races, religions make America. That is the beauty of USA. We have been citizens of this country for centuries.

I felt uplifted yet humbled to be invited to the WH as a Muslim-American artist ... just as when Christian - Americans are invited annually to the WH for x-mas, along with Jewish-American, and Hindu-Americans for their religious holidays as well, etc...

How did it feel to meet President Obama in person? What is he like?

President Obama's speech was very realistic and just. He gave equal time to everyone.. approached all of us, shook hands and briefly talk to us all. We took autographs, pictures and shared couple of thoughts with him. He is very approachable and gave us his sincere attention in a short period of time. It felt like a dream that I sure did not want to end or especially depart from the empowering group of people that i met at the iftar --who were leaders in their communities in business, health care, education, arts, ambassadors, and along with WH staff members and interfaith activist from various religious backgrounds.

Sadaf Syed and President Obama

You can order Sadaf’s book online through her website

* Muhajjibah : A Muslim woman who wears hijab.

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia