Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I'm going to share one of my favorite accessory secrets with you today, are you readddyyy???

I love getting trendy accessories from Forever 21! Forever 21 is one of my favorite places to shop, but other then a few trendy pieces I pick up when I visit, I usually dig out in the jewelry section. My taste in accessories is as contagious as my taste in style.

I am a bling bling kind of gal. It might be because I'm fully covered in hijab that my jewelry gets alot of attention, or it could just be the bling blinding people who I come across. LOL!

I bought this ring from Forever 21 over the summer in Dallas. Usually when I see something I like, I'll buy not one but several. One for my bf's, sisters, nieces, lots of women in the family. If I know their sizes, most likely I'm going to buy it. When I bought this ring, they didn't have too many sizes, so I managed to buy one for myself. When Nazreen saw me wearing it she was like "OMG, what is that ring?" So ofcourse, we had to go find her one.

Every where I wear this ring, people literally stop me and say, "Where did you get that ring from?" Friends who know I'm a designer ask me if I've designed it!

When I tell people where I got it and how much it was, they can not believe me.

I wear it everyday, with my casuals, and with my formals. This is the ring that can go from one event to another. One piece does it all.

I recently wore this to the reception with the Turkish President and the First Lady.

So, I did a little research and found it available online for all you HijabiTopia readers. If you want one, you better act fast! You could also call your local store and ask to see if they have one in your size, but not sure if anyone would really bother looking through a bunch of rings to find this one.

It comes in white and in black. I would get both!

Ready, set, BLING!

The Jewel Stunner Ring is on my right hand

The Jewel Stunner Ring from FOREVER 21

This is what it looks like up close

Here is the link to purchase it, you are going to be stunned when you see the price.

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, September 27, 2010

Visibly Muslim

The other night, I attended an amazing event at City University of New York on 5th Avenue and 34th Street.

Writer Emma Tarlo gave a presentation about British Muslim Fashion. She is the author of Visibly Muslim: Fashion, Politics, Faith.

I was so excited to hear about this event last minute from a friend that I could not believe it. The room was packed with an audience interested in hearing about Islamic Fashion, particularly the hijab, nikab, burkah.

When I walked into the packed room, I noticed only one other hijabi. Ms. Tarlo spoke about the current designers, bloggers and individuals who shape Islamic Fashion in the British world. There were many names I recognized. She spoke briefly about the different individuals. One of them she mentioned was Jana, the medical student, who is also the editor in chief of the HijabStyle Blog. I had communicated through email with Jana a few times. It was a wonderful surprise to be in an audience in New York listening to a wonderful hijabi being recognized for her work. Congrats to Jana from all of us, as well as all the other names that are recognized in the book.

It was definitely an overpowering night for me. I felt so much positive energy in the room. Ms. Tarlo's work is not just a well-written book, for all of us hijabis, it's absolutely priceless. For a well-known academician to take a popular issue and turn it into a positive master piece is such an honor for all of us.

She has worked tremendously to describe the reasons why Muslim women dress the way they dress, in relation to current fashion and politics. We applaud her for all her hard work and thank her immensely for shining a positive light on a contrary topic.

Thank You Ms. Emma Tarlo, and May God Bless You!

Here is a small excerpt about Visibly Muslim. I advise you all to purchase a copy. This is a very interesting read, and the least we can do is thank Ms. Tarlo by supporting her work.

Visibly Muslim is available on amazon!

Muslims in Britain and cosmopolitan cities throughout the West are increasingly choosing to express their identity and faith through dress, whether by wearing colorful headscarves, austere black garments or creative new forms of Islamic fashion.  Why is dress such an important issue for Muslims? Why is it such a major topic of media interest and international concern? In Visibly Muslim : Fashion, Politics, Faith Emma Tarlo cuts through media stereotypes of Muslim appearances, providing intimate insights into what clothes really mean to the people who design and wear them.  She examines how different ideas of fashion, politics, faith, freedom, beauty, modesty and cultural diversity are articulated by young British Muslims as they seek out clothes which best express their identities, perspectives and concerns.  She also explores the wider social and political effects of their clothing choices on the development of transnational cultural formations and multicultural urban spaces.
Here are some pictures of the beautiful ladies I met at the event.
Emma Tarlo & Elif

From Left to Right
Christa Salamandra - Professor of Anthropology at Lehman College, CUNY;
Anny Bakalian- Associate Director, Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center
Emma Tarlo - Reader, Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London 
Eugenia Paulicelli - Co-Director of the IS in Fashion Studies CUNY

I applied the theory of Contrast to my look, completely black outfit, one contrasting color, offwhite Prada Purse
Same hat from the other night, same broche, same jewelry, just changed it up a notch!

 Don't forget to purchase Visibly Muslim, let's make the books fly off the shelves!!!

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Friday, September 24, 2010

Best of Both Worlds

Marc. Check.

Sartorialist. Check.

Hannah Montana Sweet Nibblets. CHECK. CHECK. CHECK.

I probably sound like a teenager at this point, but I was planning on writing a post about having a somewhat low key profile in the US while enjoying a high key profile in Turkey, and all of a sudden Sweet Nibblets came to mind. LOL! I was like OMG, I have to do a post on Hannah. NOT!

This post is more about having the best of both worlds.

My parents are very well- known in Turkey. After we moved to Dallas, they became well known in the US as well. My father being a scholar with a great vision, and my mother being the strong educated woman that she is.

Before we moved to Dallas, both of my parents were university professors. My mom was one of the first women to start wearing hijab while holding an important position. She was a role model to many younger women. She dressed very stylish, and took great pride in the way she looked. As a hijabi, she felt proud when she walked into her classroom to teach her students.

Between the two of them, my parents raised great students, many of whom currently hold important positions. Whenever we used to tell someone we met for the first time our full name, they would say, "Wow! You're a Kavakci! I used to be a student. How is Professor Kavakci?" We would look at them and think, which professor, mom or dad?

Then came along my strong heroine sister Merve, who became an overnight celebrity when she was prevented from taking oath as she walked into the Turkish parliament for the first time as an elected member, by the people, for the people.for walking into the parliament as an elected member, by the people, for the people. Once she became a celebrity, everytime we would tell someone our full name, we would here "OMG! Are you Merve Kavakci's sister?" To which we would reply, "Yes." People would want to take pictures with us. We would just laugh inside and think, this is a very nice compliment, but I'm the sister of a celebrity not the actual celebrity. They probably thought we were the next best thing.

At the time of my sister's fame in Turkey, I hadn't started my label formally. However, I would help with designs, and put together her outfits. If I was not in Turkey, I would shop for her in the US and send her whatever she needed, since she was a very busy lady.

Her style was instantly knocked-off. And yes I mean copied the very next day by Islamic Wear Designers,who gave interesting labels to the designs. For example, one time I had bought her this navy uniform-inspired suit, that was navy blue with golden palettes. They called it Marine Merve.

Anything she wore became an instant trend and was followed by every single modest female in Turkey.

To this day,her style is followed by many. Whatever she wears is an instant hit!

Once I became a designer, having the KAVAKCI last name brought me instant attention. I was lucky because I really didn't have to go out there and promote myself. My sister Merve would attend one event wearing my design, and it would work wonders.

During the time she was active in politics, my sister was very close with the current Turkish Prime Minister- Tayyip Erdogan and Mrs. Emine Erdogan. Mr. Erdogan was also one of my mom's students.

Therefore, as a family we have had a very close relationship with them. The fact that they now hold important positions really didn't change that.

Some of our readers were curious as to how and why I was with the First Lady and the President of Turkey at an event. The current President Abdullah Gul and Mrs. Gul were also in the same circle as my sister during the same time. They had significant roles in the same party where they worked. Mrs. Hayrunnisa Gul has been a good friend of my sister for a very long time.

Some of our readers were wondering what it felt like to be at the reception with the couple recently. To me it felt like old times. I recollected when Abdullah Gul was at the same conference where my sister was a speaker. He had come up to me to ask how my parents were doing. Since we had moved to Dallas, he hadn't seen my dad in a while.

Standing next to him made me remember that moment. I don't know if you do that too. I like to look back in history, at a memorable time in my life, to remember where I was, what I was doing, and fast forward to the present. Kind of like back to the future.

I don't do this just for the fun of it, although it's alot of fun, I do it to be thankful for what I have and to show grace.

That day I thought of the first time I had spoken to him at a conference about 17 years ago. I was a freshman in University, and he was just a politician in the making. When I fast forwarded to 2010, here I was a celebrity fashion designer, and Mr. Gul, the President of Turkey!

It felt good to look back and think, Alhamdullilah, God is So Great, and his bounty surrounds us on a regular basis.

I strongly believe we can accomplish anything we want with Allah's will. But with each and every step we have to make sure to stay grounded.

Most people in the US who meet me, don't even know the celebrity type of life style that I have. At my daughter's school I'm a mom. Most people know I'm a fashion designer, but that's about it.

When I used to go work out at Jazzercise in Dallas, all the ladies knew me as the Muslim lady. That was about it!

At the same reception, while I was standing up and talking to my friends, a lady who saw me across the room walked up in excitement and said "Elif Kavakci!!." I turned around and said, "Yes?" thinking " I don't know you, how do you know me?"

I had forgotten that I was within a Turkish crowd who would recognize who I am. In this case the lady said she had been following me on the internet and would show my pictures to non-muslims as a fashionable hijabi.

Driving home in the car I thought to myself, yes, I do have the best of both worlds! But what matters the most is the hereafter! If I can go there having done some good with my talents, and pleasing Allah, then, I've done good.

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In Style with The First Lady

I've had an amazing week, and weekend. I've attended several events that I'm looking forward to share with you all. This one is the first and on the top of the list.

On Sunday night, we were invited to attend a reception with The President and The First Lady of Turkey. We had a wonderful evening listening to the President, and speaking with the First Lady. Hayrunnisa Gul, was dressed In Style as always.

I'm letting the pictures speak for themselves.

Here is what I wore, my KAVAKCI COUTURE evening wear design

On My Way Out


Black Silk Taffeta Dress With High Neck and Swarovski Crystal Buttons
Multi Colored Shantung Silk Kaftan With Multi Color Stoned Broche

Notice the Tulip Inspired Shape of The Design,
 Inspired by The Ottoman Art

At The Reception

                                                        3 Hijabistas, 3 different styles

                                                              Elif, Ebru, Fatima

Elif speaking to The President - Abdullah Gul
Ebru and Fatima are in the picture as well

Ebru Isik welcoming the President
Her beautiful silver outfit has Ottoman Embroidery

Yes, my eyes are closed, because I was blinking
My husband to my left
Ebru, and Dr. Isik speaking to the President


Very left My husband, Very Right Dr. Ihsan Isik - ATCOM president

Here is the event on Youtube I'm @ 2:57, 3:17 and on...

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, September 20, 2010


Iman is a dear friend of mine from Dallas. She was born and raised in California. She is an Interior Designer and is also studying to become a nutritionist.

Iman is also a very stylish and talented young lady. When you are around her, she makes you feel happy and proud to be a Hijabi!

We recently caught up in Dallas when we had lunch at our favorite restaurant NOODLE WAVE. You might remember Iman from the movie On A Wing And A Prayer. Iman is now getting ready to film her next project
Faith Walks The Land.

We would like to congratulate Iman on being the perfect Hijabi role model, and on her efforts to promote Hijab in a way that can reach big numbers of people.

We LOVE you Iman and we think you are a SUPER HIJABI!

Below is a trailer for Faith Walks The Land

You can also follow Iman on facebook
Now that you got to meet Iman, meet her STYLE

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Thursday, September 16, 2010

And this is how we WEAR it MARC !

Marc check

The Sartorialist Check

I feel like the Muslim Sartorialist posting pictures of beautiful hijabi style! This is what the site is about, a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.

Here is Fatima on her way to SoHo

Yes, the shades are Gucci

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Marc Jacobs is following the style of KAVAKCI COUTURE!!!

To be followed by Marc Jacobs --- OMG!!!

Imagine how you would feel, if your signature look as a designer was on the runway of  Marc Jacobs's Spring 2011 runway show during New York Fashion Week!!!

Words can't describe how I feel. First of all, the Hijab and Hat combo has been my signature for many years. Those of you who have known me for a long time know my signature style.

Not only is it my signature style, but it is the KAVAKCI COUTURE signature style as well. I've already done this look on the runway, at the 3 fashion shows that we did in Dallas in 2008! Can you believe I'm more fashion forward then MJ?

I know that the hat, turban, scarf looks have been used many, many times on the runway. And has gotten really close to hijabi looks. But this is the closest ever!! Whoever put the actual scarf and hat on the model, really knew how to do it the proper way! The hijabi way!

When something I wear and my clients wear on a regular basis hits the runway of a major designer that makes you wanna go yippee!!!

As an Islamic designer, it's my goal to make my clients look fashionable and guide them with their daily personal style, while staying within the Islamic requirements. However, it is every designer's goal to have their designs on the street worn by the majority. To be the first person to start a huge trend that is copied by many is what every designer wants. For years I've had people (non hijabi, non Muslims) who have stopped me on the street saying "I want to dress like that" and hijabis who have copied my style because they love it. I've been able to start many trends! My goal is to hijabitize the world. Yes modest clothes would do everyone some good!

I could go on and on, but I'm so excited, I will post pictures of my own designs and Marc Jacobs look of the runway! It's so nice to see the hijab on the run way, yes the models legs are showing and this is not an Islamic design fully. The hijab and hat combination on the other hand is.

I've got thousands of pictures of myself and my friends and clients in the hat and scarf combinations, but not to delay the post, I'm posting a few that I could get my hands on quickly.






Elif and Nicole


Here is the look from Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 Fashion Show in NY:

Pay close attention to how the scarf is tied! It's not hanging down, it's not tied under the chin, it's pinned exactly as a Hijabi would wear it, and it's exactly how I do my Hijab and Hat combinations.

I've always liked Marc Jacob's designs but this time I'm giving a major HATS OFF to MJ!

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Sunday, September 12, 2010

HijabiTopia @ Fashion's Night Out in New York City!

September 10th, was Fashion's Night Out in New York City. We had been looking forward to attending it for months. And we finally got to! If you were following us on twitter, you got the insider info on what was going on where. 

We had a fantastic time in Manhattan! I was joined by my niece Fatima (yes my celebrity sister Merve's daughter) who arrived from D.C. to join me for the night.

As the only Hijabis hanging out at the IN places, we were treated like absolute celebrities. Some people were star struck and took pictures of us every where we went.

When I attend big events, being the only hijabi usually is the most positive experience. Since I stand out as a fashionable hijabi, I tend to get alot of complements. We had people stopping us in the stores asking to take pictures of our interperetation of the FNO tees. While we were walking on the street, photographers would stop us and ask for a picture. We ran into alot of bloggers as well as trend analysts.

I chose to wear the gray long sleeve FNO tee, whereas Fatima wore the white short sleeve FNO tee.

Here is a look @ how I put mine together. I wore a black button down shirt inside my tee, my black taffeta skirt, my skinny heels with rhinestones and flowers on them, I wore my husband's tie as a belt(!) I wore the Comfijab [KAVAKCI COUTURE hijab] with 2 long silk scarves that I tied in turban style. My white watch and my big heart ring completed the look! I took a simple purse to play down my look.

Take a close look @ the tie now!
Donald Trump has no idea I've turned his tie into a belt!!!

P.S. The camera did add 10 lbs!

On FNO the streets were packed. The line in front of Bergdrof Goodman was the longest line ever!

There were live window case displays, with people singing and shows or models in almost all the stores. It was such a creative night. We walked till we could not walk anymore!

Louis Vuitton on 5th Ave, had a violin concert. It was amazing.

Don't you just love NY! This is infront of the CBS building.
This is how Fatima wore her FNO tee:

Here are some pictures and highlights from our night!

- Our first stop was Calvin Klein on Madison and 60th street. Guess who was performing? Bryan Adams!!!

Yup, that's him wayyy up there Bryan Adams!

- Our next stop was Barneys NY on Madison & 60th

In front of Barneys

Hello there Simon!

On the first floor we got to meet Simon Doonan, Creative Director of Barneys
On the 5th floor, Fatima shopped while I watched participants play musical chair.

Look who we got to meet on the 7th floor... ALEXANDER WANG!!!

We absolutely love his designs.
On his left the famous Ralph Lauren model.
On the very right corner, another blonde model.

Our favorite designer with his models - Alexander Wang
Left corner - partial view

5th Ave side walk in front of Van Cleef there was a bubble machine blowing bubbles in to the night

      We got so tired that we decided to go ahead and have a cappucino. This amazing cafe, on 5th Ave & 59th, right across from the CBS building has such aromatic cappucinos. Check out the surprise on my cappucino

Look at the brown picture closely. It's a caricature of a girl wearing hijab! I got a Hijabi Cappucino. Woohooo! Only at HijabiTopia can you have one!

Join us next year for FNO. Untill then sending all my gals lots of love!

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia