Wednesday, March 30, 2011

SUPER HIJABI: Mahinur Ozdemir

 “I will work against unemployment and towards allowing the Hijab to be worn in the workplace and in schools. I would like to point out that with or without Hijab, my view of the problems in this country and finding solutions to them and helping others will be the same. I cover my hair, but not my ideas, and the Islamic headscarf will in no way be an obstacle to my political activity. It should not be a controversial issue and I would advise those criticizing the Hijab to do away with the injustice that obscures their vision. Efficiency alone is what matters, not the Hijab!”
Mahinur Ozdemir
MP, Brussels

In the previous post Hijabi Politics Fatima introduced all of you to Mahinur Ozdemir who is currently a Member of Brussels Parliament.

She is a Super Hijabi because she is a powerful role model to many young girls.

Mahinur was born and raised in Belgium. Her parents are of Turkish origin. She started wearing hijab at a very young age. 

Mahinur has a very impressive resume. She completed her undergraduate degree and masters at a very young age. She is fluent in several languages, and knows how to play the piano, and has taken voice lessons.

When she ran for parliament, and won the elections, she became an overnight celebrity and a constant target for the international media, especially the Turkish media.

Mahinur's first day in the parliament

The day she took her oath she remembers that the number of paparazzi in the parliament was twice the number of the parliamentarians.

Mahinur looking over at the fans and the paparazzi waiting for her to take her oath.

Mahinur taking her oath of office on June 24,2009.
She is the youngest Member of Parliament.
 Since her first day in office, Mahinur has worked relentlessly to serve her people. She is also like a bird that flies all over the world to attend meetings and conferences. Mahinur has received many awards for her outstanding work.

She has done thousands of interviews. She was recently feautured in the number one fashion magazine in Europe (it's also a very well known magazine in the US) for her iconic style.

During her visit to New York, I had the pleasure of spending sometime with this young intellect who has conquered the hearts of many. She is a smart, charming younglady, who knows how to take a stand for her cause. Her stamina, her determination and hard work won her a seat in the parliament.
Mahinur and I at Times Square
It was a cold, cold night, hence the red noses ;-)

We had a yummy breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien, a Belgian Cafe in Manhattan before Mahinur's flight.
Watch out for this Super Hijabi as she shapes the world of politics and the image of Muslim women in the public eye!

You can follow Mahinur on her Facebook Fan Page or on Twitter @Mahi_Nur.

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, March 28, 2011


Selams Everyone!

Here's a quick update from Washington D.C. Last night my mom, aunt, and I had dinner with a special friend and guest from Belgium, Mahinur Ozdemir. Mahinur Ozdemir a newly elected Belgium Member of Parliament, is the first hijabi woman elected to serve her country.

Over some delicious Nachos served with (natural blue corn tortilla chips with guacamole, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, jalapenos, roasted corn and black beans), we had discussions on European, American, and various topics on Turkish/Mideast politics. It was a lovely start to a very long dinner that lasted until midnight.

While finishing-up the last piece of my beautifully crafted miniature apple pie and vanilla ice cream on the side, I was intently listening to Mahinur's story of growing up in Belgium and how her passion for politics shaped through the years.

As I enjoy the company of this powerful and beautiful hijabi woman, I think: She is the ideal role model for millions of women across the globe. She is passionate to serve her country, strong-willed, keen-witted, beautiful, poised, and sweetly down-to-earth. MashAllah.

I look forward to seeing many, many more woman like Mahinur who are representatives in politics and working to serve their country, from East to West in all governments across the globe.
Can I get an Amen! :)

Here's a snapshot from the dinner.
Counter clock: Ravza (my other dearest auntie), mom Merve Kavakci (1st Hijabi MP of Turkish Parliament), myself, and the lovely Mahinur (1st Hijabi MP of Belgium Parliament).

Ravza is rocking the Comfijab.
My mom is wearing the KAVAKCI COUTURE Super Hijabi Cape Jacket.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Anthropologie, how I love thee!

I triple LOOOOOOOOVE Anthropologie. Everytime I go into that store I find something so cute and original, and oh so hijabi-friendly! I do admit that I don't always buy stuff, because I'm such a bargainista at heart. I'm always searching for a great sale. But in all honesty, their stuff is well-made, with quality fabrics, so now and then I'll add a few pieces to my wardrobe.
Well, a few weeks ago, I went in and fell in love with this long cowl-neck tunic-dress-top. It was gray, and 100% silk, and the length was just PERFECT! Definitely love at first sight!

Then I looked at the price-tag...Sigh. Why was it so dang expensive?! Needless to say, I left the store, but obviously still had that top on my mind.

Fast-forward to yesterday--------------------->>>>>>

Lo and behold, I enter the store, and there it is! MY TOP! ON SALE! For nearly half price! Wooohooo! But then I realized, they only had one left, and not in my size! Yikes! What's a girl to do?! Well, being the smart shopper I am, I went to the check-out counter and asked the sales-girl if she wouldn't mind checking other stores for my size. She was so friendly, and even though this took a few minutes, she was able to track down a store that had not only one of my size, but several. (Insert me doing my happy dance here :-) So, she made me fill out my name and address, and said someone would call me from that store, take my credit card info, and SHIP THE TOP TO ME FOR FREEEEEEE!!! Now, that is what I call FANTASTIC CUSTOMER SERVICE! This is also a HUGE shopping tip to be aware of, ladies! I know that bigger department stores like Nordstrom offer this service, but I had NO idea that Anthropologie does this as well!

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rockin' the Walmart Scarf!

I just LOVE a great bargain! There's nothing better than finding something relatively inexpensive and making it look like a million bucks! Once again, I bring you another great fashion find. So, without further adieu, I bring you the $6 George Sunburst scarf, from none other than Walmart. YES, that's right, WALMART! And YES, JUST $6 BUCKS!

Here's Nicole, making this $6 scarf look like a MILLION BUCKS! Rock on, sista!

This picture was taken during Nicole's BBC filming in Dallas.

Nicole is wearing the gray Sunburst scarf. It is also available in black. There are a few other prints to choose from, but this one is the nicest, in my opinion.

Get yours here today, or head to your local Walmart store. Hurry, because at the clearance price of $6, these are sure to fly off the shelves!

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Attention J.CREW Shoppers!

I just love J.Crew's Spring line. They have a several hijab-friendly pieces that are perfect for HOT Texas summers. And for me, there is nothing worse than having to wear layers in the 100+ degree heat! So ladies, I bring you the Toluca Tunic.

It comes in several colors, but this particular dark pewter color above is now on sale for $49.99! Trust me ladies, you will definitely want to add this tunic to your spring-summer wardrobe. It's flattering on just about any body type, it's 100% cotton, it's not see-thru, AND it's J.Crew quality! Click HERE to order yours today. If you'd like to avoid shipping costs, you can always head for your local J.Crew store, like I did. :)

Here's how I wore mine:

I'm also wearing the white Comfijab with my fedora ;-)

Happy shopping bloggers!
Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Monday, March 21, 2011

Be Free Now

Here is the newest single from Kareem Salama!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Turtleneck Alert

Say hello to turtleneck-mania. Spiegel has these turtlenecks that provide a little extra modesty for all of us hijabis. Hollaaa!!!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

BBC Backstage

Hello Everyone!

As Fatima posted in our previous post, we have been so busy. It was a chaotic time for us, yet we had the most fun ever!

I've done many interviews before, however, BBC was the best ever! The crew was so intelligent and so humorous that at the end of the day, other than being extremely tired, my face was hurting from laughing so hard.

We started the morning by filming my interview, us, at home as a family and then continued on with our photoshoot at Columbus Circle, Mood Fabrics, and a segment on HijabiTopia and Comfijab and different ways it can be worn.

Ofcourse once it's edited, it will end up being shorter, but we spent the day filming, and refilming, and refilming. For example, we went through the Mood Fabrics entrance door about 4 times. Take 1, take 2... You get the picture. There is so much that goes in to the filming. It has to be absolutely quiet while filming the interview which was awfully difficult because we are in Manhattan. We had to pause for ambulances, fire trucks passing by. LOL!

Anyway, here are some more behind the scenes with the most fun, intelligent, and down to earth media crew I have ever worked with.

Here is what I wore

The Camera
(Say "Hi Mom")

David - The Cameran

Darrius - The Producer

Karen- The lovely Host
(In this picture Karen was complimenting my Knuckle Ring- I was telling her, it's a knuckle ring just like boxers have for punching, hence the hand gesture, LOL)

Getting Zehra Nur changed for the photoshoot

And now the funniest story of farewell...

The crew was nice enough to take off their shoes in our apartment since we don't wear shoes :-). So as they were heading out, Darrius put on his heavy backpack full of all the extra equipment. He stepped out in the hall to put on his shoes, and when he bent down to put it on, all of a sudden his backpack weighed him down, and he fell on the floor. We all burst out laughing because that was the creme de la creme of a day filled with laughter.

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fashion in NYC !

Selams Everyone!

Hope you all are enjoying the beautiful month of March wherever you are in the states and/or around the world. To give a quick update about Team Hijabitopia’s recent activity, I will say “ The interview and shooting with BBC was AH-mazing!” The London-based crew was truly a genuine, friendly, great group of people that made the experience a very fun day for all of us. While I travelled from Washington D.C. and Nicole travelled all the way from Dallas, TX, we came together for a weekend in NYC to roll the Kavakci Couture by Elif Kavakci designs on to the New York scene. It was a breezy and a bit cloudy, yet beautiful day in the city.

Here are some scenes from the BBC filming and Nicole’s photoshoot  

Here's a snapshot of the  BBC crew members

left-right (Producer-Darrius, Cameraman-David, and Host-Karen)

Member of Hijabitopia Team & Professional Photographer:
 Nicole Queen

Addition to our hijabitopia team and behind-the-scenes-organizer: The Lovely Ayse

And, Hijabitopia's gorgeous model Zehra Nur....

Following a nice break with the team and crew for lunch….

Then…. finishing up the photo-shoot

And finally, Elhamdulillah! a much anticipated end of day celebration with the Hijabitopia team:

(we all look a bit exhausted after a long day yet very happy, don't ya think?)

p.s. if anyone is in nyc for a break or needs leisure time, I highly recommend paying a visit to cafĂ© Boom off of Wooster and Spring Street in Soho. It’s a very chill, warm, and friendly environment to eat Italian delicacies and listen to some live Spanish guitar performance (very relaxing indeed).


Friday, March 11, 2011

Exciting News To Share

I have so much to share with all of you! Well, if you have been following us on twitter, you probably already know that we have been quite busy getting ready for BBC :-)

BBC is filming a documentary on "Islam in the USA" and we've been asked to be apart of it.

This past week, we've had fittings with our models, finalized photoshoot location and filming details. Along the way we've had some challenges with missing collection pieces, location changes, and photographer issues... However, as always, Allah helped us pull it all together.

Now we are all set! 2 gorgeous models, and the best photographer in the world, and the only photographer that can make magic happen, and one of the most fun hijabis I know is flying all the way from Dallas. Yes, you guessed it, it's Nicole!

So as you read this, send lots of prayers our way...

If you want to be apart of the action, follow us on twitter for your backstage pass.

Here is a Sneak Peek

Our lovely model Zehra Nur, at the fitting. She is wearing an Ottoman Inspired design by KAVAKCI COUTURE called "3Etek2011". She is also wearing our designer Comfijab in black.

Yaz Has Pizzazz

Do you remember the lovely YazTheSpaz from our previous posts CLICK and CLICK

We love her Hijab Style and her wonderful personality. She's beautiful, proud hijabi, and has so much positive energy Mashallah. Here is one of her most recent looks.

This outfit looks stunning because of several reasons. First of all eventhough Yaz picked a wildlife printed dress, she kept everything else solid. By using a black scarf she didn't overcrowd her look. However, by adding a touch of brown and gold on her forehead, she pulled the whole look together.

Close up with a friend

With her sister Aysun, who is rocking our royal blue Comfijab!

You can follow YazTheSpaz on her Youtube Channel here
On her facebook fan page here

On her blog here

And on twitter here

She sure has lots of links. That's because she's so popular ;-)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Confessions of a Manhattan Hijabi Part I

Well, I guess a big confession is in order.

I did not really want to move to New York from Dallas just like that. I literally dragged my feet, and didn't want to change my life style.

Afterall, in Dallas I had it all. A TEXAS size lifestyle with a TEXAS size home and everything that came with it. We lived in an absolutely gorgeous 6 bedroom /5 bath home. 2 separate living areas, 2 separate dining areas, and an office. A spacious backyard with the biggest trampoline you could imagine. Our home was right out of a fairtayle. Oh wait, it gets better. This home was my parents home. They lived downstairs and we lived upstairs. With a busy, over full time working husband, I had help from my parents 24/7 with raising my girls. If I wanted to go out to exercise, shop, eat, or watch a movie with friends, I could just snap my fingers and it was done. I never had a worry because I could leave my kids with my wonderful parents.

On top of all that, we had a housekeeper who was a sweet heart. Anything you needed, she would do it right away, and with a smile on her face. If mom wasn't home, she was the one who could take care of my kids, just as good as me.

In Dallas, the lifestyle is kind of isolated. Imagine lots of big land. Everything is spacious. The homes, the stores, the parking lots. Driving someplace and not finding parking, or having to stand in line for hours at the grocery store was never an issue.

Fast forward to 2009: imagine a mom with 2 kids, an overtime working husband, in the biggest and most crowded city ever! It was scary. I knew noone. Making friends was not my problem, I had quite alot of work to do. But incase of an emergency I had absolutely no one to call!

Our lifestyle completely changed ofcourse. We were now in a very nice yet very small apartment. The size of our 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment, was the size of our guestroom in Dallas!

My 5 shelf walk-in pantry filled with Costco grocery overload had now become the tiniest cabinet I had ever seen!

My Dallas walk-in, sleep-in, live-in closets had now been replaced with a foot-in closet!

Oh yes!

My first year in the city was absolutely terrifying. For someone who drove around the block to buy bread, I had to walk 10 blocks to get to my daughter's school without a car! Oh No!

The oxymoron was, I had a car, however, I could not drive it because there was no place to park the car.

Bring in the rain and the snow, I barely survived in the city.

At first I tried to play the part. I noticed all the New Yorkers wore Hunter Rain boots. So I bought a pair. All the strollers had to be covered with a rain cover. Bought that too.

But my first raining cats and dogs day in the city, trying to walk in rainboots, while pushing a stroller up hill against the wind, and trying to hold on to the umbrella at the same time was a complete failure.  I was a mess! Late to pick up my older daughter from school, I could not move an inch. All odds were against me. While I tried to hold on to my umbrella that had now turned in to a mini sail boat and was pulling me against the wind I yielled "I hate this city!!!". A polite woman passing by stopped and asked if I needed help. I was no New Yorker. I was a southern girl who missed her life and couldn't make it in such a harsh city.
All I could do is scream "I hate this city!!!!".

Well, rain was the least of my problems at the time. Wait till it snowed! When it snowed, you needed snow gear. You could not survive without snow boots and snow proof everything.

Now how to fit all that in to your closet, that was another issue.

There were days I absolutely hated living in the city. I would think "what were we thinking? Who would give up everything we had, all the comforts, only to pay more to be miserable in this city".

I would regularly have nightmares about what if something happened to me and my kids were stranded at the school. What if something happened in the subway. What would I do, who would I call. I had no one!

My biggest worry was not being able to pick my kids up from school, or being late to pick them up.

In Dallas because I could do drive-thru pick ups and drive-thru drop offs (just like starbucks) I could step on the gas if I was at the other end of town, and speed to get there.

But in Manhattan, when push comes to shove I had to run! Which meant I had to walk around in my nike's 24/7. So much for being fashionable. I had to kiss my heels good-bye!

It was like a life I never knew. I could no longer carry a purse, because I would have to have both hands free at all times, to jump on the bus, get on the subway, walk down the street with my girls.

It wasn't that easy to walk on the street either. You could run into crazy people who come up to you and start talking. And at all times you had to watch your step because Manhattan is the land of dogs. With that comes dog poop. You literally have to hop over things and make zigzags.

None of it made sense to me. To leave behind the most perfect life style, to leave the cleanest city I know, to leave behind a well known Islamic community. Only to pay 5 times more money to live a decent life in Manhattan, where we rarely see Muslims. What for? Why?

I just didn't get it! Until now...

Stay tuned for part 2

Monday, March 7, 2011

An arabic video clip about Hijab

One of our readers informed us about this cute video. I'm sure this has been around for a while and our arabic speaking audience might already know this song, however, we wanted to share it because we thought it gives a positive message about hijab.

We adore the little girl in the video. Mashallah!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Uh Oh OSCAR!!!

Here are some looks from the Oscar De la Renta Fall 2011 show that I LIKE:

I've been a fan of Oscar's work, and again, this collection is another example of how our style of many years is finally on the catwalk. We are definitely ahead of the game!

However, I don't like the below pictures of how he put the pashmina's and the hats together. Which brings us to my styletips!

Listen up Oscar (and all readers, hehe:-) !

The best way to wear a comfijab/hat or hijab/hat combination is to apply one solid color theme! Which means : black hijab, black hat, brown hijab, brown hat, etc. There are exceptions to this rule when you can sometimes wear black and white together and etc. However, for an elegant look apply one solid color theme.

I think these looks are fun, and it's great to see it on the runway, however, most of us wouldn't want to be caught dead in these combinations! There is way too many patterns, and the outfit is overcrowded with color and is screaming  S.O.S!

Sorry OSCAR, sometimes we can't win it all!

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia