Friday, November 11, 2011

Faith & Fashion with Sarah Elenany

Most of you have heard of the lovely Sarah Elenany, Fashion Designer and Creative Director of Elenany Label based out of the U.K. She has been feautured all over the news including BBC, Al Jazeera, Emel Magazine, Cosmopolitan, The Guardian and many more publications.

We love her innovative prints, her cool designs, and her hip style. As the creator and owner of a rapidly growing label, Elenany is contagiously spreading around the world. Ms. Elenany has a women's line, men's line, and also designs funky jewelry.

She recently did a photoshoot in Turkey, so we cought up with the busy designer to ask her a few questions about her work.  Here is what she had to say...

Location: Sirkeci Train Station
Photographer: Melek Reyhan Dinc

At what age did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?

I've always wanted to be a designer -I love inventing things that solve problems, then making them look really great and easy to use. The fashion aspect comes into it because I really love clothes and always found it difficult to find stylish yet modest clothes -so I thought I'd do something about it and create a brand which produces practical, easy to wear clothes, that look really great!


How did you go about pursuing your dreams?

Well firstly I studied product design at degree level -which is where I discovered that I loved graphic design and what a powerful tool it was for presenting ideas. When I graduated I kicked off my label with a small collection which I launched online.

Location: Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque)
Photographer: Melek Reyhan Dinc

What are some challenges or obstacles you ran into being a hijabi designer in the fashion world?

I found that generally the fashion world wasn't interested in hijabi fashion. And in fact, the director of one of the most important fashion PR agencies in London told me, "Honey, fashion isn’t interested in anything controversial or political or religious, it’s shallow!”.

So I kind of had to turn my back on mainstream fashion and carry on doing what I believed in and where there was a need, otherwise I might have had to show models in frilly knickers modelling my clothes to get their attention, which I wasn't prepared to do.

Location: Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque)
Photographer: Melek Reyhan Dinc

How do you come up with the unique prints you design?

I think about what it means to me to be a Muslim -whether it's everyday actions like praying, or whether it's the spirit of freedom, then try to capture this in a graphic. Then I play with the repetition element until i think it looks right!

 Describe to us the Elenany Woman? What is she like?

She is independent. She has the confidence to express herself. She is bold. She is kind.


Do you have any exciting projects you are currently working on that you would like to share with our readers?

I designed some uniform for The Scouts which is set for international release in January 2012, which is really exciting!

To purchase any of the pictured designs and more visit the Elenany website:

To find out more about the amazing Super Hijabi Sarah Elenany

Follow her on facebook:

Follow her on twitter:!/ELENANYclothing

Elenany Website

Location: Eminonu
Photography: Melek Reyhan Dinc

Location: Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque)
Photographer: Melek Reyhan Dinc

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