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Monday, October 31, 2011

Our interview with Today's Zaman

We were recently feautured in Today's Zaman. The same interview was also published in Zaman Weekly US, if you're subscribed to that you probably already read it :-)

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-261115-fashion-designer-elif-kavakci-nothing-more-elegant-or-stylish-than-conservative-clothes.html#

Fashion designer Elif Kavakçı: Nothing is more elegant or stylish than conservative clothes

27 October 2011, Thursday / LILIYA NIGMATULLINA,

Can a Muslim woman dress with a great sense of style and elegance, yet remain modest and comfortable in what she is wearing? Some people may think these qualities are difficult to combine into Islamic-style clothing, yet there are many people who prove the opposite. Fashion designer Elif Kavakçı is one of these people. With her unique taste and great sense of creativity, she designs clothing that offers modesty, class and comfort all at the same time.



First of all, let me tell you about her background. Elif Kavakçı was born in Ankara, was raised in Texas and currently lives in New York City. Elif comes from a family of Turkish professors who moved to the US from Turkey in 1988 due to the hijab ban. Inspired by a desire to show the true image of American Muslim women, she established her own fashion label, Kavakcı Couture, which features Islamic-style clothing. Elif is an inventor of Comfijab, a comfortable and stylish head cover for modern Muslim women. Elif is also a writer for several Turkish media outlets and the editor-in-chief of a popular blog at www.hijabitopia.com. I spoke with Elif to learn more about her style, her work and her journey to become a fashion designer.

What motivated you to become a fashion designer?

My mom and my older sisters had great style. My mom, being one of the few hijabis of her time, dressed very chicly and modestly at the same time. I think I genetically inherited her sense of style. The day we moved to the US, I decided to start wearing hijab. Since I was the only Muslim girl at school and I stood out, I wanted to make sure that I looked very nice. I was also active in sports. I was on the volleyball and basketball teams. Therefore, I needed to find my own style that was both Islamic and practical. During this process I came up with unique looks that became my signature style. I first studied business administration in university. After completing my degree, I decided to take fashion design classes to pursue fashion.



How and when did you establish Kavakcı Couture?

Our Kavakcı Couture label emerged in 2007 as a result of a fashion show request. A nonprofit organization named Peacemakers Incorporated asked me if I would do a fashion show to fundraise for their organization. I gladly accepted and started working on a unique collection we named ‘Covered in Style.' This was a great opportunity for me to show the real face and image of American Muslim women from the community. Because the media always portrays such a negative image of hijabis, I felt that we have to do our best to fight that image and correct that perception. Our fashion show was unique in the sense that we chose Muslim women from all over the US to present our clothes. In the printed program we listed the names and occupations of the models. Our guests said that they loved the fact that these were actual people from the community and they could make a connection with them. It made the show more genuine and real.


What difficulties and challenges have you faced in your journey to become a fashion designer?

Each and every field in life has its own challenges. When you compare designing Islamic apparel to women's wear in general, it's a lot more time consuming and costly. For a designer to only buy fabric that barely covers their customer's body versus having to buy fabric to cover your customer from head to toe is twice the cost. Labor is also twice as expensive because the latter takes up more time. Designing couture also has its challenges. The fact that you are not buying the fabric wholesale and producing thousands of the same items makes production pricey.

Another personal challenge is the fact that the fabric and the designs are US-based and our clothes are made in Turkey. Our customers are in the US and in Turkey, so there is all this going back and forth versus having everything produced in the same city.



What is the style of Kavakcı Couture? Do you use ethnic Turkish or Ottoman motives in your designs?

I think the Kavakcı Couture woman is a confident hijabi who is often in the public eye, and as a full time PR for Islam, needs to look stylish, elegant and presentable at the same time.

As any Turkish-born designer, my designs are often Ottoman-influenced, yet are not limited to it. I think my designs are often a mirror image of my personal style and a vision of what hijab should look like in the present day and age.

Do you have any famous fashion designers whose works and styles particularly inspire you and affect your work?

There are many designers whose work I like, but none of them influence me or inspire me because they are not Islamic fashion designers.

Can you tell me about any fashion shows you have organized? What were people's reactions to and impressions of your work?


We presented the "Covered in Style" collection at three different shows in Dallas to three different audiences. The audiences were made up of mostly non-Muslims. We got great feedback. It was very touching to hear several of the guests say they loved our collection and could see themselves wearing it.

We were recently featured on BBC World's "American Muslim: Faith, Fear and Freedom." For the filming of the show, we did a photo shoot with two models wearing our designs at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. The photo shoot took place on a Saturday. There was a great crowd and almost everyone that walked by told us they loved our designs. We have just recently signed on with a popular website that will carry our Comfijabs, to be sold in Turkey.

What are your current and future projects and plans?


We are currently working on a collection for a designer store in Turkey. We are also working on a somewhat out-of-the-ordinary collection for hijabis. This particular collection was inspired by our childhood favorites and is called "Cupcakes & Tutus." I think this is going to be one of the most interesting mini collections that we have designed.

We are also planning on doing a photo shoot in Turkey with our spring/summer collection for a well-known magazine.

What is the Comfijab and what makes it different and special?

The Comfijab, which is short for ‘comfortable hijab,' was invented through a design process. As a young girl who started to wear hijab, I often had difficulty keeping a silk scarf still on my head. I would have to iron it each time I put it on, stabilize it with a safety pin and tie it to make sure it didn't move. I was active in sports and didn't want my scarf to keep moving around every time I jumped or ran.

With our first collection, we designed the first-ever Islamic equestrian outfit. As an equestrienne, I needed a hijab that would stay put on the back of a horse cantering at great speed and still not be affected by the wind blowing at a great speed. [Through] a long process, we tested the Comfijab in different sports to see if it stayed put and did not move an inch. We designed it so that putting hijab on is not time consuming. For example, the Comfijab doesn't require ironing. It is not made of slippery fabric and therefore does not require a headband or a bonnet to be worn inside. It does not need a safety pin. It can be put on in 10 seconds and looks extremely stylish. We chose a fabric that is washable and dryable. We basically minimized the time it takes for a hijabi to put her hijab on and walk out the door.

What do you think of today's Islamic fashion industry? Do you think it meets the desires and needs of modern Muslim women?

I think the Islamic fashion industry has come a long way from what it used to be. Back when my mother wore hijab, there weren't any stores she could walk into and purchase hijabs. She and the hijabis of the time had to buy fabric and make it themselves. Later on, a well-known, higher-end store saw that there was a great market for hijabs and took the opportunity and all the women wore their [the high-end store's] hijabs. Finally, a religious man who owned a textile company decided to start producing hijabs and they became the leader in the market. Now there are so many that I can't even remember all their names.

I think the current Islamic women's apparel stores provide a variety of Islamic clothing for women. However, it would be a wrong statement to say that they meet all the needs of the modern Muslim woman. There is still a lot of work to be done in this field.

What advice would you give to anyone who dreams of becoming a designer of Islamic-style clothing?


If someone is interested in becoming a designer, and they know they have … talent, I think they first need to get their degree. They need to be aware that having a talent for fashion is not enough. Fashion design is actually a very difficult field and is not as fun as it seems. It requires much more time than other fields. I can tell them from experience because I personally think getting a business administration degree was a piece of cake compared to design classes. It's physically very demanding.

After completing their degree, I think they need to gain some experience by interning or working with someone in the field.

What advice would you give to women who wish to dress modestly yet remain stylish, elegant and comfortable in what they wear?

I think there is nothing more elegant or stylish than wearing conservative clothes. It can take a woman from looking cheap to classy instantly. Picture a woman in a tank top, torn mini denim shorts and flip-flops. Put the same woman in a long, maxi black dress. I think it's the whole package of the clothes that one wears and how they carry themselves.

Some people think that women lose a part of their freedom when they are covered. What would you say about this?

I could write a book on the subject. I would say that it's absolutely the opposite. I think when a woman controls what she shows and shares with the public -- that is her freedom. When she chooses to act based on what society thinks is the norm, she is a slave of her culture and her surroundings and is no longer free. On the other hand, a hijabi is clear in her message. She is saying, "I have control over my body and it's my choice."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ayse's Style

Meet Ayse (pronounced Aishe), una Bellisima Violinista



Ayse was born in Turkey in a spiritual city named Bursa. She decided to start wearing hijab at the age of 13. Little did she know, she would face many obstacles with her decision. A few years down the road, she was faced with the hijab ban. 

What was she to do? She wanted to get an education. She wanted to live up to her dreams. But she was not willing to sacrifice her faith and her beliefs. There was only one solution. She was going to leave the country she loved and go get her education elsewhere.

"When God closes a door, somewhere He will open a window," she thought, as she pulled the door behind her and said her farewells.

Ayse wearing her own design
Aysenin kendi  tasarimi

Bosnia became Ayse's new home. Yes, she was away from her family, but she tried to concentrate on her studies. She decided if it was meant for her to be in this new country, then she might as well learn the language and enjoy her surroundings.

She observed the beauty of her Creator in a new land. She smelled the sweet aroma of the flowers around her.


She traveled to see the mesmerizing views of Bosnia and Sarajevo. 


As she tasted the water of a new land, she remembered her Lord, and thanked Him for creating water to relinquish her thirst.



She sat there still by the lake.


And watched the waterfall up close.


With friends and family far away, and not much else to do, she decided to take up photography as a new hobby. She couldn't physically bring her family to Bosnia, but she could take them with her to the places she visited by capturing them on camera.



During her stay of 4 years, she traveled,



Continued to play the violin,



Tried different foods,



Traveled some more,



Took some more pictures,


and drank lots and lots of Turkish coffee :-)


She tried to occupy her time with studying and the city, but sometimes time just stood still.



Ayse decided that she would study so hard that she would finish a 5 year program in 4 years while double majoring in psychology and economics. 

"I know I can do this", she said, "I can push myself harder and finish quicker to go back to my family and friends."


Ayse wearing her own design
Ayse'nin kendi tasarimi

And so she did! With the help of Allah, she worked hard and finished her school in 4 years.

It was now time to get her diploma. She walked on stage happy and proud to have accomplished her dreams without giving up! Ayse graduated as the salutatorian of her class!!!



"Alhamdulilah!", she exclaimed! "Today is the happiest day of my life! Look mom and dad, I did it! We did it!!!"


Ayse is now happily back in Bursa with her family. She is continuing to take lessons at the School of Music while she continues to play her Violin and Ney (an Ottoman Turkish Flute). She has taken her photography hobby in o a more professional business named Sarajka Photography.
Ayse also enjoys designing her own clothes with the help of her 2 older sisters who are professional pattern makers. She says the fact that she grew up in a house full of girls, watching them sketch beautiful hijabi clothes helped her find her own unique style.

We wish Ayse the best in her endeavors and congratulate her on proudly wearing hijab and not giving up! We thank Ayse for letting us share her amazing story with all of you.

{Ayse's story in Turkish for our Turkish followers}

Turk okurlarimiz icin Ayse'nin hikayesi:

Kalın vatkalı, karpuz kollu kıyafetlerin giyilidiği o 80'li yılların tam da sonunda, 28 mayıs 1989'da Bursa'da dünyaya geldi Ayşe K. hanım... 13 yaşında başörtüsüyle tanıştı lâkin nereden bilecekti ki 28 şubat süreci diye bir canavar dişlerini biliyormuş ensesinde... Lisede başörtülü okumayı becerebilse de, üniversitede eğitim görebilmek için payına hicret düştü ve Bosna yollarına düştü bundan 4 yıl önce.... Sonra başladı Sarajka'nın serüveni.. ( Not: Sarajka boşnakça bir kelime olup SARAYKA diye okunur... Sarajka : Sarajevo(Saraybosna)'lı bayan anlamına gelir. Sarajevo zaman zaman kısaca Saraj (Saray) diye anılır. Sarajka'da bu takdirde SARAY'LI KIZ anlamına gelir... :))



5 yıllık eğitim veren bu kurumda hızlı hızlı koşarak 4 yıl süre içerisinde psikoloji ana dalında (ekonomi yan dal; minor) fakülte ikincisi olarak eğitimini tamamladı. Sonra vatanına döndü... Şu anda Bursa belediye Konservatuarı'nda türk sanat müziği alanında müzik eğitimine devam ediyor. 4 yıldır ney üflüyor ve yaklaşık 9 ay öncesinden bu yana keman çalmaya çalışıyor. 13 yıldır müziğe ilgi duymasına rağmen, henüz profesyonel anlamda müzik eğitimi almaya başladı, öncesinde hiç bir profesyonel kursa ya da kuruma başvuracak fırsatı olmadı. Bunun dışında test çözen ve tost yiyen bir eğitim sisteminin parçası olduğundan ötürü akademik kariyerine devam etmek için Ales ve kpds deneme testleri ile boğuşuyor :)


Kıyafet tarzına değinecek olursak, Ayşe hanımın iki ablası modelist olarak tekstil firmalarında çalışıyor. Bunun dışında boy boy güzel kıyafetli barbie bebek gibi kızların resimlerinin çizildiği bir evde büyüdü ayşe :) hep o güzel kıyafetleri çizerken ablalarını gördü. Lise çağlarında o da kıyafetler dikiyordu, üniversite'ye başladıktan sonra pek fazla dikiş dikmeye zaman bulamadı. Kıyafetlerini tasarlasa da dikmek için ablasıyla beraber çalışıyorlar :) {resim yukarida}

 
Ayrıca siyah basortulu resminde bulunan başörtü bağlama tarzını da bizzat kendisi tasarlamıştır:) bu tasarımın adını da "BOSTURK" olarak vermiştir. sebebi ise bu tarzın biraz boşnakların tarzı biraz da türklerin tarzından çizgiler içermesidir. Kıyafet seçimlerinde sıradan ve sürüden olmayı hiç sevmemiş olan bu ayşe hanım, ablalarının da yardımıyla kendince bir çizgide renklerin uyumuyla dansedip birşeyler çıkarmaya çalışıyor..

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

PINK HIJAB DAY!!!



Today is Pink Hijab Day! So put on your beautiful pink hijabs and stand up against breast cancer, promote breast cancer research and raise awareness. Let's fight this disease, hand in hand, all around the world!

Last year we did several posts during the day to show different Pink Hijab styles. If you would like us to post your style please feel free to email us a picture at info@kavakcicouture.com.

If you would like to read our previous posts CLICK

Here is Ayse's Pink Hijab style:






We have another style post about Ayse coming up real soon :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trend Alert: MADE IN THE U.S.A.

Apparently, a crazy trend is out on the loose! I'm not sure how and when exactly this trend started, but we are absolutely positive that it could only have come to life in the U.S. of A.

As much as we all love this country, the American culture is known for it's laid back, relaxed and informal values. These values impact the fashion of its people too. If you've ever studied history, or better yet, history of costume, you know what we're talking about.

Denim originally was only worn by laborers and farmers because it is the cheapest and most durable fabric. The U.S. culture brought denim into fashion for socioeconomic and political reasons. When denim became more widespread, all of a sudden the gap between the upper and lower class no longer existed. It became a trend, and everyone wore denim.

Denim Meets Pajamas

The United States is the only country where it's okay to walk around the street in your pajamas. The pioneers of this trend were Juicy Couture. Their velour active wear sets that should only be meant to be worn at home or when working out, were worn as street wear. VS expanded on this trend when they made it okay for pajamas to be worn on the streets. There have been many academic studies and detailed research done on this particular subject. Many of the studies have questioned why American students wear pjs to school, whereas in the Middle East or Europe everyone dresses in proper school clothes?

Everyone who grew up in an American school knows about pajama day, right? It's even promoted in school. I've never been able to understand the particular need for someone to wear their clean pjs out on the street. Or to think it's okay to wear their dirty street clothes in their homes. I guess that's understandable for a culture that chooses to wear outdoor shoes indoors.

Denim Marries Pajamas

Well, when I heard about PAJAMA JEANS I burst out laughing. I've never heard of such a funny trend. But the sad part is, I think it's perfect for the culture we live in. Most people in the U.S. have become so careless about how they dress that this is an American trend for sure. I think it's kind of embarrassing.


Although my 5 year old thinks it's the coolest trend in the world, there is no way I'm ever letting her wear one of these. Until then we will stick to Llama Llama Red Pajama. :-)





What do you think about this trend?

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, October 24, 2011

SALE ALERT!!!!



We just happened to find out, our favorite Islamic swimsuit, the original Burqini is currently on sale. We are not sure how long this sale will last but they only do it a few times a year, so if you don't have one, this is the perfect time to purchase one.

We can go on and on about how much we love the Aheda Zannetti brand, but try it for yourself. You will love it!

If you want more details, CLICK.

You can order on their website http://www.ahiida.com/. Orders arrive pretty quick and they have great customer service.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Trans-SHOE-mation!!

Wouldn't it be cool if you could have one pair of shoes that you could transform to either match your outfits or just add pizzaz to your style?  Well, we've discovered JUST that.  Introducing Shoe Clips, by Steve Madden, one of our favorite shoe designers.

Let me explain.  Say you have a pair of plain black suede platform pumps, as pictured below.  Well, obviously these match many outfits in your wardrobe.  But, sometimes you want to add a little spunk to your outfit, right?  Without having to go out and buy a whole new pair of shoes, right?


Solution:  Shoe clips!!! 

Now, take your pumps from above, and clip on.   VOILA!




These shoe clips are so versatile they can be put at the back of or your pump as well.


For more information on other styles of shoe clips, or to just order them online, click here.  Transform your shoes today! :-)


Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kickin' it work-boot style!

I'm loving the new boot trends for the fall, especially the funky, yet edgy styles that resemble work boots. Here are some of my favorites:

Tory Burch 'Halima' Bootie:




7 for All Mankind Women's Everly Boot:




Luxury Rebel Abby Boot:



Why not kick up your style by adding one of these to your favorite pair of jeans, a tunic-length sweater, and your own hijab-style. For info on where to buy these, click on the hyperlinked names above.


Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Friday, October 14, 2011

G-I- Jane I am!

I've got major news to share. I've joined a 12 week Boot Camp :-@. It's funny because I just kind of tumbled in to it. Literally :-)

My whole life I've worked out. There have been times when I was pregnant or too busy, but overall, I've either worked out at a club or somehow walked or ran. When I was still in University, I did a lot of kickboxing, as well as boxing- not against a person, but with a trainer or a huge punching bag.

After our move to Manhattan, I took it upon myself to go on regular jogs and runs at Central Park because it's such a blessing and a beautiful place to workout that's in nature. I've shared my running stories with you earlier. CLICK

For the last two years, I've been telling my husband how I'm dying to do boot camp, but not just any boot-camp. You know the one where Madonna's personal trainer teaches. The one where all the V.S. models work out. Yup, Chelsea Piers Boot-Camp. That's where I wanted to do it. I've often received Groupon deals and was so tempted to try it out, but everytime I would chicken out. I knew that I'd  have to commit to it timewise, and could not have much flexibility with work.

A couple weeks ago, when I was picking up my girls from school, another parent/instructor I ran into said that she had heard that a few moms will be working out together. But she didn't give me the details. As I was in the process of trying one out I found out that it's a boot camp held at the nearby park.

I thought, O-M-G. I'm not sure, if I can find parking, arrange my schedule, but I'll go ahead and try it out for one day.

So I went to the location and told the instructor I would like to try it out once and see how I'm doing.

The first day was both very challenging and actually fun. The instructors were very nice. Normally you know how at boot camp there's lots of screaming and yelling and people crying, well, this wasn't that ugly. But this was no piece of cake either.

After working out for 15 minutes, doing things I have never done in my whole life, the instructor told us that was the warm up and now we are ready for the real stuff, oh did I get scared or what?!

The fun part was this was a bunch of moms from the same school. I had seen most of their faces before but never really chatted with them. I would always see them in workout clothes like myself in the mornings though. So I knew that pretty much everyone has some kind of work out routine. What also turned out to be great is the fact that even though I joined in later, we all are somewhat at the same level. I'm still behind in doing wheel barrels and jumping squats and matrix and all these other excercises that I can't remember the names of but at least I didn't feel like throwing up like some of the other ladies did on their first day. :-)

After doing step for years, and pilates, even planks and squats, or learning how to horse back ride, at boot camp it was as if I knew nothing and started out from zero.

I've only attended 2 sessions and I can't explain to you how much I enjoy it. It hurts so good. It's funny because when I dropped my 5 year old in the morning and told her I have to leave early to make it in time for boot camp she asked "but mama, why do you do it, it hurts you mama, please don't do it" :-)
Since she's seen me walk like a duck immitating a monkey that's moaning like a cow, for the last 3 days, for the life of her, she can't understand why I would do something that hurts me.

The answer is, I do it for me. I do it because after crawling in the mud like a soldier, carrying a 120lb weight lady on my back for 3 laps, doing hundreds of push ups, lying in the ground with my whole Comfijab in mud, rain falling in my face while trying to lift my whole body weight with only my core, I feel like a hijabi G.I. Jane!

Being a mom or a designer or a writer for the rest of the day is a piece of cake!

Here are couple of pictures we took after my second session. I can not believe I'm putting these online and hope that these don't come up in my google search, or are not copied by some journalist. LOL. But I wanted to share my boot camp story with all of you.


Some of the ladies at work. I took this picture during my 30 second breather and water break. This looks easy but the ladies were trying to use each other's resistance with a band and shuffeling, running backwards etc.
The instructor is in the middle.


After such an intense workout, these moms are ready to take on anything. BRING IT ON!!
(This is the ugliest picture of me ever!!!) LOL!
G.I. Elif :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Royal Blue

In case you didn't know, one of my favorite things to do other than designing is writing. I love to write and look forward to getting together with other writers. The other night I attended poetry night at Vica Miller's writing salon. I was absolutely speechless. I've never really attempted poetry. I think it's a unique talent and really requires above-average intellect. I say that because I personally think, anyone can be a writer if they want to. To most people it comes very natural, to other's it takes time and practice. But it's not impossible.  Poetry, however, is a bit more complicated. Wouldn't you agree?

On poetry night four different writers shared their poems. While listening to them, my mind took a trip down memory lane as I remembered my university days when I studied The Odyssey, and Shakespeare, and all the historical writers. I remembered how we used to read lines and try to figure out what they meant. From British literature to American, there was such a gap.


As I listened to the poets of our day, I once again realized the power of language and the power of words. As one of the poets read, I thought about how his poem sounded so rhythmical, almost like listening to a rap song. The beat, his enunciation, the adaptation of language from what it used to be to slang. I thought about what future generations would think when they tried to decode our language.


I can write an epic of thoughts on this subject. I actually almost majored in linguistics in university after studying 7 years of French and 4 years of German, in addition to my Turkish and English :-)

I think linguistics and writing go hand in hand. I think it's a very important way of expression that we need to instill on our kids. (I will write about this in detail on another post :-)


I will sum up my thoughts with a quote from Vica Miller  "I write and therefore I am".


On the night of the event, I decided to copy my niece Fatima's style. Remember her look from our older post CLICK She was wearing this royal blue scarf that we shared with you from CLICK
Well, guess what? I copied her look and adapted it to my style and Voila!

I put the Royal in the Blue
(OK, I know that sounded cheesy, but hey, give me some credit :-)




I'm sitting right behind the poets, hoping some of their talent will pass on to me
(a girl can dream can't she?!)

Me and the lovely Vica Miller
Me and a Fashionable friend of Vica who is a linguist
I chatted with her and learned so much.
Did you know that many Chinese people speak Russian? It's the new trend!
(neither did I :-)

As always I left the salon on cloud 9. If you haven't thought about writing yet, I hope this inspires you!

Photo Credits: The last 3 photos are courtesy of Vica Miller

If you would like to read about our previous visit to the Vica Miller Salons
CLICK

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Vogue for Hijabis


Imagine walking in to your local Barnes&Noble and looking over at the magazine section. Imagine one magazine that stands out with a beautiful hijabi on the cover, on the same shelf as Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar. It stands there daring to be different. Singled out amongst what is considered to be "the norm". It represents all the hijabis and is made for hijabis.



Imagine a Hijabi version of Anna Wintour. Well, a prettier, younger, and nicer version :-)


Imagine opening the first page to see the editor's letter and the picture of a beautiful hijabi wearing a fashionable scarf and brandname sunglasses, smiling back.



Guess what?!  Ladies who live in Turkey and Europe no longer have to imagine or dream about a magazine like this, because it is real.

Ala Life Style & Fashion Magazine, is the first Hijab Style magazine in Turkey. In their first issue, they had feautured our interview and our designs. As of the second issue, I've signed on as a writer :-) Our lovely team member Nicole Queen was also interviewed for their 3rd issue :-)


Many of you have probably read or seen copies of Hijab fashion magazines in other countries, however, we all know that most of the fashion pieces put together in those magazines are not items we would want to be caught dead in. I am not trying to critique or put down the magazines that are currently out there, what I am trying to say is when you compare them to Vogue, do you think they stand a chance?

The fact of the matter is, in the Muslim Fashion world, most hijabis would agree that Turkey is the leading country in terms of beautiful hijab styles.

Well, I've got wonderful news to share! When Ala magazine came out with its first issue, within the first four days of its shelf life, it beat Vogue, Marie-Claire, Elle and all the other number one fashion magazines in Turkey with sales reaching to number one seller!!

They are on their way to conquer the fashion world :-)

What I also love about this magazine is the fact that it is not just a fashion magazine but a lifestyle magazine for hijabis. They hold writing competitions and feauture the winner's essays in their magazine. The theme of the first competition was "Hijab is beautiful because...". On the cover of the issue it read "Hijab is beautiful because it's my way, it's my choice, it's my life, it's my truth, and it's my right!".

As I flipped through the pages, and read the final entries, I was in tears... It made me so proud to be a hijabi and inspired me even more to be the best that I can be!



We are currently working on a wonderful interview with the editor of Ala Magazine and one of their well known photographers.

Untill then, here is a clip from behind the scenes of one of their photoshoots. Enjoy!



You can also follow Ala Life Style Magazine on www.aladergi.com and on facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/aladergisi

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Drapey tunic love

I love the website Asos. It's based out of the UK, but ships free to the US and also has free returns! I've ordered several times from them, and have been quite happy with the shipping times and my purchases as well. They also seem to have many hijab-friendly pieces. And their prices are not too bad either, especially if what you want is on sale.


I recently bought this and LOVE it. It's long, flowy, drapey, and comfortable. And most all, it's hijab-friendly. Pair it with your favorite pair of jeans and boots, and a hijab of your choice, and you're all set to go!



Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Monday, October 3, 2011

For the rest of my life...




In case you haven't already heard, Maher Zain recently released his video for "For the rest of my life".

It's such a beautiful song and displays the Islamic understanding of what love is...

If you've missed our HijabiTopia Fairytales, make sure to take a look! :-)

Here is Maher Zain's latest video: CLICK