Friday, March 16, 2012


KAVAKCI COUTURE has gotten more than usual coverage in the press lately thanks to an amazing Super Hijabi who wears our designs proudly. Most people know of the clients I work with, eventhough I try to keep most of their names confidential, the media tends to do their part in revealing them. However, the one name that I openly announce and am very proud to have the honor to dress is my sister Merve Kavakci.

As most of you know fashion and politics, as contradictory as they may appear, tend to have a huge impact on each other. My sister Merve has always had a great sense of style. I guess it was kind of genetic, or inherited from our mother, who was one of the few educated women in Turkey, to wear it. As a professor in university, and the only woman to hold such a position wearing hijab, I remember my mom making extra effort to look representable. She would wear the most beautiful silk scarves, on top of a silk blouse, combined with a sharp blazer and a long skirt. 

She was such a great role model and a fashion icon for me and my sisters. 

When my sister Merve was campaigning during the elections, I did not have a couture label, but would try to help put some ensembles together and send it over to her. Because she was the first hijabi to be in the public eye, she automatically became a fashion icon to young hijabis. Her style was followed and coppied by many young girls. The newspapers would print Merve's different attires on the cover page and would assign a name to each outfit. The textile companies at the time, started producing exact copies of her outfits and selling them like hot cakes. :-)

Yes, a trend setter she was.

This was all in 1999. Let's fast forward to 2012. Ever since I got into fashion design more professionally, I started designing for my sister. If you ask any Islamic fashion designer, they will probably tell you who they would like their designs to be worn by. I think it is the biggest honor, and joy for me to dress the one and only internationally known hijab symbol, hijab rights activist, academician, and super hijabi Merve Kavakci. She is still a mega trend setter.

So what is the process of designing couture for a Super Hijabi, you ask?

Here is a sneak peek in to my sister's style.

Because Merve is an academician, a politician, a professional woman, a writer, a hijab symbol, a regular contributor to Television, her outfit has to look professional and has to be razor sharp. :-) 

As a hijab symbol, first and foremost, Merve likes her outfits to be a good representation of who she is, a Muslim woman. She does not care about trends that come and go. She cares that her clothes fit her lifestyle and that they compliment her silhouette (her height, her weight, etc). 

Therefore, the style we have created for her is most often military inspired. It's powerful meets elegance with a touch of femininity. A masculine suit with high neck, metallic buttons, apalettes combined with a satiny, silk hijab. No matter which occasion, she always wears the same bright red Paul Frank watch on her right arm. It's her signature. It adds a touch of happiness to her serious subjects and a touch of individuality to her already unique look. When she is not a professional giving lectures, she has a more free spirited style that shows her fun, sporty style.

Ligths, Camera and ACTION

Notice her cute bright red plastic Paul Frank watch. :-)

Receiving an award for her extensive Human Rights work

Off she flies on to another event, The Super Hijabi in her cape :-)

To see more pictures of Merve's powerful style please visit her website

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

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