Pages

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

American Hijab Design Contest Shaz Kaiseruddin


Ndaa catches up with Shaz Kaiseruddin of the American Hijab Design Contest. Here's what she had to say to a group of insightful questions...

Who is Shaz Kaiseruddin? Attorney? Fashionista? Both? Attorney and Fashionista by profession. How did those two come together?
I became an attorney because one of my greatest passions is to help empower those who have been disempowered.  As unpredictable as it may seem, my interest in working with fashion came from the same goal, as I discuss below.

Inspiration behind American Hijab Design Contest?

I noticed that more and more women of all backgrounds that I meet seem to be seeking more covered chic options, but the mainstream fashion world is not quite keeping up.  I hope to work with all types of covered chic fashion, but am starting with hijab, because I know most about it and because it breaks my heart that many women who want to wear hijab don't because they are tired of being perceived as foreign.  Or because they fear the discrimination and violence that many hijabis have faced.  Or because they feel they cannot be stylish and beautiful while wearing hijab. I knew I wanted to do something about these issues, but the credit for the specific idea goes to Dr. Sherman Jackson who stated the need for this type of contest during a powerful speech. And I am grateful that my husband, Ahmed Minhaj, and family supported my excitement in acting on it--they too inspire me.






Goal of AHDC and estimated time frame for the competition?



I hope that we as a nation will move towards a broader definition of what beauty looks like, a broader definition of what American fashion looks like, and a broader definition of what an American looks like--definitions that better reflect the incredible diversity of our nation. Like any art form, fashion can break down barriers and make the unfamiliar familiar. And I'm hoping the impact of the contest will help defeat the unspoken rule that Muslims are currently the only ones in America towards whom you can openly be racist and against whom you can wage a loosely-defined international war. The contest has launched.  Entries will be accepted through the end of January, finalists will be announced in February, and the winner will be announced in March.
Any other fashion-forward projects?

I am working on a covered chic fashion publication which I hope to complete early next year.

With so much on your to do list, how do you manage to balance your personal life, work and fashion?
I've learned from my husband to question doing things in the expected or typical way and have found life to be much more manageable as a result.  I've minimized housework and errands and almost completely cut out my commute. I am also blessed with flexibility at my full time job.  My primary task is research and writing, and thus I can choose which hours and where to work. I have the invaluable support of my husband, as we have been partners in supporting each others' goals. And finally I pray that God increases the productivity in my time, as I know without that, all the time in the world would be useless.
Where do you see the Muslim fashion industry in the west as of now and where do you hope to see it in 5 to 10 years?



Right now I see the Muslim fashion industry in the West picking up steam and taking off, and it is quite exciting.  But at the same time, I see that the mainstream fashion world severely underrates its importance.  In 5 to 10 years, I envision that the mainstream fashion world in the West will acknowledge the Muslim fashion market's size and strength.  I envision that images of American hijab styles will be so commonplace that even non-hijabis will experiment with it in their wardrobes, perhaps choosing to wrap their hair for a night out, as is already happening in Belgium.  And I envision that will help all types of covered chic fashion gain momentum.


The importance of the youth taking on roles in the fashion industry?

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from Dr. Jackson.  I really wanted to do drop out of my Religion PhD program and go to law school to do human rights work.  But I felt that we needed more Muslim American scholars, particularly female, and so I was feeling guilty about dropping out.  But Dr. Jackson said, what we actually need is more excellence--no more mediocrity.  And you will achieve excellence in that which you love.  So go for what you love and achieve excellence in it.  Thus I believe it is important for youth to follow their passions, and if that is fashion, then we as a community need to support that.  Because by achieving excellence and doing great work, we do a service for all of humanity.

Many may tell you that empowering the muslim fashion industry is irrelevant and of less importance than other issues like politics for example, what do you have to say to them?



No two arenas are ever completely independent of each other, and thus our thinking needs to be more sophisticated.  Fashion can be very political and politics can be very fashionable.  Trends, pop culture, fashion statements--all can greatly influence the masses--and politicians must answer to the masses.  Sometimes art can trigger, and has triggered, the most profound change for the better. Also, good politics are rooted in strong communities and families.  But many families are torn apart because a woman wants to wear hijab, but her husband or parents do not want her to, because they fear the negative consequences it has in America right now--violence, discrimination, and the misperception of being foreign.  Marriages end in divorce.  Parents and children become estranged.  This contest seeks to change the misperceptions and help eliminate this type of destruction in families and communities. And finally, the less hijab is seen as foreign to America, the less all Muslims will be seen as foreign to America, and the closer we as a nation move toward upholding everyone's civil liberties and human rights.


What are you most passionate about?
Pleasing God by helping to empower those who are disempowered.

Contact info and how can those interested in the Hijab design contest participate?
 

All contest entry information and contact information can be found at www.americanhijabdesign.com


Ndaa Hassan for Hijabitopia

"Fashion Show Coordinator, fashion blogger, and designer/owner of Écharpe à la Mode line, Ndaa Hassan is an Egyptian American fashion fanatic with a passion for art, design, fashion, decor, sushi, chocolate and other random things. She aspires to bring the beauty of modest wear to light along with inspiring the youth to follow their dreams to becoming whatever their hearts may desire. whether thats a fashion designer, lawyer, doctor, teacher or an amazing mother."





Saturday, November 24, 2012

DIY: Miu Miu Inspired Shoes

Have you ever seen a pair of shoes that were perfect, but when you saw the price tag your mouth fell open? That's exactly what happened with these Miu Miu shoes I saw at Nordstrom. 



Miu Miu Glitter Crystal Toe Sneaker (available at Nordstrom)


These shoes retail for $595! Totally not worth it, but don't worry we have a DIY that costs about $10. All you need is a pair of solid colored shoes, converse, flats, or oxfords.



If your shoes have laces, you should remove them to prevent them from getting stained with paint or glue.
You will need scissors, tape, glue (super glue or hot glue works the best), a ruler, spray paint with the color of your choice, gems and stickers to decorate, and ribbon is optional if you want to change the shoe laces.
Tape off the section of the shoe you are going to spray. Make sure to lay out a newspaper underneath to prevent stains on to the platform.
Hold the can about 6-12 inches away from the shoes and spray each shoe individually.
Wait for the shoes to dry completely before you decorate.
Decorate with anything you like! Make sure to glue each piece on, even if it is a sticker. You don't want your hard work to fall off.
Taadaa!!! You now have a pair of shoes that look better than the actual Miu Miu shoes!

If you try this DIY out, we would love to see pictures. Upload your picture on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, with #diyshoeshijabitopia.


Gusta Iren for HijabiTopia 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Valentino: Master of Couture Exhibit


Valentino: master of couture exhibit opened its doors to the audience early November to feature a wide array of haute couture designs. Valentino's 50 year career is brought to display with over 130 dresses



    "Each of these dresses has a beautiful story. The atelier crafted each so diligently by hand, taking hours, sometimes days to complete. The details are incredibly intricate. Though outside the runway shows and events, the dresses have rarely been seen. To be able to showcase these designs at Somerset House, where they can be seen in great detail by the public, is very unique." - Valentino

The exhibit will run for three months and features three sections: History of Valentino, The Catwalk and The Atelier. The runway will include gowns worn by Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, as well as Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress that she wore to marry Aristotle Onassis in 1968 alongside Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece's pearl-encrusted ivory silk wedding gown from 1995. 



This exhibition is a great opportunity to see Valentino's work in detail. It is set up in order to enable the audience to take a deeper look at 50 years of art, design and couture as each viewer is taken through each of the sections. It is truly fascinating to be able to see a designer's work put together along a timeline. It adds appreciation and value to the eyes of the viewer. 

Somerset House itself will be turned into a 60-meter catwalk along which visitors can walk. Although Valentino himself retired 2008, the Valentino Brand itself still lives on to bring the world more elegant and classy designs by the day. 




Ndaa Hassan for Hijabitopia

"Fashion Show Coordinator, fashion blogger, and designer/owner of Écharpe à la Mode line, Ndaa Hassan is an Egyptian American fashion fanatic with a passion for art, design, fashion, decor, sushi, chocolate and other random things. She aspires to bring the beauty of modest wear to light along with inspiring the youth to follow their dreams to becoming whatever their hearts may desire. whether thats a fashion designer, lawyer, doctor, teacher or an amazing mother."




Monday, November 19, 2012

Spotted in the Comfijab!!!

From New York to Texas, The Comfijab is everywhere. :-)
Here are a couple of ladies who were spotted rocking our couture hijabs.

The Comfijab suits any style, you can wear it sporty:

Super Soccer Mom, Mona, from Texas is wearing the white Comfijab.

Or you can wear it Classy:

Nevnihal from New York is wearing the black Comfijab

The Comfijab- Once you wear it, you will never want to take it off!



For more information on The Comfijab please read our previous posts HERE

Friday, November 16, 2012

Trend Alert: Jelly bags!

On a recent trip to Nordstrom, we fell in love with these jelly bags!  Some of the colors were so vibrant and eye-catching while others were so sparkly, glitzy, and glamorous.  You must be thinking, "Jelly bags, glitzy and glamorous?"  Well, let me take you on our walk through the mouth-watering bag department at Nordstrom.  Lights, camera, action!


Now check out the glitz!  Hungry yet?


And finally, the sparkle!  Are you drooling yet?


These bags are by Furla.  What attracts us to them besides all the glam and glitz is that they're so versatile especially for the winter season when mother nature can wreak havoc on your arm candy, aka leather bags.  Since they're made of a jelly-like plastic, these bags can take a little beating from the elements such as snow, rain, mud...etc.  Just wipe clean and go!  Click here to order yours today! {No we don't get paid for advertising. Our philosophy is "sharing is caring" :-)}

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hijabi-friendly Basics at Target

We love Target.  It's our go-to store to find cute stuff at an affordable price.  On a recent trip to Target, we found this cute tunic-length turtleneck top that is PERFECT for layering especially under cardigans, chunky sweaters.  Check it out below.

The picture doesn't make it appear long, but in reality it is.  Also, we noticed that Mossimo sizing is a tad on the small side, so you may want to order one size up if you're planning on ordering it online.  It's available in 4 different colors as well.  At the bargain sale price of $12, what are you waiting for?!  Especially when wearing the Turkish style hijab, or any hijab for that matter, neck and chest coverage is essential. Our friends are ALWAYS asking us where to find the perfect turtleneck, so we like to keep them posted ;-).  Don't miss out on this deal, as I'm sure it'll be gone fast since the reviews on it are EXCELLENT!

Our second find is this cowl neck pullover, that would be perfect paired over some wide-legged jeans.  Doesn't it look comfy?  Perfect for a lazy day at home.  Also available in 4 colors, this piece is only $26.99!

Get to Target now bargain-istas!


Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Princess Armor

Have you seen this new trend, knuckle rings? They are extra long rings, that pretty much cover your entire finger. There are only two words that describe these rings, princess armor. It is the perfect statement ring, and such a bargain! 





Rhinestoned Flower Knuckle Ring (available at Forever 21)



Pearlescent Rhinestone Armor Ring (available at Forever 21)

I have gotten many compliments on these rings! What do you gals think?

Stay Modest, Stay Stylish!

Gusta Iren for HijabiTopia

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hayati Magazine's First Issue is NOW HERE!!


Hayati (Arabic for life)

Hayati Magazine's first Issue was released today and may I say, WOOOOOW!! It was so colorful, interesting and full of fashion, style, life and faith treats. Since Im all about the fashion, I was flipping back and forth between the fashion section.

The fashion segment featured a series of Muslim designers from all around the world, each with their unique sense of style. The fashion segment is committed to showing how fashionable women can be while maintaining a sense of modesty. It went beyond my expectations. 

Solid colors, bold prints, aztec prints, turbanators, and hijab-istas. The magazine featured them all. It's a magazine that I would not mind paying for the issue every month. Along with apparel, the magazine featured a section of accessories, shoes and handbags. It's fashion as never seen before and I loved every part of it. 

If you haven't seen it yet, you're missing out!! hurry up over to www.hayationline.com to subscribe to your issue!!




Ndaa Hassan for Hijabitopia

"Fashion Show Coordinator, fashion blogger, and designer/owner of Écharpe à la Mode line, Ndaa Hassan is an Egyptian American fashion fanatic with a passion for art, design, fashion, decor, sushi, chocolate and other random things. She aspires to bring the beauty of modest wear to light along with inspiring the youth to follow their dreams to becoming whatever their hearts may desire. whether thats a fashion designer, lawyer, doctor, teacher or an amazing mother."




Monday, November 5, 2012

TREND ALERT: Peter Pan Collars

 The Peter Pan collar is officially back and has made its appearance on the runway…

and on celebrities.

Hailee Steinfeld
Pippa Middleton
Taylor Swift
Natalie Portman

This is such a unique trend, and can be easily hijabified! There are basically a few ways you can sport this look; on dresses, on blouses, cardigans, or on necklaces. Since Peter Pan collars make a statement, don’t over do it by wearing any other jewelry. When styling, tuck your scarf in so your Peter Pan collar shows.

Here is an example of how Nevnihal applies the Peter Pan Collar:

Ms. Hijabi Peter Pan flies away with Mary Poppins

If you can't find a top that suits your body type or you are looking for an easier way to apply this trend you can try peter pan necklaces. Here are some examples.
Betsey Johnson Necklace, Antiqued Gold Tone Pink Lips Black Ribbon Collar Necklace (available at Macy’s)


Kenneth Cole New York Necklace, Silver-Tone Pave Peter Pan Collar Necklace (available at Macy’s)


Haskell Necklace, Hematite-Tone Faceted Bead Peter Pan Collar Necklace (available at Macy’s)


Juicy Couture Necklace, Brass Glass Rhinestone Collar Necklace (available at Macy’s)


Donna Morgan Metallic Peter Pan Collar Shift Dress (available at Nordstrom)



Mcginn 'Laurie' Leopard Collar Dress (available at Nordstrom)

 If you like DIYs, below is a great video from missglamorazzi



Stay modest, stay stylish.

Gusta Iren for HijabiTopia

Saturday, November 3, 2012

High-low, yes or no?

We recently came upon a hijabi-must-buy item while browsing through the endless racks of clothing at Forever21.  Check out the high-low tunic dress we stumbled upon.  It's extra long in the back to cover up all the necessaries, and very modest in front as well.  There are so many possibilities with this top.  We would pair it with a fur vest, jeans, boots, and our favorite hijab style for a night out with our girlfriends. 






In all honesty, we find Forever21 to be amazing for trendy accessories, but for clothing, it's always hit or miss for us.  This tunic dress is AMAZING and comes in  your choice of black or hunter green An added bonus:  It's embellished with gold studs on the shoulders.  And at the bargain price of $19.80, you won't break the bank either!

Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Life of An Artist...

The life of a designer. Very not easy but very fun and interesting.

So how do we do it?

I've received multiple emails from young ladies asking me "How do I get my name out there? How did you do it? And how did you get the courage to start your line?"

I believe that the number one most important characteristic you must exhibit is: Believing in what you do! In this profession, the only real motivator is yourself. No one will truly inspire you to do great things more than yourself. Its good to have a mentor to get you on track every once in a while or every time you feel down. But in the end, it's all about what YOU tell yourself.

You must be able to ask yourself:

  1. What am I capable of doing?
  2. How am I different than everyone else in this same profession?
  3. How do I maintain this differentiation?
The thought that should be in the back of your head at all times: I am my own self's motivator! 

I understand its hard at times and intimidating because you can't predict how your customers/audience will respond to your thoughts/designs/posts but how much control do you really have and more importantly, how much control do you REALLY want to have?

The best way to work about it is to just let things take their own path and train yourself to work around all the road bumps. Train yourself to accept failure and to get back on your feet when brought to your knees.  It's a mental thought process that MUST be configured and practiced because you need it when trying to break through in this profession.

Always remember though: Motivation comes within and will reflect off of you to your audience.




Ndaa Hassan for Hijabitopia

"Fashion Show Coordinator, fashion blogger, and designer/owner of Écharpe à la Mode line, Ndaa Hassan is an Egyptian American fashion fanatic with a passion for art, design, fashion, decor, sushi, chocolate and other random things. She aspires to bring the beauty of modest wear to light along with inspiring the youth to follow their dreams to becoming whatever their hearts may desire. whether thats a fashion designer, lawyer, doctor, teacher or an amazing mother."