Friday, April 25, 2014

The Making of a Fashion Model: Dallas Event!

In the recent decades, the modeling world has become one of freakish and outsized expectations, professionally and physically. Look no further than the peak of the industry, the high-end catwalk model, for the simplest example: she is often a size 00, with a waist that compares to a seven-year-old girl’s. For all the beauty it regularly displays, there is something deeply twisted about this industry. Ashley Mears, former-model and current professor of sociology at Boston University, untangles in her book just how crazy the fashion industry can be. 

From dealing with issues related to the gender, race, class, and even economic pay-out of models, Mears looks at what it takes to succeed in this competitive industry. Ambition, networking, rejection, debt, and pressure to meet industry standards, are just a few things young models deal with so patiently, just in hopes, of making it BIG in the business.

Mears will be speaking at Southern Methodist University in Dallas next week, May 1st, about her book and give the audience a more accurate look as to how the modeling business isn't really that glamorous. We are happy to say that we will be attending this event, hope to see some of you there!!! The event is open to the public.

Farah A. for Hijabitopia

Friday, April 18, 2014

Muslim consumer demand driven nail polish by Inglot

Inglot has recently come up with a new line of nail polish that they promote as being "breathable".  There has been a plethora of discussion about whether Islamically it is permissible to use wudu-friendly nail products. 

We have mostly stayed away from this discussion on purpose, because 1.) we are not a blog that promotes cosmetics 2.) we do not believe that there is any way a product can be 100% wudu-friendly. 3.)We follow the Prophet's advice of "leaving what is doubtful" and would not use this product and make wudhu over it. 

But we still think that it is quite interesting, and kind of cool that mainstream brands are designing products to help serve Muslim women's needs. 

It is a fact that nail polish damages the well being of a woman's nails by blocking oxygen.  Through this new collection, maybe manufacturers were able to invent a nail polish that gives some breath-ability to the nails, which is wonderful to hear. 

OR, this could also be another marketing strategy for a brand to expand their target and make a bigger profit. What do you think about this new product? Would you use it and take it off, or make wudhu over it?
How do you feel about hijabi role models promoting halal nailpolish in social media?

Farah A. for HijabiTopia

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Behind The Scenes with J.Pera Designs

We are a fan of designer Jill Zachman's artistic creations. Here is some detailed information for those of you who are interested in unique pieces for your homes. She will begin excepting online orders through her email address in June 2014. We got a special preview for you before their launch date. Enjoy! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hijab Haute Couture at Tokyo Fashion Week

Indonesian fashion designer Windri Widiesta Dhari debuted her autumn/winter collection at Tokyo Fashion Week last month, which was appropriately titled "Layers of Fidelity". Her collection presented to its audience how simple it is to turn the modest hijab into  a sophisticated fashion statement. 

The designer, wanted her label to put forth and prove that the hijab could still take on playful elements while still being modest in the process. Her designs were unique and one of a kind, which were made in a traditional Japanese tie-dye technique called shibori, while also incorporating Indonesian influences. Dhari definitely put her name on the map, especially in the Asian fashion world. 
"The modest hijab is not actually a restriction" in fashion, Dhari told reporters after her stylish designs hit the catwalk. "It's how you cover yourself and look more elegant in a way that has a loose fit."
We completely agree with Dhari! Wearing a hijab absolutely does not mean that you need to sacrifice religion for fashion or vice versa. There are many ways to dress up your hijab, and we hope this post inspired some of you lovely hijabi's out there :)

Farah A. for HijabiTopia

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Style Tips for Professional Women

Fatal Distractions: Ladies, Don’t Be the Center of Attention

When you’re presenting on stage in front of a large group of people, you need to minimize all visual distractions. Yes, minimize distractions on your slides, but on YOU too! The audience shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time processing your outfit or your “look.” If an attention-grabbing look is part of your brand persona and it’s expected by your audience, like the amazing Amanda Palmer, then do it. But most of us can’t pull that off professionally.
The eyes are drawn to visual distractions, such as things that move or clash with our surroundings. It’s part of our whole “fight-or-flight” instinct thing. So, minimizing those distractions in your appearance will help your audience stay focused on your presentation.
Men have it easy. They put on a classic pair of pants, crisp shirt, and, perhaps, a tie or blazer. Women have way too many choices. I get asked by women if there are any dress code best-practices for presenters. I have a few personal ones that I usually share privately but … here you go. I’m putting them out there.
Here’s my advice on how women can minimize visual distractions during a presentation:
  1. Never let them see you sweat: The shimmer of sweat is not hot. This is not hot. If your nerves cause you to sweat it when you speak, use antiperspirant. And it’s not only for under your arms, but your face too! I learned this tip from an ear/nose/throat doctor. I have Frey’s syndrome. Long story short is that I had surgery behind my ear as a kid and, as my nerves repaired, they crisscrossed. When my mouth tells me to salivate, my cheek thinks it’s supposed to sweat. So, swipe a little antiperspirant anywhere you sweat. Your pits, your face, but don’t let ‘em see you sweat. It’s visually distracting.
  2. Don’t wear short sleeves: Guys rarely make this business fashion choice. Not many guys wear short-sleeved shirts to work (unless they are athletic trainers) and they especially don’t wear short, short sleeves—or go sleeveless—on stage during presentations. If your arms are buff like Michele Obama’s, you might be able to pull it off because it all stays in one place. But if the flesh on your arms moves at two different speeds, wear longer sleeves. I’m 50 now and have embraced my dimples, but choose to conceal them to minimize distraction.
  3. Go down another vein: I was born with hereditary varicose veins on my left leg. My grandmother, mother, my daughter, and I all have lumpy, purple visual overload on one leg. They aren’t bad enough for surgery, so I minimize the potential distraction by wearing pants, long skirts, or panty hose (I’m thrilled that leggings and opaque hose are back!).
  4. Modesty is the best policy: Miniskirts and plunging necklines are great at a club but aren’t appropriate in the boardroom. Many women before us made sacrifices to get us into positions of power and find our voice, don’t minimize their effort by using sex to communicate. Cleavage isn’t classy at work.
I’m not saying you should be embarrassed about your body. And I’m not encouraging you to despise or conceal how you were made—everyone should be comfortable in their own skin. But you should be aware that physical visual distractions can be just as important as the distractions on your slides. Just like we should simplify our slides by removing annoying animated gifs, complex graphics, and extra bullet points, these tips are meant to encourage visual simplification. By decreasing the amount of time it takes an audience to process you, you also increase the amount of attention they pay to your message.
Graphic Credit: Stephanie Chu, Duarte, Inc. 2014
Nancy Duarte is CEO of Duarte, Inc. and the author of ResonateSlide:ology, and the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations. She has a passion for teaching others about the power of persuasive presentations to drive change in the world.
Nancy recently released a free multimedia version of her best-selling book Resonate.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

No Sweat: The Dilemma of Sweatshop Labor

Sweatshop labor in the fashion industry is an ongoing dilemma. As consumers we promote businesses that abuse their sweatshop workers. We contribute to the vicious cycle by blindly purchasing their clothes, thus raising their profits. Did you ever think about who made the clothes you are wearing? How many brands do you know that use sweat shop labor? The Hall of Shame includes, Wal-Mart, Nike, GAP, Victorias Secret, Gymboree, Forever 21, H&M, Zara and many more.

What can we do as consumers to put a stop to this? 

Here is what one concerned citizen is doing. Tom Kavanaugh is trying to raise funds for a documentary he wants to make which was inspired by his trip to Bangladesh. The documentary, titled No Sweat, is set to trace popular clothing items back to the people that made them, tell their stories, and show real world solutions to the problems of sweatshops. He wants each person to think about where their clothes came from, who were they made by and was that person treated fairly in the process. 

Kanvanaugh made headlines last week when he made an appearance in Jeopardy. When asked about his documentary, Kavanaugh gave a brief statement about the film then followed by accusing the host, Mr. Alex Trebek, of wearing a suit made by “8-year-old sweatshop child slaves”. Here is the clip of that episode:

It was very clear that Kavanaugh is extremely passionate about the subject. In the documentary, he wants to discuss popular myths and misconceptions about how to confront the problem of sweat shop labor and show how these either do nothing or even add to the problem. For example, many people think simply boycotting a store will help solve the problem, but what they don’t know is that the workers are the ones that get penalized for the lost revenue. The documentary has two clear goals of achieving: to personalize the problem by taking popular products and tracing them back to their source and to show real world solutions to the problem by dispelling myths and showing what is already being done.

If you would like to contribute in the making of this documentary to help raise awareness to this growing issue, you can donate here

Farah A. for Hijabitopia