Check out Hijab Style's latest press feature in an article over at the Khaleej Times, which focusses on the new ground that the blog is breaking. On a similar note I was also pleasantly surprised to find out recently that Emirati site The National named Hijab Style 'Website of the Week' back in November 2008!
Here's an excerpt:
17 April 2009
[...] Another style-focused blog that has been making waves in the UK and beyond, Hijab style (www.hijabstyle.blogspot.com), is written by a young English student Jana Kossaibati who manages to take time out of her full time medical degree to write and post articles for young, fashionable hijab wearers about how to adapt clothing found on the British high street for more modest dressing.
She started the blog in 2007 in response to the lack of anything in the fashion media that was geared towards muslim women and has found the response has been overwhelmingly positive. She has gone on to contribute fashion pieces on Hijab dressing for the The Guardian newspaper and reported for Vogue.com from the Arabian Fashion World event in London this month.
Jana believes that the pervasive feeling among hijab wearers is one of being ignored or misunderstood and that her aim is to show fashionable Muslim women how to express themselves through their wearing of the hijab and raise awareness about what the wearing of the hijab really means. The articles and pieces on her blog show readers how to mix and match current styles from the high street as well as how to employ tactical layering to create a more modest look. She also introduces hijab-friendly designers from around the world including the UAE-based Rabia Z. The latest post discusses Dubai Fashion Week and the new Arab designers that showed there.
While hijab wearers in the Gulf may be lucky enough to enjoy a variety of options, modest dressing Muslim women in the West are still struggling to find a voice in the fashion community. According to Jana “There are many, many groups that are not paid enough attention in the fashion community — be it a lack of plus-sized clothing to a lack of darker-skinned models, the fashion industry still has a long way to go in terms of its inclusiveness.
“But that’s not to say that Muslim women need to be exclusively pointed out, because that in itself still leads to ‘otherization’ of the hijab, and the view that it is still something ‘foreign’. What would be good to see is Muslim women’s involvement in general fashion discourse, bringing their own approach to the table like any other women.’
Where fashion editors and advertisers may have previously felt that the market for modest dress wasn’t significant enough to address properly, young Muslim women are now a consumer force to be reckoned with. The problem now is with the mainstream media’s reluctance to tackle a subject about which they are ill-informed, which places even more importance on alternative media such as blogs.
While many in the west believe that hijab-wearing women are in some way ‘hiding’ themselves or shying away from self-expression though fashion, Jana insists that “Islam celebrates beauty and a pleasant appearance is not an exception to that.”
Jana crossing over from blogger stylista to Vogue correspondent shows the influence that these women have over a market underrepresented. While subscribers to the hijab style blog are more than happy to carry on taking the fashion advice posted, it shouldn’t be long before the marketing men spy an opportunity and hijab-wearers are paid some long-overdue attention. Where the internet leads, the glossies follow; hijab fashion should be gracing a magazine near you very soon.