Thursday, 7 May 2009

Elenany Launch Photos

You know how Hijab Style loves to bring you the latest news from the hijab and Islamic style world? Well yesterday saw the launch of the newest Islamic clothing brand Elenany - check out my interview with the designer here. The launch took place in Brick Lane and as promised, the pieces are now available to buy online.

Here are my photos from the event (not for redistribution please); remember, you saw it here first ♥

Elenany clothing:

Displays around the room:

Riazat Butt interviewing Sarah:

Keep an eye out for a very special video report coming soon!


lale said...

u dont get a lot of choice yet (maybe cos its new) but i hope they will be something worth the money as alot of these r rather expencive for what they r and most of these i could fine similar in places cheaper, maybe if she does more traditional abaya style then i would pay extra

Anonymous said...


not very flattering to the female form. or maybe thats the point maybe i could like the items in a diffrent fabric. im sure some sisters will love the designs.

Ws Jen.

yasmina said...

i love the designs and ive checked out the website, everythings great APART from the price.
I'm 16 and I would love to have long hoodies and dresses as designed by sarah elenany, but £60? I couldn't afford that.
All the best and may Allah reward you for your efforts and hard work

Jana said...

lale, she is not an abaya designer, so why should she design abayas? Each brand comes with a specific aim and style and hers is modest clothing with an urban edge. There are already plenty of 'traditional' abaya retailers available.

And yes, the items are limited because this is the very first collection.

Regards the price, honestly I get the feeling that most consumers don't appreciate the cost that goes into manufacturing a garment; let alone the cost of advertising and marketing. I partly blame shops like Primark who mass produce cheap, shoddy goods in foreign sweatshops that pay their workers a pittance.

Brands like Elenany are made by people paid a living wage, and are produced in this country (thus reducing environmental damage). The number of items produced is minute compared to high street shops, so it's unfair to expect the prices to be the same!

Another thing to mention is that if we as Muslim don't support these businesses then they won't be able to grow and develop. I was really disappointed by the lack of Muslimahs at the launch event, even though it was well publicised. These designers are catering for us, in an extremely difficult economic situation, the least we can do is offer supprt and constructive ideas.

And lale, when you do find long sleeved, high necked, loose fitting, knee length tops do let us know about them because I sure am having a hard time finding them!

Pixie said...

Not a fan of the designs personally (I could make something like the tunic dresses you've pictured on my own sewing machine) but I do like the new trend of emerging Muslimah designers. And she makes a hoodie tunic? Actually that I'd buy, but I don't see a picture of it here. It'd cost about $40.00 for fabric and time to sew your own hoodie (paying yourself minimum wage for the hours you out into it) and the other $20 would go to marketing I'd imagine. The price then is quite resonable for those that don't have the time or the skill and want to see minimum wage (in the least) applied to those who make their clothes. Also, if larger orders are made, then costs of production can go down, thus prices, but for a small market, prices are always going to be high. Thanks Jana for letting us know about new designers. I'm a jilbab girl myself, but I'd love to see her long hoodie. I bet it'd cling less than average hoodie when worn overtop one of my abayas.

Yasmine said...

Sallams Jana

A well made point.As someone who makes abayas from fabric bought from local wholesaler paying vat etc i find it hard to keep my prices same as the abayas from abroad.Since i tailor them to measure alhumdulillah its ticking along.Congrats to sister Sara and may allah make her successful.


Anonymous said...


I am the designer, Sarah Elenany.
You know, it’s hard placing your product when you first enter the market. You have to look at brands which are producing garments which are of the same quality as yours, have the same direction and the same attention to detail. You also get advice, from lots of professionals in the industry, and when they all give you the same answer, you go with it. Furthermore, when people start buying your products, which they have done mine, you feel confident that you have correctly placed your products. Elenany products are intended for both Muslim and non-Muslim markets and none of the buying customers have complained about the price -obviously if they have bought them they must have thought the products were worth the money. Perhaps people have different perceptions of quality, and the fact that some Muslims are only willing to pay much lower comes as a surprise.
Yes, you can get clothes for £2 in Primark, but when you are aware of standard industry markups, you realise the labour that has gone into making the clothes is actually slave-labour. The brand does not believe in slavery but it means you have to pay a bit more.

If you define “flattering” as “emphasising the beauty of the female by showing it”, then no, these clothes are not flattering. If you define “flattering” as “beautiful without showing the figure” then you’re onto a winner with the Elenany brand.

Thank you and I look forward to more of your comments.

Sameera said...

I actually like the look of these clothes and there are a few items that I would like to purchase, maybe the next time I'm down in London. There is a very hip, urban, slightly futuristic look/vibe to them, which I think is what has attracted me to them.

I have never shopped in Primark because of the whole child-labour thing. I know Primark now claim they don't use child-labour anymore, but their name has already been tarnished for me and I don't feel right to shop there. I therefore think it's brilliant and very much needed for others to offer clothing lines which don't employ child labour to offer us more of a choice as to where to shop.

My only reservation is concerning the motifs on some of the items as I'm not into motifs at all, although I do understand that each represents something about Muslims/Islaam, which could be very educational for the non-Muslims who purchase them.

Other than this, I think you've done a wonderful job sister Sarah, and I wish you every success with it :). We need more designers who cater for Muslim women, and I think it's amazinf when they can make things accessible to non-Muslims at the same time. I only wear abayas and stuff on the very very rare occasion, so I welcome any designer who offers something else :).

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaykum, I think the Elenany-brand looks great, maybe I can't afford it right now, but I definitly think clothes like these are worth the price, I'm sure the quality is great and they're special, not some boring cheap tunic from Primark that everyone else has and that you have to layer. Sisters we have to support each other, it's always good to come with constructive critisism, but to say for example that you can find items like these anywhere and to a much lower price, is really unnecessary. I think Sarah Elenany has done a great job so I really think we all should support her as good sisters support each other.

lale said...

thats all great, i wasnt critizising, as i wear tunic tops but im a homemaker and still cant aford a tunic top thats 60quid, my point was that i may at most get an abaya for 60quid at most i could manage to pay about 50 for a tunic top and i do love fabric that she has used in some of these creations

Anonymous said...

I love the hoodies inshallah when i finish my exams and save some money i will buy one :)

mashallah a very special and unique collection Sarah! I would have gone to the inauguration but i had exams....:/

Minaretmuse said...

I love the funky urban pop-arty designs. Well done Sarah for creating such a character-ful range. Unfortunately they're also utterly out of my budget :( However, for those that can afford them tis still good news that this kind of modest stylishness is available. Perhaps it'd be an idea to include a budget range in future collections to keep all us demanding hijabi customers happy?

Anonymous said...


Flattering to the female form doesnt mean tight to the body!!!!! it means flowing and elegant like some of the beautiful designs in long dresses and Abayahs Jana post! Thats just my take on style doesnt mean its rite for all!

WS Jenny

Anonymous said...

Its a label for muslims and non-muslims it would be nice see some of the garments on the website styled with hijab not just with the hair out??? if i could afford the trousers id buy some for the house. great blog.

reem an abayah wearing sister.

Lubica said...

Salamalaykum, I personally love this website. And the dua graphic? Beautiful. The only thing I miss is little bit of colour. It would be nice to have more cheerful colours for the summer. But otherwise alhamdullillah. I also agree that first of all we should support our sisters and brothers in their businesses. This is one of the ways how to make our ummah stronger:) It is better to buy one good quality item for more money which will last longer, than to buy 10 ugly cheap looking clothes from Primark. I bought there something only once in my life. It lasted me for one whole week!!! That was the first and the last time I wasted my time there.

Anas Sillwood (Founding Partner, SHUKR) said...

Assalamu 'alaikum,

I just wanted to second the comments of both Jana and Sarah about the cost and effort involved in producing ethical, high quality clothing, and the need for Muslim consumers to understand and support the endeavours of fledgling Muslim businesses. Many people also comment that SHUKR's prices are very high, as if we are making a small fortune exploiting Muslim customers. The reality is quite the reverse: even after almost 8 years serving the Muslim market by designing and producing contemporary Muslim clothing, SHUKR struggles to break even every year. Have a read on our blog about what goes into designing and producing high quality clothing.

MaJa said...

I love her designs. And I'm not even Muslim. Never knew modest clothing could be so edgy and chic.


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