I had the chance to interview Ashlee, head designer at Hijab House, and ask her a few questions about the brand:
Jana: How did Hijab House first start out?
Ashlee: Hijab House started out in June 2010 as a small, quirky store in a major shopping centre in Sydney selling printed hijabs, abayas and comfy accessories. Since then, HH has moved away from more traditional outfits and we're now creating feminine, modern pieces with an emphasis on youth and colour. It was actually started by a young man, Tarik, who saw his 19 year old sister struggle with finding clothes and hijabs to suit her style. He still tries every HH piece on her before they hit the shelves! There's also two designers and a lovely team of floor staff who assist customers with new ways of putting the hijab on. It's a really young, energetic team which very different tastes, but we love drooling over the latest catwalk trends.
Jana: Most modest clothing brands the world over operate solely through their websites. What made you decide to open a bricks-and-mortar store?
Ashlee: We opened a physical store to challenge both the Islamic fashion industry and the mainstream fashion industry. You could the imagine the look on everyone's face when we revealed the store in Metro Sydney (and we have a purposely MASSIVE mural of a Hijabi on our front wall). It was a shock-reaction. But we wanted a place where women could browse our selections, line up in a queue for an event and receive our cute carry bags. While buying online is convenient, nothing beats the magic of rummaging through a store and discovering an amazing piece that looks perfect with your outfit.
Floral Akito Skirt; Yellow Akito Skirt
Jana: What are you looking to provide with your collections, that's missing from the modest clothing market?
Ashlee: Colour! And most importantly, design aesthetic. We want our fans to pull off cool designer looks at affordable prices. Our Striped Sail dress pulls off a minimalist Jil Sander look for only $69.95.
Black Waisted Skirt; Striped Sail Dress
Jana: What's the story and inspiration behind your latest collection, Ecuador Rose?
Ashlee: For Ecuador Rose, we started off by looking at online bloggers and editorialists. We were inspired by street wear. Flowing dresses, modern cuts (see the detail in our knot dress) and lots and lots of mix and match colour. We then coupled these with designer pieces like Gucci's silk gowns from Fall 2011 and Jil Sander's summer skirts. We describe Ecuador Rose as a "safari circus with exotic minimalism".
Jana: When and where will Ecuador Rose be available?
Ashlee: Ecuador Rose is available in stores now and for online shoppers by mid January.
|Brown 3/4 Safari Dress|