Indonesia’s leading Muslim fashion designer jailed for fraud

Indonesian fashion designer Anniesa Hasibuan takes a final walk on the runway for the Anniesa Hasibuan collection during the New York Fashion Week in February last year. (AFP)
Updated 30 May 2018
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Indonesia’s leading Muslim fashion designer jailed for fraud

JAKARTA: An Indonesian fashion designer who shot to global fame with her Muslim-themed collection was sentenced to 18 years in prison Wednesday for a multi-million dollar fraud and money-laundering.
A court near Jakarta convicted Anniesa Hasibuan, 31, and her husband of cheating customers who booked pilgrimage trips to Islam’s holiest city Makkah through a travel agency they operated.
The pair were accused of bilking thousands of clients out of at least 848 billion rupiah ($60 million), a steep fall from grace for Hasibuan who had become a household name in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country.
In 2016 Hasibuan’s collection was shown at New York Fashion Week where all her runway models wore hijab head scarves and Muslim-inspired designs, a first for the prestigious event.
Hasibuan and her husband Andika Surachman established Jakarta-based First Travel in 2009 to operate trips to Saudi Arabia. But it had not sent any clients to Makkah since early last year despite being paid for them, the court heard.
The court fined Hasibuan 10 billion rupiah and sentenced her spouse to 20 years in prison. He was slapped with the same fine.
Prosecutors had demanded 20-year prison terms for both.
“(The defendants) have been proven legally and convincingly guilty of committing a criminal act together,” said presiding judge Sobandi, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
Hasibuan’s works have also been featured at shows in London, Istanbul and Cannes, but New York Fashion Week cemented her status as a rising star in the fashion world.
She is also well-known for her lavish lifestyle, regularly posting pictures of herself and her husband traveling abroad and wearing expensive clothing.


Beyoncé wears Tunisian-French design in viral video

Updated 20 June 2018
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Beyoncé wears Tunisian-French design in viral video

DUBAI: Beyoncé and Jay-Z stunned fans by dropping a surprise joint album this week, and the artistic video for the lead track, “Apes***,” sees the Grammy-winning queen of pop wearing a turban by French-Tunisian milliner Donia Allegue.

The nine-track album “Everything Is Love” dropped Saturday on the Tidal music streaming service that Jay-Z partially owns, before the couple released it on Spotify on Monday.
The pop diva and hip-hop superstar announced the album from the stage in London as they wrapped up the British leg that opened a global tour.

The couple also put out an elaborately choreographed video that takes place inside the Louvre museum in Paris for “Apes***,” AFP reported.

The video opens with the couple standing regally in front of the “Mona Lisa” — Jay-Z in a light green double-breasted suit, Beyoncé in a lavender pantsuit — and features a squad of scantily clad dancers moving sensually in front of Jacques Louis David’s “The Coronation of Napoleon.”

In a later scene, Beyoncé dons a floor-length black turban by Donia Allegue with a nude-colored bodysuit by French design house Cadolle. According to Vogue Arabia, Allegue revealed that the headpiece took eight hours to create and is made of six meters of tulle.

“Honored and proud to have adorned Queen @beyonce (with) an exceptional headpiece for her grandiose clip,” the design house posted on its Instagram page this week.

The video is a veritable treasure trove of sartorial high points chosen by stylist Zerina Akers, who scored the latest designs from international runways, as well as custom pieces from various high-end brands.

Fashion aside, the album, driven by warm, sultry soul with a largely hip-hop cadence, marries the styles of the two artists but is more consistent with the recent direction of Jay-Z.
The two stars have recorded together previously, notably on the Beyoncé-led single “Drunk in Love,” but the album comes after an especially public window into their marriage.
Beyonce on her last solo album “Lemonade” in 2016 revealed infidelity on the part of Jay-Z, who a year later asked forgiveness on his own album “4:44.”

This year, as the title of “Everything is Love” implies, their relationship is apparently swell.

On the final track, the joyously brassy “Lovehappy,” the two acknowledge past pain but also their efforts to reconcile.

“We’re flawed / But we’re still perfect for each other,” Beyoncé sings.

As two of the most prominent African Americans in pop culture Jay-Z and Beyoncé have played increasingly visible political roles, from campaigning for former president Barack Obama to championing the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Everything is Love” offers a paean to African American identity in “Black Effect,” which opens in Beyoncé fashion with a monologue about self-love before a haunting soul sample.
Jay-Z on the song name-checks Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American shot dead in 2012 by a neighborhood watchman in a Florida gated community, and raps, in a twist on performers’ rote calls for crowd gesticulation, “Get your hands up high like a false arrest.”