Being visibly Muslim in today’s social media-driven world

(L-R): Jasmine Bager, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Mariah Idrissi and Arwa Al-Ammari. (Image courtesy: Hideki Aono)
Updated 16 September 2018
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Being visibly Muslim in today’s social media-driven world

  • Models showcasing collections from Saudi designers transformed the Museum of the City of New York into a work of art  last week

NEW YORK: In dresses eliciting a “I want that” response, models showcasing collections from Saudi designers transformed the Museum of the City of New York into a work of art  last week as they sashayed down the runway and into the hearts of every woman looking for inspiration on how to be fashionably modest.

And that’s exactly what the dedicated panel discussion brought to the table. Founder and CEO of Maarkah, Rabab Abdalla, said she launched a panel centered on modest fashion and what it means to be visibly Muslim in today’s digitally focused fashion world to ensure greater representation of designers from the Middle East and North Africa region at New York Fashion Week.

I moderated a diverse set of women, including British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi, who is also the face of Fenty Beauty, and Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the founder of MuslimGirl.com, as well as Saudi designer Arwa Al-Ammari.

With elegantly draped dresses and endless layers of fabric, Al-Ammari’s ArAm collection, shown on the sidelines of fashion week, proved once again that she is armed with considerable experience and a flair for the fashionable.

As an ambassador of the Arab Fashion Council and the first winner of Fashion Star Arabia, Al-Ammari said that the world is starting to listen to Muslim women and that is a good thing. “By having access to social media, the world has become a global village. People have started expressing themselves through fashion,” she told me during the panel discussion.

Abdalla said she chose Al-Ammari for her “unmeasurable talent.”

“I knew Arwa would be the ideal woman to represent and empower other Saudi women on a big platform,” she said.

Close on Al-Ammari’s heels is another Saudi designer, Jalila Nayil, who showcased her luxury line, Laith. “Fashion is a language that is spoken and understood by an international audience... It felt like I was being heard,” she said. 


The Six: Bollywood stars turn to Middle East designers

Priyanka Chopra at an event earlier this year. (AFP)
Updated 11 December 2018
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The Six: Bollywood stars turn to Middle East designers

DUBAI: Middle East-based fashion designers have been slaying the game recently, with more and more international stars stepping out in their creations. Bollywood is no exception, with these leading ladies spotted showcasing gowns from the region.

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra shone in a glittery, sequined rainbow halter-dress at the Bumble launch party in Mumbai on Dec. 7, courtesy of Lebanese designer Elie Saab.

Deepika Padukone
Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad created this stunning scarlet couture gown and veil for Deepika Padukone to wear at her recent wedding reception.

Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai turned heads at the Cannes Film Festival in May in a stunning, multi-hued butterfly-inspired gown from Dubai-based Michael Cinco.

Sonam Kapoor
The Bollywood star made an appearance on the popular Indian talk show “Koffee with Karan” wearing a custom-made feathered lavender gown by Lebanese designer Rami Kadi.

Shilpa Shetty
The actress partied at Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh’s wedding reception in a gorgeous, shimmering golden gown by Lebanon’s Reem Acra.

Shraddha Kapoor
At a party celebrating the success of her film, “Stree,” Shraddha Kapoor shut it down in an elegant, asymmetrical red dress by Reem Acra.