Muse: Life lessons from Instagram sensation Amena Khan

Amena Khan is making a name for herself on Instagram. (Images supplied)
Updated 24 September 2018
0

Muse: Life lessons from Instagram sensation Amena Khan

  • Amena Khan is making a name for herself on Instagram
  • She talks candidly about her struggle to the top as a hijab-wearing influencer

DUBAI: The British blogger talks candidly about her struggle to the top as one of the first hijab-wearing influencers in the UK.

As a child, I was inspired by the arts and entertainment — it was a form of escapism for me. Somewhere around my teens, the penny dropped, and I realized there weren’t very many brown faces on TV, so it probably wouldn’t be financially smart for me to study journalism, or media or acting.

When I started out, I heard insiders in the beauty industry say there was no place for a hijabi, that it was too divisive of a symbol and that I should just give it up. But I didn’t – I’m proud of being the first woman of color in a hijab to be in mainstream beauty campaigns across television, magazines and billboards. Seeing my dream materialize was like seeing the power of passion, perseverance, struggle, creativity and positive thinking.

I think that there are a lot of misconceptions tied to the hijab as it makes you visibly Muslim, and because most of the media representation is negative, it rubs off on people.

The cause that I believe in – which is freedom of choice for everyone — benefits everyone because we are all objectified. It’s this journey that all women are on and it’s this journey that binds us, so we have to find a way to accept people for who they are instead of trying to control, manipulate and force women into being what we want them to be.

My focus has become more inclusive. I personally have become more inclined toward fostering an environment where women feel safe to express themselves however they want.

In regards to online negativity, I think dealing with it, you need a really strong support system, and really thick skin and you have to really know who you are and stick to it.

I once got a doll that looked like a voodoo doll and I don’t think it was, but I was too afraid to even touch it.

For me, simply existing within a sphere where beauty is currency as a woman of color who is identifiably Muslim is groundbreaking, it’s revolutionary. For me, to thrive in this space and make the relationships that I’ve made with big brands is testament to the fact that there is a space for us. This is not just a space where I have fun with make-up. I want my presence to stand for something.


Rihanna to launch her own luxury fashion label

Updated 17 January 2019
0

Rihanna to launch her own luxury fashion label

  • Rihanna is in secret talks with the French giant LVMH, according to Women’s Wear Daily
  • LVMH owns brands like Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Givenchy

PARIS: Pop idol Rihanna is preparing to launch her own luxury brand with the world’s biggest fashion conglomerate, according to reports Thursday.
The Barbados-born superstar, who already has her own highly successful Fenty sportswear label, is in secret talks with the French giant LVMH, according to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD).
The industry bible said the group, which owns such iconic brands as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Givenchy, is assembling a gang of top designers for the project.
LVMH, which is owned by the fashion titan Bernard Arnault, said they could not comment.
With her huge fan base and tens of millions of social media followers, Rihanna is one of the most powerful style influencers on the planet.
A regular on the front row of fashion shows, and particularly at Dior in Paris, the singer has also proved herself to be a canny creator.
As well as her Fenty line she upped sales at Puma when she became its creative director and has also dipped her toe into lingerie.
Her Fenty Beauty operation — which involved a hook-up with LVMH — racked up sales of more than $100 dollars (88 million euros) within weeks of its 2016 launch.
WWD said that her planned luxury brand, which will take in ready-to-wear as well as leather goods and accessories, could be launched alongside her ninth album later this year.
A new large-scale luxury label — especially one led by a black woman — would be a huge development in the fashion world.
The top end of the market has been traditionally hogged by historic French and Italian houses.
Despite its dominance, LVMH has not started a luxury brand from scratch since Christian Lacroix in 1987.
Black American designers have, however, been making dramatic inroads of late, with Virgil Abloh the most talked about designer at Paris men’s fashion week.
The creator, whose parents come from Ghana, now heads LVMH’s treasured Louis Vuitton menswear line as well as his own hugely cool Off-White Label.
Rihanna, 30, who shot to fame with her “Music of the Sun” and “Good Girl Gone Bad” albums, is locked in a legal battle with her father over the use of the Fenty name.
She is suing her father Ronald Fenty over the use of the family name in his company, Fenty Entertainment, according to reports on Wednesday.