Miss England contestant in hijab first

Sara Iftekhar is set to become the first entrant to wear a hijab in a Miss England final. (Shutterstock)
Updated 04 September 2018

Miss England contestant in hijab first

  • Sara Iftekhar, a law student, is among 50 competitors for the Miss England crown and hopes to become the first Muslim winner
  • Iftekhar is a make-up artist and often shares pictures of herself wearing traditional Pakistani dress on social media

LONDON: A Miss England contestant is set to wear a hijab in the finals on Tuesday, in a first for the organization.
Sara Iftekhar, a law student, is among 50 competitors for the Miss England crown and hopes to become the first Muslim winner.
“It just proves Miss England represents the way England is today,” competition spokeswoman Angie Beasley was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail newspaper.
Iftekhar, 20, has already won the Miss Huddersfield title, representing the northern English market town.
She is a make-up artist and often shares pictures of herself wearing traditional Pakistani dress on social media.


The student started a clothing business aged 16.
“I may be the first woman to wear a hijab. However, I am just a regular girl and we all have a fair opportunity in this contest,” the BBC quoted her as saying.
“If I want to cover myself up and dress modestly why should that be an issue? I am just like the other contestants.”
The first stage of the competition was held in July, including the sports beach beauty, top model, beautiful mind and publicity rounds.
“Here is a vibrant, confident young woman who is proving, on a huge platform, that beauty comes in many forms, that Muslim women in hijabs can be beautiful, and that we can own our beauty,” wrote Iqra Choudhry in The Independent online newspaper.
“The fact that she’s reached the Miss England finals is something that should be celebrated by the Muslim community, and by women at large.”
Tuesday’s events in the second stage at Kelham Hall in Nottinghamshire, central England, will round up the ethical fashion show, talent and evening wear catwalk sections of the contest.
Public voting by text message closed at midday (1100 GMT) on Tuesday.
The 2018 Miss World finals are being held in Sanya, China, in November and December.
Miss World started in 1951.

From the Middle East to Europe, fashion houses join the fight against COVID-19

Valentino is one of the many fashion labels dedicated to the fight against COVID-19. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 March 2020

From the Middle East to Europe, fashion houses join the fight against COVID-19

DUBAI: Since the outbreak of coronavirus at the end of 2019, international and regional companies, including Prada, Gucci and Sarah’s Bag, have all joined the fight against the infectious disease.

Ana Khouri

The Brazilian-Lebanese jeweler decided to create a sapphire version of her signature Mirian ring and donate 100% of the proceeds to Doctors Without Borders. The ring sold to an anonymous buyer for $7,074 after only a few days on Khouri’s website.

Sarah’s Bag

Lebanese designer Sarah Beydoun will be donating a food box via the Lebanese Food Bank for every bag purchased through her label Sarah’s Bag.


LA-based Tunisian eyewear designer Ahlem Manai Platt has pledged to donate 25% of every pair of Ahlem sunglasses purchased to No Kid Hungry, an American non-profit organization working to fight child hunger and poverty in the United States.


PrettyLittleThing CEO, Umar Kamani revealed in an Instagram Live that he would be donating his March salary to a number of small businesses who were struggling throughout the COVID-19 crisis.


The British heritage brand has committed to funding research for a single-dose vaccine, currently underway at the University of Oxford. “The university has one of the world’s best track records in emergency vaccine development, and its COVID-19 vaccine is on course to begin human trials next month,” reads a post on the house’s Instagram page.

Ralph Lauren

The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation has pledged $10 million across several different aid initiatives.

Hugo Boss

The brand announced they are producing 180,000 non-clinical masks at their production site in Metzingen, Germany.


The Italian luxury label started producing 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks in its Montone factory, which will be allocated to healthcare personnel, following a request from the Tuscany Region.


Gucci has donated $1.8 million to be split between the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the Italian Civil Protection Department, while the label’s CEO, Marco Bizzarri, has also personally donated over $105,000 to some of the worst-affected hospitals in the region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy.


The Italian label announced that its non-profit arm, the Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti Foundation, will donate $1.1 million to benefit the new Columbus Covid 2 Hospital, a new area dedicated to COVID-19 cases at Rome's Agostino Gemelli University Policlinic.

Giorgio Armani

After pledging to donate $1.4 million to Italy’s Civil Protection and a range of Italian hospitals and institutions in the country, The Armani Group has also converted all its four Italian production sites to produce single-use medical overalls for the individual protection of health-care providers fighting the coronavirus.


The Spanish retailer will donate two million face masks within the next few days to help the medical personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using its own logistics system, Mango will distribute the two million face masks among various Spanish hospitals, many of which are experiencing shortages of essential medical supplies in order to carry out assisting infected patients.


Bvlgari announced that it will manufacture thousands of hand sanitizers to be distributed to medical facilities throughout Italy. The hand gels will be created in 75ml recyclable bottles with plans to produce more in the upcoming months.

Christian Siriano

After New York governer Andrew Cuomo revealed that the city is facing a surgical mask shortage, designer Christian Siriano offered his team's help to produce supplies. "If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some," he tweeted, tagging New York governor Andrew Cuomo. "I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help."

H&M Group

Stockholm-based H&M Group announced that it is are arranging for its supply chain to start producing protective equipment to be provided to hospitals and health care workers to help tackle the spread of the infectious disease. The group will use its supply chain capacity in order to start delivering supplies to affected countries and communities around the world.

LVMH Group

In addition to using its French cosmetics factories to manufacture hand sanitizers for French hospital workers, the luxury conglomerate has ordered 40 million health masks from a Chinese supplier to help France cope with the coronavirus outbreak.