Art Imitates Lifestyle – My Interview with Mina Rasheed on Modest Fashion

Photos by: FotoMaster

A little over a year ago, Anniesa Hasibuan made history at NY Fashion Week when she debuted her collection. As part of her collection, each model to take the runway wore a hijab. Other fashion lines like Neicy, Amara, and Louella represent the push for more diversity in mainstream fashion, including representations that are inclusive of Muslim women. So, what is modest fashion and what is the, so called, modesty movement? I caught up with one of my favorite fashionable friends, Mina Rasheed, to discuss her personal style, fashion and the hijab, and her take on the modesty movement.

Mina describes her personal style as “relaxed chic with vintage flare”. Read more from her interview below.

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What does hijab fashion or the “modesty movement” mean to you?

Modesty isn’t just about the clothes you wear. It’s a conscious lifestyle choice that encompasses how you carry yourself and how you interact with others. So this isn’t just a fleeting fad movement for me…it’s how I try to live my life.

Have you always worn a hijab? How has wearing the hijab shaped your views on fashion over the years?

Hijab is an Arabic word meaning barrier or partition. It’s a broad term that includes principles of modesty for men and women. The most visible form of hijab is the khimar or head covering that Muslim women wear. I’ve worn the khimar since late elementary/middle school and it’s been a part of my fashion choices since then. For me, it’s an extra accessory that I get to shop for and incorporate into my daily dress. I take pride in learning different khimar styles and trying different fabrics and patterns.

How do you feel about the use of the hijab as a fashion statement?

I have mixed feelings about this new “hijabi/modest” fashion trend. While I appreciate being able to find more modest pieces and seeing more inclusive representation of Muslim women, this whole movement feels like a fetishizing of the modest lifestyle. The big name-brand companies are cashing in on this trend without fully appreciating and understanding what it means for those of us who live this life.

Where do you typically shop? What are your favorite clothing lines designed by Muslim fashion designers?

I shop at a mix of consignment/thrift stores, recognizable retailers (i.e.- H&M, NY&Co., Old Navy, etc.) and online stores. Ibtihaj Muhammad, the African American Muslim Woman who was on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team, has a modest fashion line, Louella, that is one of my favorites. I like putting together pieces from different stores to create unique looks.

Mina’s wardrobe staples include “khimars, kimonos/long cardigans, cropped pants and vintage jewelry.” See more of her looks below.

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I appreciate diverse representations in fashion, especially those that are inclusive of women who are historically underrepresented (e.g. by race, religion, lifestyle, or intersections of multiple identities). I hope you enjoyed this insight into modest fashion. Many thanks to Mina Rasheed for sharing her perspective! As always, thank you for stopping by!

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