NEW YORK – For the second season, models walking on New York fashion week runway in hijab have dazzled attendants at the prestigious annual event, showcasing success of Islamic fashion and its brand on international market.
“There is beauty in diversity and differences — something we should not be afraid of,” Indonesian Muslim designer Anniesa Hasibuan told Agence Press Agency (AFP), speaking through an interpreter on Wednesday, February 15.
“I believe being a fashion designer can bring a lot of changes — and beautiful changes, of course.”
Hasibuan was speaking about her second appearance at NYC fashion week in which she introduced her autumn/winter 2017 collection, sporting lustrous gray hijabs that sculpted the facial features while carefully covering the hair.
The 30-year-old designer’s clothes evoked nothing of the “modest Muslim” style that sometimes stirs controversy and exacerbates anti-Muslim sentiment in western countries.
The models were not chosen at random from first and second-generation immigrants, as the designer was seeking to show that “fashion is for everybody.”
The event comes as President Donald Trump banned immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Hasibuan, however, aims to keep her work, which is primarily geared toward Muslim women, “separate” from politics.
“I’m here bringing the beautiful voice of the Muslim women, the peace and the universal values that fashion can offer,” she said.
Her dream, she said, would be to dress Kate Middleton, whom the designer said is “like a queen,” adding that she admires the Duchess of Cambridge for “her elegance.”
Hasibuan won worldwide praise for her fall collection in New York last September, the first to feature hijab in every look.
Hijab is Hasibuan’s “trademark, and I don’t think she will lose that,” Chiara Sari, Indonesia’s vice consul in New York, said.
Sari praised Hasibuan’s growing fame as a gift.
“Hopefully that will increase familiarity with Islam in general, especially now when it is getting a lot of bad press,” she said.