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This Atlanta Muslim Designer Joins ‘Project Runway’ for Modest Fashion

  • The fashion-inspired project returns Thursday, Dec 5, at 9:30 p.m. for its 18th season.
  • Asman Bibi’s clothing targets Muslim women who choose not to expose their bodies in public
  • She is competing against a diverse group of 15 other contestants vying for $250,000 and plenty of other prizes

A Muslim designer from Atlanta has become a role model for many, being one of the few Muslims who promote ‘modest designs’ in the fashion-competition show “Project Runway,” AJC reported.

“I’m the fourth one,” Asma Bibi noted in an interview at Sweet Hut Bakery in Duluth this week donning her own orange hijab with a handful of pearls knitted into it.

The fashion-inspired “Project Runway,” returns Thursday at 9:30 p.m. for its 18th season.

Bibi is competing against a diverse group of 15 other contestants vying for $250,000 and plenty of other prizes.

She was born in Seattle and raised in Philadelphia before her parents made the move to Atlanta 15 years ago.

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“My family has been here for 15 years. Atlanta is good for business, especially minority businesses. The Muslim community isn’t as big as the one in Philadelphia but I knew they were here. There’s a market. And I figured I could get help from a business standpoint,” the Muslim designer said.

Muslim designer
Photo: PROJECT RUNWAY — Season:18 — Pictured: Asma Bibi — (Photo by: Joe Pugliese/Bravo)/Joe Pugliese/Bravo

Being a woman, black, and Muslim, Bibi believes she is a representative to all.

“I’m a representative of women who look like me. When I walk out the door, I have to be mindful who I am inside when I walk out. It can get stressful,” she said.

“Sometimes, people judge me based on how I look. They may be intimidated and not comfortable walking up to me. I sometimes have to exude myself.”

The first Muslim designer to join “Project Runway” is Ayana Ife, who joined the 2017 season.

Muslim designer

Growing Industry

According to Islamic Fashion Design Council (IFDC), Muslims spent about $322 billion on fashion in 2018. The hijab fashion industry is set to reach $488 billion this year, WHYY reported.

Non-Muslim international fashion lines and retailers have been trying to tap into the niche market for modest clothing.

For example, high-end label Dolce & Gabbana has lately released a collection of headscarves and coordinated abayas, the loose robes worn by some Muslim women.

Islam emphasizes the concept of decency and modesty. In many authentic Prophetic hadiths, it has been quoted that “modesty is part of faith”.

And the Islamic dress code is part of that overall teaching. The majority of Islamic scholars agree that modesty is mandatory for both Muslim men and women.