7 Black And Muslim Indie Fashion Designers To Know

A new class of self-made artisans brings fresh perspective to fashion and accessories.

December 13, 2016

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For some, fashion is both art and a way to imagine new worlds. For many, personal style is dictated by popular trends sourced from runways, street style, and paparazzi photos. What’s often missing from that fashion narrative is the perspective of individuals and markets outside of the mainstream; personal style and body types that deviate from the norm; and designers who prioritize capsules and customized pieces over mass-production. A sizable demographic neglected as both consumers and designers includes black women, Muslim women, and the people who find themselves at the intersection of both identities. We've found seven black women designers creating fashion-forward work that anyone can wear, but especially those who look to their identities for inspiration.


1. Neïcy

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Founded this year, Neïcy is a Toronto-based e-retailer described as “a one-stop boutique that aims to redefine modesty.” Friends Omnia Abdorbo and Maria Mihami launched the brand in response to a void in the market for apparel designed for Muslim fashion enthusiasts. On NeïcyShop.com you’ll find matching trousers and collarless suit blazers, palazzo pants, and all kinds of skirts. There are also one-piece suede turbans and viscose hijabs in various hues, mostly neutral tones, with a few pops of orange and green, as well as a single, unique accessory: watches inscribed with Arabic numerals.

2. A M A R A

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Created by Najma Hassan and Furdos Nurhussien, A M A R A is a line that specializes in luxury-feel hijabs in rich, warm hues. The brand’s mission statement is simple: to compliment women of color, particularly dark-skinned women. A M A R A’s hijabs come in shades of taupe, rust, and emerald, inspired by the natural landscapes of the brand’s hometown, Phoenix, Arizona. They’re made of soft chiffon, but each piece has a tough, army-inspired name — General, Alpha, Admiral — linking power and fashion. The boutique’s blog also takes a political stance, with posts like “#blacklivesmatter is a human rights issue” and “wearing hijab in a Trump era.”

3. Emanidil Designs

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Eman Idil Bare is a journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a contributor to Teen Vogue, and the creator of Emanidil Designs, based in the prairie city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The busy 24-year-old recently participated in her first collaborative pop-up shop and designed a capsule collection featuring marble-overlaid two-piece ensembles. Eman Idil is all about re-constructed monochrome basics, solid and patterned hijabs and turbans, and intricate apparel pieces, such as pleated tunics, fur-lined capes, coats, skirts, and dresses. The designer’s e-store will officially launch in early January, but sign up to her mailing list for updates.

4. Alene Collection

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Alene Collection’s founder, Osob Mohamud, began her career as a makeup artist, and quickly built a near-100K Instagram following of people similarly obsessed with makeup tutorials and a refined, modest fashion sensibility. Mohamud, who is from Toronto, launched the line of minimalist glam essentials earlier in 2016. One of her staple pieces is the Amira bell sleeve maxi dress, which features a simple, flattering silhouette and no gaudy embellishments. The collection also features a range of inventive maxi skirts: there’s a dramatic, high-waisted peplum made of 100% scuba polyester, one that’s form-fitting and covered in blackened gold sequins, and everyday, earth-toned tube pieces. And, like some of the other designers on this list, Alene Collection offers a wide array of chiffon hijabs, all priced under $20.

5. Rahma The Label

Melbourne, Australia-based designer Rahma Mohamed’s Rahma the Label takes “a modern and ethical approach to woven textiles.” Mohamed’s lived between Melbourne and the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, and used her networks to establish a sustainable team for her 100% Ethiopian cotton designs. Rahma’s cotton is sourced, produced, and woven in Ethiopia, to create unique, structured pieces like crop tops, skirts, and pants, that can be worn individually or in matching sets. The Gudit midi wrap skirt comes in three different fabrics, including one made of Gabi, a popular Ethiopian and Eritrean cotton blanket or shawl worn year-long.

6. Basma K Collection

Basma Kahie, commonly known as Basma K, is one of the most notable faces in the online Muslim fashion world. Basma’s career began with fashion blogging; she’d photograph her trendy, modest outfits for Facebook and, later on, Instagram, where she now has over 350k followers. Together with her sisters, the U.K.-based blogger created the Basma K Collection, an online boutique dedicated to a variety of hijabs. The collection’s range includes georgette scarves, ombre, printed and plain hijabs made of polyester, and her premium hijabs, made of a soft silk and viscose blend.

7. Tazma Jewellery

Hannah Fesseha, who has origins in the Wollo province of Ethiopia, is the Melbourne-based designer behind Tazma Jewellery. She makes custom nameplates and single-initial rings featuring two distinct scripts indigenous to the Wollo region: the official language Amharic, and Ge’ez, the ancient, Biblical language of the Ethiopian church. But Tazma’s standout pieces are one-of-a-kind Wollo opal rings, set in 18 karat yellow gold. All of the pieces are handcrafted in Addis Ababa, and much of the brand’s focus is showcasing the “uniqueness of Ethiopian culture” through fine jewellery.

7 Black And Muslim Indie Fashion Designers To Know