LFW designers say the hijab has a place on the catwalk

Sep 24, 2015 at 9:05 a.m. ET
Image: John Phillips/Entertainment/Getty Images

Mimpikita was launched in 2008 by Kuala Lumpur sisters Nurul, Mira and Syera Zulkifli, who apparently have a Kardashian-scale level of style icon status in their homeland of Malaysia — but with far less cleavage and PVC, we'd guess.

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The brand has a flagship store in Bangsar, is sold in boutiques across Singapore and, following the official launch at LFW, the sisters are reportedly now in talks with online fashion giant ASOS.

The images from the LFW Mimpikita show are beautiful: impeccable craftsmanship, exquisite detailing and chic, modest style, but perhaps what made the most impact was the picture of the Zulkifli sisters walking the catwalk after the show in their hijabs.

In an age where nothing on the catwalk really shocks us anymore — we barely raise an eyebrow at nipple slips, bejewelled faces or contorting models — isn't it curious that what gets us talking is a headscarf signifying modesty and symbolising religious faith?

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Talking to HuffPost UK Style after their LFW debut, the Zulkifli sisters revealed that they are keen to start a positive conversation about the hijab in fashion. They all wear hijabs and so do some of their models, something that hasn't been well received by Asian fashion media, particularly when models in hijabs are featuring in publications aimed at a non-muslim demographic.

"For my sisters and I, it's all about removing the old ideologies and stereotypes that prevent us from having it all," said Mira Zulkifli. "For us there is no stronger illustration of our pride in our faith than us as designers taking to the runway in our hijabs after the models."

The women acknowledge that considering the hijab as a fashion accessory as well as a religious symbol may be seen as disrespectful by some.

"Primarily, as muslims — there is an obligation for us to be modest in all that we do and that includes what we wear," said Mira. "Choosing to wear the hijab isn’t supposed to create more stress on (sic) women, and nor is it the climax of our spirituality. For us sisters, our commitment to wearing the hijab is a big part of our lives — it grounds us and helps us to maintain our modesty.

"Our hijab styles are also fairly simple; sticking to neutrals and a simple ‘pin & tuck’ style to compliment (sic) our outfits and personal style," she continued. "The many hijab styles out there can be tapered to match someone’s own style reference and although there is incessant debate on the hijab as fashion item, we view it as providing an opportunity for women to partake in fashion trends, while creating a niche market for those who choose to cover up."

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Courtesy: Mimpikita/Instagram

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Courtesy: Mimpikita/Instagram

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Courtesy: Mimpikita/Instagram

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