Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): There is a very historic fashion week taking place, the first of its kind and you have been invited to be part of this incredible event! What exactly is taking place and how were you brought on board as a designer?
Carmin Muhammad (CM): Yes ma’am. First I’d like to start by saying As-Salaam Alaikum and Ramadan Mubarak to all my extended family of believers and your audience of readers.
This historic and amazing event is the Torino Fashion Week in Italy June 29- July 5, 2017. A couple of weeks ago I was blessed to meet a very powerful individual Alia Khan Chairwomen and founder of the International Design Council of Dubai via a business associate. This meeting ultimately lead to me receiving a personal invitation from Ms. Khan to be a part of Torino Fashion Week. She informed me that the International Design Council , and Mercedes Benz and Torino would be hosting at this major fashion Week the first ever segment of modest designers at a major fashion week event. She went on to state that never before had this ever occurred in the history of main stream fashion. And if you were to compare the growth of modest fashion to a country it would be the third largest in the world. Sister Ebony, let me tell you I cried like a newborn baby for three days thanking Allah for this wonderful blessing. Honestly, I’m still overwhelmed to have the opportunity to represent myself as a Muslim Girl Training and General Civilization Class (MGT-GCC) on a world stage while showcasing my collection, is so humbling. I can share Al-Nisa Designs that have been inspired by this great teaching.
EM: This is an all Islamic fashion week. Exactly how many designers will convene in Italy? What are you most excited about and how do you anticipate the spirit will be especially coming right out of Ramadan?
CM: This show is a mainstream Fashion Week Show with your powerhouse major players in the Industry like Louis Vuitton and others. The only difference is that now modest fashion designers will have their own segment of scheduled shows over the weekend. There are over 125 modest designers from around the world participating, and we all have our own individual shows. There are five from the United States, and to my knowledge I’m the only Black Designer participating. It is so humbling. I’ve seen the profiles of a lot of the modest designers, and their designs are very impressive and it’s evident that they have real financial backing. The greater blessing is to experience this following the month of Ramadan; after a journey of Praying, Fasting, and cleansing oneself to become closer to Allah. Your spirit has been renewed. For me to receive a blessing like this at the onset of Ramadan, was a personal affirmation of Allah saying, “I see you little sister making your bean soup, I see you obeying the Restrictive Laws, I see you getting up for prayer, I see you fasting, I see you paying your charity I, Allah, see you. I see all your good, and there is a reward for your good.” Nothing goes unnoticed by God.
EM: Does this Torino Fashion Week mean for you and Al-Nisa Designs? What do you see coming from such an amazing opportunity in the near and distant future?
CM: First I ‘d like to say that for me this opportunity is so much bigger than Al-Nisa Designs. It’s about the Women of the Nation Of Islam and the Women of the world, all 196,940.000 square miles. It’s about A New Dress, A New Mind and A New Women. What I see is an opportunity to educate myself in an up close and personal way about the business of fashion and manufacturing. There is a science to business, and we have not been taught that. Over this weekend I will have scheduled meetings with buyers, investors, manufactures, wholesale high end fabric brokers etc. There will be individuals present from every aspect of the fashion business, therefore, I plan to be a student and soak up all the knowledge I can receive.
The goal is to be in a position in the near future to not just design my line, but to produce my own clothing, while providing my sisters from around the world with beautiful cutting edge fashions. This year alone in the region of the Gulf, it has been estimated that women’s clothing will top gross sales at about $486 million, $150 million more than last year’s earnings. Amazing!
EM: Is there anything else you would like to add?
CM: Yes I’d like to say thank you to all the Sisters of my faith and Women who have inspired me with the support of purchasing Al-Nisa Deisgns over the past 20 plus years! All praises are due to Allah! Along the way there have been many bumps and bruises, setbacks and hiccups, but by the grace of all mighty God, Allah, we have endured the trial and it has brought me to where I ‘ma today. Hard trails are necessary to establish truth. All Praises are due to Allah.
Every day I receive news from the International Design Council and the Organizers of this event important updates about the show. Some of the exciting announcements have been that there will be four designers selected as top finalist. The judges of the modest designers category will include the Louis Vuitton Ambassador and other elite designers from main stream fashion. The designers selected as finalist will receive amazing opportunities that will include deals with Louis Vuitton and others, a media and print ad campaign all over Paris, displays of their designs at top Paris showrooms. Also because of the historical significant the show is now scheduled to be filmed by an award winning film producer to be shown in various countries from around the world.
I’m asking for your love and prayers for our success. At The forefront of my thoughts are the words of Master Fard Muhammad when He said, “I can tell everyone that the most beautiful nation is in the wilderness of North America”. And I will stand proud and tall as an MGT in Italy on that runway Insha’Allah, because this is who I am and this is where Allah Has brought me!
Friends of Al-Nisa Designs in support of the Italy debut would like to offer you the opportunity to support a worthy cause. Together we can make a difference. (www.gofundme.com/alnisadesigns).