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Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): What does Beyond The Veil mean to you as a fashion designer and Muslim woman?
Samreen Jaffri (SJ): Beyond The Veil means a great initiative to introduce Muslim fashion and Muslim designers to the world and to change the misconception that Muslim women are not fashionable.
EM: Why do you believe it is important for Muslim fashion to be highlighted?
SJ: It is important for Muslim fashion to be highlighted, because in the Western world women seem to adopt the Western culture and fashions, often abandoning modesty in an effort to blend in. It is necessary to introduce Muslim fashion so women know they do not have to sacrifice their modesty in order to be fashionable and to showcase the best aspects of our diverse heritages.
EM: What impact do you see Beyond The Veil making among those who are not a part of the Faith?
SJ: People will discover the beauty, diversity, and style of Muslim cultures and fashion and hopefully adopt a greater appreciation for our cultures.
EM: How do you believe this fashion show will encourage other Muslim women and girls?
SJ: This show will bring Muslim women of different origins together by allowing greater appreciation for each other’s cultures and inspire women to seek modest, yet, stylish designs for themselves.
EM: If your fashion line could speak, what would it say? What unique message does your line contain?
SJ: It would say, “A woman can be stylish and elegant while still being modest.” A unique message would be for women to feel comfortable in their own skin and confident with their cultures.
EM: What inspires your style? How long have you been designing fashion?
SJ: I started this company, SJ Collection, in 2012. My design is inspired by my country, Pakistan, but also has influences from the Arab world. I strive to combine the designs of my culture and the Western culture to meet the needs of all women.
EM: When the concept of covering comes to mind, what feeling do you want women and girls to have, especially about themselves?
SJ: I want women and girls to feel proud and confident, versus feeling like they do not belong. They are special and precious and should not be seen by everyone, but they can still be themselves.
EM: What can attendees expect to see on the runway from your line?
SJ: For this show, since the crowd is so diverse, I wanted to bring a variety of pieces from many cultures. Although I specialize in Pakistani clothing, especially heavy formals and bridals, for this show, I wanted to bring clothes that are applicable to everyone, no matter their origin.
EM: How can readers see more of your items? What social media platforms are you on and what is your web site?