read in: 16 min
Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): First and foremost, congrats on the launch of your new Islamic fashion line! What is the name of your line, it’s meaning and how did you come into being a fashion designer?
I chose that name, because in whatever I wanted to do with my life I wanted to make sure my name was a part of it. So after I’m gone, people will know that I was here.
How did I become a fashion designer/seamstress? Well I happen to be under 5 feet and under 100 pounds, so finding clothes that fit right or that fit at all were very hard for me. Every person that has actually made something for me did it incorrectly, because they didn’t understand my size. Therefore, I began creating my own clothes that were good for me and made me feel good as a woman, yet, that was still modest.
Soon after, I realized other women had the same struggle I had. Whether they were tall, short, skinny, heavy etc. Every woman I came across was looking for something that made them feel like a woman.
My inspiration for my line came from the movie The Matrix. I was so in love with the character Trinity. I loved everything she wore and how confident she was. That black leather jacket was my favorite! I drooled over the way it flowed, everything about it was the epitome of BOSS to me. A lot of my designs are actually inspired by that look and it’s sharpness.
EM: You are debuting your new line by way of a fashion show this coming January, which is exciting and I’m sure a lot of work. Tell us a little bit about the show, such as the theme. What has the response been like since announcing the show?
AM: Oh my God! I’m super excited for this! It’s my baby.
Well the show is January 21, 2017, starting at 4pm in Plainfield, New Jersey. The theme is “Cards”, hence my logo bring a spades. So everything will be white and black.
I plan to feature a full variety of garments and outfits for men, women, and children in the show. I wanted to break up the pattern of just showing women go down a runway. Men wear clothes too (laughs). So it’ll be sportswear, day-to-day clothes, work clothes, etc. Everything you will see, you will be able to purchase. From the hats to the scarves to the jewelry.
Lastly, the responses have been amazing! I’m very excited about what is to come in the near future and after the show. I’m already making arrangements for my next move.
EM: I see that there will be other designers participating in your show as well. What do each designer bring individually, and what do you anticipate it will be like having everyone under one roof and one runway?
AM: This is part is by far one of the most exciting things about what is taking place.
All of us in one accord under one roof, doing God’s work. The amount of youth in this show is going to be epic.
I wanted the younger generation in The Nation Of Islam to make some noise, because we have so much talent just waiting to be revealed. I would love to be an agent for that. Each designer brings their own personality to the table with their fashion. One designer in particular sales very Diva attire. Another sister sales more laid back day-to-day clothes, and then we have a brother who sales his line of day-to-day wear. So everyone has something amazing to offer The Nation Of Islam and the World.
EM: Just this past Holy Day Of Atonement weekend in Atlanta, the Nation Of Islam hosted its first annual Islamic Fashion Weekend and fashion show. It was streaming live via social media. From the reactions of those around the world, including by men, it seemed to have set a new standard to fashion across the board. How do you see modesty as becoming more desirable to those outside of the Islamic faith? In what ways do you seek to continue that standard of high civilization with your line and upcoming fashion show?
AM: What I noticed the most is women, even in Islam, finding a struggle for balance when it comes to everyday wear. Like what do I wear to work? That’s what I mostly like to be focused on, and I believe that is a major part of my contribution in the modest fashion world. Designing and creating things that the regular woman on the go can put on hassle-free and still look FA-BU-LOUS and most importantly modest.
I believe that women don’t want to feel so pressured into buying the trash in the clothing stores. Where, if you’re not showing your backside, your showing your cleavage. And if you do want to be covered your best bet is to wear a huge knitted sweater from Forever21 or a Nike sweat suit. I have to believe that women want to do better but just don’t have the avenue to do so…… I’m creating an avenue by Gods grace.
EM: That’s awesome! Speaking of a live stream, will we be able to view your show live?
EM: Why is it important to display a new style of dress, contrary to what is currently being promoted? What does a woman’s attire convey about her? How does a woman’s attire affect her state of mind?
AM: In the world we live in everything is sex. The music, the clothes, the television, everything! I think it is very crucial, especially right now, to show women that is not all you are good for. I never want a woman to sell herself short by thinking that she is put on this earth to show her breast and her behind.
What you wear has a big part in what people expect you to be. That is just the facts of life. If I see a man in a fire suit, I expect him to be a fireman. So as woman we have to also dress the part. Then the question is on us “who do we say we are?”
I am a strong believer in you LOOK good you FEEL good. If a woman’s outfit empowers her, she can feel like she can take over the world and she will make arrangements to do so.
EM: How would you describe your style of fashion and how did you come into understanding your style as a designer?
AM: For the most part I make what other people like. The world has yet to see my individual fashion. Which is why this show was very necessary for me. My own particular style is very sharp and tailored but comfortable at the same time. I like things to be simple but to make a big statement none the less.
I came into my understanding of fashion by studying myself. If you ever met me you may notice while yes, I take pride in my attire, I’m wearing studs, with no necklace and no bracelet; just the same rings I been wearing for the past 9 years *laughs*. I like to be sharp, yet clean and simple.
EM: How can we learn more about you and support your fashion line?
EM: Is there anything else you would like to add?
AM: I just want to say thank you for this opportunity! Thank you for even considering me a person worth interviewing. I am truly humbled. All Praise is to due Allah(God).
EM: All praise is due to Allah! I am so proud of you Sis! You and your work are most DEFINITELY worth introducing to the entire world!!! May Allah bless you with much success! Looking forward to watching the fashion show live! #CoveredGirl