The Islamic Fashion Weekend Features Designer, Sahar Rahman of Orchid Allure
Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): You are doing what thousands desire to do, and that’s to own your business and clothing line. What does it take to not only visualize such an endeavor but to manifest it and launch it for the world to see?
Sahar Rahman (SR): I love being Muslim and the only thing I love more is dressing modestly in a way that pleases Allah. He asks us in the Quran to dress in a manner that we may be known (Quran 33:59) and that’s what I want my designs to show, the beauty of being Muslim.
EM: One concern that many in fashion are faced with are the lead and hazardous chemicals in the clothing/fabric. In what ways are you ensuring the quality as well as safety of your line?
SR: We have many safety checks on our fabric and factory. We are lead and hazardous chemical free.
EM: There used to be a time where clothes could be passed down, hand-me-downs among siblings or a wedding gown from grandmother. However, in today’s industry it seems like clothing is made to fall apart despite the high dollar price tag. Along with durability what are some other core values you uphold for your line?
SR: All of our designs are pass down worthy. Many a mother will wear our dresses and gladly pass it down to daughter and granddaughter. We believe in durability and quality for your dollar.
EM: Many on the outside generally see the end product and the glamorous side of owning a clothing line. What were a few ‘reality checks’ you were given that you didn’t foresee? How did you adjust and overcome those challenges?
SR: Starting a clothing line is hard work. I repeat it is hard work. Reality check, everyone of your designs represents you. From the label to the sizing to the color of the fabric to the hang tag, it represents you. Make sure you love the way your designs look. I didn’t really understand this until I saw one of my designs on a client and I didn’t like the way it looked. I immediately adjusted my designs. Now, if I don’t love it, you won’t see it.
EM: This coming October your line will be featured and celebrated in the Islamic Fashion Weekend in Atlanta hosted by Sister Carmen Muhammad of Al-Nisa Designs. What does this opportunity and event mean to you?
SR: This is a very special opportunity for me. I’ve never shown my designs to a primarily Nation of Islam audience. I’m very excited and pray they love my designs.
EM: What are you most excited about regarding that weekend?
SR: I’m excited about meeting new sisters, meeting new clientele and just being a part of a wonderful event. I’m excited about the audience viewing my designs.
EM: How would you describe you style of design?
SR: Our designs are very feminine dresses for a variety of events and occasions.
EM: What can attendees expect to see on the runway from your line?
SR: Attendees can expect to see a collection of beautiful, feminine affordable dresses that will wow them.
EM: To anyone, male or female, seeking to start their own line, what words would you offer them?
SR: Muslims spend $260 billion a year on clothing. My advice is to have clothes that will reach a wide market. Be able to take your designs anywhere and have Muslim women fall in love with them. Know your audience, what do they like, what do they wear and how can you meet their fashion needs. When Muslim women think fashion, you want them to think of your designs.