read in: 11 min
The Islamic Fashion Weekend Features Designer Adilah Muhammad of The Adilah Muhammad Collection
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?
Adilah Muhammad (AM): God, patience and confidence. I would even say self-determination and strength. You deal with a lot when you own a business, but especially when you own a clothing line. There is a lot of things that are unexpected factors of business. You have to learn how to stand your ground on the principles of your company. You have to teach people how to believe in your company the way you believe in it. You have to push yourself the extra mile when things get tough, and boy does it get tough. But when you realize what you have, with strong faith in God and the power that you know God has given you, you will be an unstoppable force.
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?
AM: I always pre-wash the fabric I use. ALWAYS! Because there is so much that gets passed down through fabric that is unseen. Bedbugs, illness, rashes. Who has time for that? I know I don’t, and I am the first to handle the fabric after purchase.
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?
AM: I don’t believe in choosing the cheapest route when it comes to clothes. I don’t necessarily believe in choosing the expensive route as well. But what I believe in is quality. That means if I know a brand of thread is the best quality I will get it. If I know that fabric extremely cheap because of its horribly low thread count, I will not get it. I source all of my things based of things I look for in clothing at the store, which is quality, comfort and style.
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?
AM: Branding was a huge thing for me. I am really huge on that. Images tell the story, the narrative you want your company to have. And when it came to my own line, I was stumped! In some ways, it was like writers’ block. And then when I knew what I was going to say, I knew I wasn’t as well-equipped to execute my vision. To execute that vision, it would cost more money that I didn’t factor. My best friend just happens to be a graphic designer, who now designs with a cosmetics line. Thanks to her, she has helped tremendous in branding my images for my company.
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?
AM: I think this opportunity is literally my coming out show. I think this opportunity is giving me an outlet to express myself and to show people how I feel when it comes to a Muslim woman’s sense of style. This show is really groundbreaking because there are very, very, very few fashion events geared towards Muslim women.
EM: What are you most excited about regarding that weekend?
AM: I’m honestly just excited about the whole weekend in general. This is my first runway show in front a Muslim community. As long as I have been around, I have never had an opportunity to show case my work in front of us and I have been designing since I was nine. I still have butterflies in my stomach when I think about the show.
EM: How would you describe you style of design?
AM: I don’t know if I have exactly found one word yet to describe my style. If I had to pin my style into categories of clothes, I would describe myself as a simple-glamourous dressing hippie who loves street style. Maybe it is just shorter if I call my style as eclectic.
EM: What can attendees expect to see on the runway from your line?
AM: Anyone who knows me knows that lace will be on the runway. However, what they don’t know is that leather and fur may make an appearance as well. Just know that it will be very youthful.
EM: To anyone, male or female, seeking to start their own line, what words would you offer them?
AM: RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!!! It takes a lot of background work to start your own line before you actually start it. You have to know what will work for your brand; you have to know if your brand will work. You have to know how to make people more than just interested in your brand, and how to hook them for the long haul.
To learn more about The Islamic Fashion Weekend and to purchase tickets, click on the image below!