When I was invited to Jakarta to attend the International Islamic Fair, I felt overwhelmed and excited at the same time. Based and raised in Europe, I was afraid not to meet the expectation of a market which is so advanced in the modest fashion sector. Nevertheless, I felt honoured to visit the country with the highest muslim population of the world. I was thinking of Anniesa Hasibuan who made history by showing a breathtaking collection of full covered hijabis at the NYFW. I was thinking of Hannie Hananto whom I already met in Istanbul. She has a professional background in architecture which is expressed in her designs through the high affinity to shapes, proportions and geometrical patterns. Being a daugher of an architect myself, this aesthetical approach and concept is something I grew up with and therefore means a lot to me.
Feeling blue – the runway show!
Intimidated by this high level of expertise, I arrived in Jakarta a couple of days before my show. I had the opportunity to meet the other attendees and we all connected so good with each other. I will especially remember the great time I spent with my dear friend Iman the founder and designer of Gulshaan a modest and ethical fashion brand from France, Rania Qureshi who is part of the TV cast in „Say yes ro the dress – Canada“ and Samah Safi an award-winning filmmaker based in the US. It was so interesting to discuss the current situation of hijabi sisters in the world for example how we are perceived as a potential danger when we are travelling by plane :/.
Photo shooting at the showroom of Anniesa Hasibuan – photographer credit to @aldiphoto
Throughout the days, I gave various interviews and tried not to embarras myself too much which was quiet difficult. I even participated at a panel discussion about modest fashion – subhanAllah. But through these interactions I was able to learn so much about the needs and the demands of the local market which will help me to develop Zamzam Zalila further to a global brand in shaa Allah.
MashaAllah – looking like a doll in Zamzam Zalila at the meet and greet of Anniesa Hasibuan
Before my show, Anniesa Hasibuan was so generous to provide us her showroom for a shooting and a meet and greet with the major Indonesian press. The next day we were even allowed to present two outfits of our collection at her own meet and greet where we also met bloggers like Nada and Heba Jay. Once again this showed me how important it is to support each other within the community to reach independence and empowerment. I think most of us are looking for a normal live where being a Muslim or wearing a hijab is normal(ised). But instead of trying so hard to please others, we should try to be confident enough to build up our world with our shared capacities. One day our contribution will be so big that people cannot ignore it any longer and they will see that it is normal, as we well have outsanding persons in every field in shaa Allah.
The runway show itself was a success, alhamdulillah. The theme was „Blues“ and I think I hit the taste with a cosmopolitan style that you can wear in London, Dakar or Jakarta.
In the evening Hannie Hananto was so kind to invite us all for diner where we were able to exchange ideas and to reflect on our experience we made. For me personally, I was so impressed how humble in particular these two ladies were in spite of their huge success. I was deeply touched by the support and the amazing hospitality we enjoyed thanks to them. This attititude is definitely something I look up to!
International designer gathering around Franka Soeria the beautiful soul who brings people together