Tags: tamanna roashan, make-up artist
Kim Kardashian was in Dubai to promote her signature fragrance at Sephora in the Dubai Mall and open the first non-U.S. Millions of Milkshakes location, according to E! Online. That doesn’t mean she can’t have some fun shopping: Kardashian confirmed she tried on traditional burkas and even a niqab at a local marketplace on her Twitter account.
“That’s me!” she tweeted, adding a retweet of a picture of her trying on the garments.
People at the fitting told E! Online that the bodyguards had to protect Kardashian and her mom as people, who sounded like fans, called out to them. Kardashian also tried on caftans and tunics as well.
The Daily Mail said that Kardashian opted to buy one of the outfits and left the store wearing the burka, but opted to keep the face-covering veil off. The reality TV star flashed some leg as she walked around the marketplace. Still, it was a far cry from the sheer blouse she wore entering the store and her typical curve-hugging outfits.
According to Kardashian’s Twitter account, she’s really enjoying visiting the United Arab Emirates. “Good morning Dubai! I’m having the best time here! I got some amazing traditional souvenirs to bring home to the fam, they’re gonna love!” she tweeted on Oct. 13.
Tags: kim kardashian, dubai
Newsweek: When 20-year-old Hind Sahli, a brown-skinned young woman with dark shoulder-length hair, was growing up in Casablanca, she used to watch television shows like America’s Next Top Model and daydream about being on a fashion runway. Sahli was appropriately tall and thin, but in Morocco, the beauty ideal is a voluptuous figure. She was mercilessly teased for her spare frame and would soothe her hurt feelings by sashaying around her living room.
Sahli, who is both Arab and Muslim, was also growing up in a culture where modeling bumps up against significant cultural taboos. As a matter of religion and tradition, female modesty is expected—not the kind of provocative and exhibitionist behavior the mainstream fashion industry rewards.
As Sahli strutted around the room, her mother—a deeply religious homemaker who wears the hijab—was amused by these preoccupations. Sahli’s father, a policeman, was not. Still, neither of them had much to say. It was just make-believe, after all.
About that same time, in the tourist town of Nabeul, Tunisia, a young woman with the gamine features of Audrey Hepburn was having similarly fanciful thoughts. Hanaa Ben Abdesslem had always drawn lingering glances because of her soaring height and impossibly thin frame. The stares made her self-conscious and shy. But when she flipped through fashion magazines, she’d gaze at those “tall, thin, beautiful women, and I thought perhaps someday I could feel at ease.”
Five years ago, the Arab world was mostly disconnected from the global modeling network. In the absence of established agencies and international magazines, modeling wasn’t even a defined profession. Foreign travel was difficult both logistically and culturally. Then there were all manner of preconceived notions from around the globe about what it meant to be an Arab woman.
To accomplish their goals, Sahli and Ben Abdesslem would have to step outside the boundaries of tradition, leave the security of their families, and breach the confines of once unyielding cultures and prejudices—not just in the Arab world but beyond it.
And that’s precisely what they have done. In the last year, especially, both Sahli and Ben Abdesslem have made significant headway—between them, they have walked in shows for labels such as Givenchy, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vera Wang, and Phillip Lim. They have posed for Italian Vogue and French Vogue and shot advertisements for Top Shop and Lancôme. Though they have crossed paths only a handful of times, the two women are now inexorably linked through timing, culture, the assumptions others make about them, and their desire to represent 21st-century Arab women to the world.
The fashion industry tends to treat cultural differences as entertaining biography; ethnicity as little more than aesthetics. But the recent experiences of Sahli and Ben Abdesslem show them to be charting a new course on the global runway. For them, fashion is not about gossipy chatter and luxurious indulgences, or even primarily about commerce and entertainment. It is about empowerment, opportunity, and modernity. It is a chance for these young women to be seen, to be heard, and, quite simply, to be.
“It’s given me independence,” Ben Abdesslem says of her career. “It’s given me confidence in myself as a woman.”
Paradoxically, women from the Arab world have long been among the most voracious consumers of fashion. Indeed, the economics of the French haute couture industry relies on Middle Eastern customers. But their consumption is mostly private. The industry adores places such as Marrakech as backdrops for an exotic fashion shoot. Yet while the runways have welcomed models from South America, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the rest, Arab women have until now been largely absent.
Tags: new faces of islam, muslim models, sahli, hanaa ben abdesslem
Tags: alo hayati magazine
Read an exclusive interview with Beauty and the East TV’s founder and fashion designer Samira Atash! “Fashion-Easta” (the name of Samira’s upcoming original web fashion/beautyseries):
The fashion world is full of labels named after their designers: Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, to name a few. But it’s still rare to see a Muslim name on a popular brand of clothing in the west. Regardless, Samira Atash has managed to create two lines of stylish clothing, one of which proudly bears her name.
As a first generation immigrant who’s family moved from Afghanistan at the start of the Russian-Afghan war, Atash understood the value of hard work from a young age and showed promise as an entrepreneur even as a young child. Despite her passion for fashion she listened to her parents and agreed to get a formal education in the far less glamorous field of marketing, but after graduating from university she realized she couldn’t wait any longer and enrolled at the world renowned Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Today, Atash has an eponymous label of “east meets west” fashion and a modest but stylish line of maternity clothing under the label Its A Miracle. She has also recently launched an English speaking video blog called Beauty and the East which aims to unite Middle Eastern and South Asian culture with the West through entertainment and style.
Atash graciously agreed to this exclusive Q&A about her work for ILLUME:
What was the catalyst for you becoming a fashion designer?
Since I was a young girl, fashion has been a strong element in my life. My mother taught me to sew from a young age. I didn’t really think I would become a fashion designer until later in high school, but I didn’t pursue it because at the time, my parents pushed for a traditional education. I completed a 4 year program at GMU and received a B.S. in Marketing. I worked in the corporate world for a while before realizing that I wasn’t happy in it. So, I enrolled myself into Parsons in an intensive program, and launched a self-funded independent label in 2001 (SAMIRA * ATASH), followed by a maternity label in 2003 (It’s A Miracle Maternity).
You have a very strong point of view as a designer, but how do you describe your personal style aesthetic?
Personally, my style can be very classy, feminine, or folksy/artsy. I don’t like to follow trends, I like to make them. I wear colorful prints and beautiful embroideries just as much as I love a simple sheath dress paired with a futuristic jacket. It all depends on my mood. As a business, my collections have definitely evolved over the years, and reflect the many journeys I have been on personally, spiritually and emotionally.
Where do you find your design inspiration?
For the SAMIRA * ATASH line, I started designed evening wear for the masses, but now it has evolved into a “Silk Road Style” label, with inspiration coming from Eastern tribal embroideries and influences. I design clothes for both women and men. For the It’s A Miracle Maternity label, inspiration comes from creating modest and stylish designs that pregnant women need. As a new mom, I now have a better understanding of maternity clothing design that is not only fashionable, but practical.
What do you think women want when it comes to their clothing?
I think it’s different for everyone, but in general, women want to feel beautiful, comfortable and stylish. These days, with the economy the way it is, they also want to buy quality, investment pieces that they can wear for years.
Who are some of your personal favorite designers?
Chanel, Anna Sui, Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa, Catherine Malandrino, Valentino. They have a specific point of view and never go too far from it.
What made you decide to launch a maternity line?
About 7 years ago, I started seeing an untapped market – women who like to look stylish without showing too much skin. I launched a maternity line that incorporated a lot of modest pieces – higher necklines, long sleeves, long hemlines – that did very well with mainstream women, as well as pockets of women that adhere to clothing guidelines, including Muslim, Jewish and Christian. I will be re-launching soon with stylish, modest maternity & nursing pieces that Muslim women will welcome and need. Stay tuned!
What do you think makes your maternity line unique and special compared to the standard styles you see in stores like A Pea in the Pod or Motherhood Maternity?
I have designed many signature pieces that appeal to pregnant women who want stylish, classy, and modest clothes. For example, a line of maternity tees called “Undercover” is cut in a way to appeal to these women and have been a smash hit with our company. A new maternity and nursing collection will be available soon.
What advice would you give to other young women who are interested in pursuing a career in fashion?
Get a lot of technical training, learn the business side of fashion, work with fashion companies to gain valuable experience, and be prepared to work very hard. It’s a tough, competitive industry so you have to have thick skin.
What was the inspiration behind your web tv network Beauty and the East TV?
In addition to fashion, I have experience both in front of and behind the cameras. My passion is creating - fashion, tv, film, music, business, marketing- you name it. Particularly after 9/11, I wanted to be involved in projects that unite the East with West, especially since there are so many misconceptions about the Middle East and Muslims. I truly believe that if we create a strong voice in the arts in entertainment, or create our own media, then we can change the stereotypes that are out there.
So, in 2009, I launched Beauty and the East TV, a hip, English-language web tv network that unites cultures through entertainment. It features popular and emerging actors, musicians, comedians, designers, film-makers, and more - all from diverse religions, backgrounds, and cultures. Positive connections are created, and stereotypes are broken, so the world can see “the beauty of the east”.
This fall and winter, we will be organizing a comedy tour in LA, NYC and D.C. with PlanetPix Media called “FUNATICAL: Taking Comedy to the Extreme!” The tour will include famous Muslim, Jewish and Christian comedians who will laugh at themselves and each other, because the joy of laughter is universal. The goal, of course, is to break stereotypes and unite cultures through comedy. We need that more than ever today.
Tags: Samira Atash, Beauty and the East TV, It's A Miracle Maternity, PlanetPix Media, Funatical Comedy
She was cut from last week’s episode of Shear Genius on Bravo for what the judges called a “safe” updo, but Arzo is a talent to watch. Born in Afghanistan, raised in New York City and currently residing in San Francisco, Arzo’s experience includes platform education, traditional hairdressing and editorial work. Arzo has styled the likes of Rose McGowan and Ally Hilfiger. Editorially she has worked with clients that include Bed Bath & Beyond, MTV and Hood Star Magazine. Arzo has owned and operated a hair studio in Pleasanton, California for fifteen years.
Tags: shear genius, bravo, arzo
Born in 1973 in Kabul, Mezghan Hussainy left Afghanistan with her family after the Soviet invasion in 1979. In the U.S., she worked as a dental hygenist and a part-time actress before stumbling into the world of make-up artistry when a friend asked her to work at Robinson’s May in Los Angeles. Her big break came when she was hired as the makeup artist to actor John O’Hurley on the game show, To Tell The Truth. In 2003, she landed a position on the set of American Idol, and is now chief make-up artist to Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell, as well as So You Think You Can Dance and Family Feud. She also launched her own make-up line Me by Mezghan, which has been featured on QVC.
In recent days, Mezghan has been linked to the curmudgeon Simon and it looks like things are getting quite serious. According to The Daily Mail (UK), “She and Cowell enjoyed a chemistry from the start and she would rave to friends about his charisma and how ‘funny’ she found him.” The couple were spotted this weekend as they left the upscale Mr. Chow restaurant in London.
Tags: mezghan hussainy, simon cowell, american idol
Got talent? Beauty and the East TV is looking for emerging Muslim musicians, comedians, actors, film-makers, designers, dancers, and hosts to feature in our new episodes! For details, watch this video:
Face it. Most Middle-Easterners have thick, wavy, or curly hair that sometimes gets very unruly. Here’s 9 steps to get the shiny, straight hair you sometimes long for.