She’s a fashion designer, a social worker, a champion of charity and an all class stlylista. The creative Ashia Akram is the Abaya Collection Fashinista that every hijabi girl could do with.
Us hijabis know that it is difficult to buy stylish affordable abaya’s which represent anything other than plain black, oblong shaped ones. For me personally, being a petite size it was frustrating to buy an abaya from a merchant whom would be selling an item that simply did not fit – thus for most of us abaya wearers some form of adjustment or compromise to ‘the typical abaya‘ was always needed. Therefore, the Abaya Collection comes as a relief in accommodating a made to measure abaya cut service to suit your shape, height and comfort. Moreover, what makes Abaya Collection extra special is that this made to measure service is within an imprint of a classy chic design house that most Brtish Hijabi’s seek and need when going to work, events and party’s.
It is a delight therefore to have had the opportunity to interview Ashia Akram, the creative think tank behind Abaya Collection and share with you hijabinista ‘s the UK’s upcoming Abaya Designer:
Tell us a little bit about yourself and the Abaya Collection?
Oohh a little bit about boring old me…well I am a social worker so life is pretty hectic, but very rewarding as it is something I have great passion for and love to do. I get to meet people from all walks of life which inspires me a great deal when designing abaya’s for the Abaya Collection, mixing and fusing different cultural dress and designs is a great way to mark the new way in fashion. Diversity is something I want to promote in my abaya’s as the Ummah itself is diverse with people from all walks of life, colours, nationalities; I think this diversity is a great feature of life that we all should celebrate and respect. Abaya Collection all started when I wanted abaya’s that matched my personality, I was never into the whole ‘just wear black’ and wanted to have an abaya for literally every occasion.
2. What was the inspiration behind the Abaya Collection?
When I was 19 years old I started wearing the abaya, but could not find anything that matched my style or taste so decided to start designing some for myself. My intial abaya collection was a personal commitment in wanting a modest look yet inclusive of my style. Having many sisters compliment my variety of abaya’s and asking me to make some for them made me realise that there were other sisters who also needed this, so I wanted to ease their burden by sharing my creative flair that also accommodated their style needs like I had once wanted myself. The immense demand that grew from sisters meant the The Abaya Collection has grown to what it is today, a committed service inclusive of the style and needs of women who wear abaya’s .
3. How would you define Abaya Collection fashion?
Islam outlines a code of modesty and it does not command a certain style, colour, or fabric. The range of clothing you find among Muslim’s all over the world is thus a sign of the great diversity among the Muslim community. Abaya Collection is here to give you that great diversity, that is my definition of Abaya Collection.
4. Do you think that the Abaya Collection is relevant for British Muslims today?
I think it is very relevant, it is up to date so Sisters don’t feel they need to make a choice between modesty and style, they blend well, look great and most importantly feel great remaining modest and true to their values.
5. How long does it normally take you to construct a piece?
It takes 4-6 weeks as each abaya is not a mass production, but tailored to each individuals colours, tastes and adapted to any other design needs of the Client.
6.Where does your design inspiration come from?
For me designing is an inspiration and fusion of the current trends in both the western and eastern market. In particular, I love Karen Millen although many of the dresses are not outright modest but if you make them longer, give some room and voilà you have an abaya I think that looks at both markets….keeping in tune with what is out there.
7. What are the materials you use?
I deal with a range of fabrics, and constantly look out for fabrics of quality and
adaptability for seasons and occasions. This range of fabric includes; georgette,
chiffon, chiffon silk, raw silk, banarsi silk, korean georgette, short silk, every silk under the sun…love silk!
8.What Is Your Favourite Piece From the Abaya Collection
I love them all because of what they offer as an abaya wearer, but I especially adore the Pure Abaya.
9. What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
Being honest with customers and making sure they get the best out of the products they purchase and helping them as much as possible.
10. Any other information you would like you share with thebritishhijabi readers?
Be free to express yourselves and smile 🙂
From the excerpt of the interview with Ashia Akram above and my time talking with her it is clear that Ashia is as beautiful in personality as the abayas she has created. The tremendous effort in order to make this fusion of modesty with a creative cut possible since 2008 is one I am grateful for.
Even despite being let down and held back by service providers Ashia has stood firm on her ethos and Islamic principles in wanting quality as well as style for the Abaya Collection.To Ashia’s credit the recent Abaya Collelction showcased has become a facebook hit, with a growth spurge of over 4000 likes highlights that the Abaya Collection is becoming synonymous with the stylish hijabinista!
If you enjoy your abaya outfit to be modest, yet have that touch of femininity, style and uniqueness which is affordable for occasions than look no further than Ashia Akram’s Abaya Collection. Echoing the words of William Shakespeare’s Othello, “If Abaya Collection be the art of modesty, than pay on” !
Below are pictures capturing the sophisticated elegance of the latest Abaya Collection: