Urban Hijab® is an amalgamation of what it means to be Muslim and American. I immigrated to the USA at a young age and was raised in a conservative Roman Catholic family. One of the many benefits of growing up in New York City is the multi-cultural environment found therein. Accepting Islam brought a new dimension to my personal growth. Traveling to other regions of the world has given me a better appreciation of what makes us human and American.
Like many immigrants I am fortunate to intimately know more than one culture. Growing up bi-cultural has allowed me to understand from early on that there is usually more than one way to see a situation. Raised Christian Roman Catholic in a Lutheran-Protestant environment gave me an appreciation that Christianity is different from one sect to another. I learned to balance what I understood it meant to be Haitian and American. I also had to learn what it means to be a “Black” person in the American sense and in the end, I developed my own style.
I have learned to live among people from all over the world, appreciating our commonalities and tolerating our differences. New York City allows a person to experience other cultures, albeit at a distance. In high school and at university, I have met students from around the globe; studied several languages, tasted foods from various countries and have learned to eat in the manner appropriate to those cultures. A very important lesson gained is; what is good for one may not be good for all.
My first exposure to Islam was at university. Although the Muslims I met at the time were African-Americans, to me they appeared alien. I was sure the women were suffocating under their layers of clothes. Although I pitied Muslim women for what I believed was their suffering under their layers of clothing, I curiously never felt the same about nuns who wore religious habits.
Years later, I met Muslims who are children of immigrant parents. I asked them to explain their religion to me and my questions were answered to great satisfaction. Shortly afterwards curiosity got the best of me and I requested a copy of the Qur’an and was supplied with an English language translation. It was soon thereafter that I stopped being a Christian and some time later I accepted Islam.
I have always been a person who enjoys research and problem solving. After starting a career in science I purchased a sewing machine and several How to Sew books and taught myself to sew. As a new Muslim, I initially purchased clothing at local Muslim stores, but came away disappointed at the selections. Their styles did not match what I wanted and the quality of the sewing is poor. I began to sew my own clothes and right away received compliments on my homemade attire from Muslims and non-Muslims. Friends encouraged to me to start a clothing design company.
In 2006 I established Urban Hijab® and worked to develop the brand and style. I lost a well-paying job in science in 2008 and with the extra free time I decided to move Urban Hijab® into a more active state. I started pages on social networking sites, produce more clothes at home and in 2009 applied for and received a trademark. The website, launched in November 2009 has received a greater than 90% positive feedback; offers to participate in fashion and trunk shows; vending events and conferences; request for interviews from local journalists and documentarians and to have our products reviewed by Muslim fashion blogs.
The message has gone around the world that Urban Hijab® offers better lifestyle choices for the discerning and intelligent client. In the words of many, Urban Hijab® provides what American and Western Muslim women want and need; Islamic clothes that allows the wearer to look like she fits into her modern and urban context.
Urban Hijab® is an American brand. Like America, Urban Hijab® looks at the global picture, selects what is best, incorporates it into the brand and makes it our own. We broadly define ourselves. We are strong and confident, we are east and west, we are north and south. We are urban and urbane. We are like bread. Just as there are many cultures there are many bread recipes; we do not limit ourselves to only one. Urban Hijab® brings together the multi-cultural heritage and experience that is uniquely American. It is this uniqueness which allows Urban Hijab® to offer you better lifestyle choices, alhamdulillaahi Rabbi 3aalamin: All praise is for Allaah, Lord of all that exists.
Your Life. Your Choice. Your Style.™
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