Merve Emine Şerbetçi
This month we have spoken with famous Swedish Hijab designer and social media influencer, Iman Aldebe. She is not the fashionista you are used to, with her genuine modesty and gifted creativity she stands out amongst others. We mentioned her hijab designs and she gave the best fashion advice for you. Here is what she said for Aysha readers…
- WHAT IS THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF YOUR BLOG?
I want to show a positive image of Muslim women especially in the Western community. I want to show that a Muslim woman is strong, powerful and able to take care of herself inside and out and isn’t oppressed. She could make her own decisions.
- WHAT IS THE BEST FASHION ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
To make it simple, you could start with one item that always sells out and then sell another item you think would be as popular. Less is more in a competitive world.
- HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE PERFECT OUTFIT FOR A MUSLIM GIRL?
To always keep a smile on her face because that will open people’s heart for Islam. And a cool hijab or a turban of course… And you should focus on the accessories, they always tell a story.
- WHEN AND HOW HAVE DECIDED TO WEAR HIJAB?
I was 7 years old and wanted to wear the hijab because my sister and mum already wore it but my dad thought i was too young to wear it. You know how teenagers are, the more he didn’t want me to wear it; I fought for it even more.
- WHAT PIECES DO YOU INVEST AND WHY?
Shoes, because they are the first thing I look at when i meet new people. Nice shoes that stands out show a bit of a person’s true characteristic. Moreover; the Turban or the Hijab, you could wear it in many playful ways, and it´s make the person stand out in an edgy and a positive artistic way that no one could really hate on.
- HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR ONLINE AND REAL LIFE?
I always try to do stuff for me and not only to show on social media. I try to be happy without getting likes or doing things in a certain way so people could like me. I worked so hard through the years from all the love and hate comments on social media to just Love me and learned that´s what´s really matters. That is you have to love “you”. People notice that and are attracted to the confidence you show, that you are enough exactly as you are. Sometimes I even take a small break from social media to breathe and remember why I’m public online and what my reasons are. You need to have a reason that you could be proud out. A reason could be that you give a positive image on Muslims. Or, that you want to strengthen Muslim women around the world.
- WHAT DOES WEARING HIJAB MAKES YO FEEL? PUBLICLY OR PERSONALLY HAS IT CHANGED ANYTHING?
Yes it made me stand out from the crowd. I feel the Hijab is wrapping up my soul and that it keeps me safe. I have never felt threatened or bad wearing it. I have been curious in not wearing it and wondering how I would feel, since I wore it since I was 7 I don’t really know something else. For me the hijab or the turban is a part of me, my personality and a big part of my faith.
- DO YOU THINK BEING A HIJABI ICON BRINGS RESPONSIBILITY? HOW DO YOU MANAGE WITH IT?
Yes, many Hijabi influencers focus on the huge amount followers and likes and forget to be humble and to show their personality. Their biggest concern is how many good pictures they could take today and not focusing how they could give confidence or make a huge change in people’s lives. Many Muslim girls and women are looking for a deeper meaning in life certainly when the Islamophobia is rising in the West and they are looking for known hijabis to speak up for them. Sadly they are few, but I hope the new generations will spread light over us all and eliminate Islamophobia and hate.
When I lost my brother, two years ago, it was even more important for me to speak up for Muslim women and to be their voice in the Western society. I realized the only thing you leave behind you in this world is the difference you made for other people. For other Muslims in our world… And I started to write articles, speak in college, universities and for organizations about positive things Muslims actually do, about modest fashion and about to dear to create a market in the western society for trendy and modest women.
Before that I have always felt that I had a mission, since I was 6 years old that was to change the status of the Muslim women. And I was sketching different designs for Muslim women and decided in an early age that I’m going to become a designer. And I started to design hijab and clothes for them and then I got a request to design the first police veil, military view and a firefighter veil in Sweden. And now more women in hijab apply for those types of work, it’s amazing. How many door you could open through art and fashion and giving Muslim women a possibility to be a part of jobs for the Swedish Government.
- WHAT DO YOU WONDER ABOUT ISTANBUL MOST?
I wonder if the Turban will ever be popular for Turkish women. And if the Turkish women is interested in Swedish designs 🙂
- ANY WORDS FOR YOUNG AND STYLISH READERS OF AYSHA.COM.TR?
Be humble in everything you do. Because that will make people like you and want to work with you. Being snobby makes you lose opportunities. And don’t compare yourself with others. That´s the biggest mistake many people do, they lose themselves while they are comparing their self with others. And dress to stand out, people will remember you easily. And have you in their mind when a good possibility or work effort shows up.