First hijab designer to grace New York Fashion Week

A Muslim designer made history at NYFW as she presented a collection that had every look outfitted with head scarves.

Photo by: Instagram
Photo by: Instagram

Anniesa Hasibuan's collection at the New York Fashion Week. Image: Instagram/@anniesahasibuan

Indonesian-born, Anniesa Hasibuan has made history by becoming the first designer to showcase a collection in which all models wore headscarves, at the New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

Hasibuan, was given a standing ovation, a rare sight at fashion week, for her collection that included 48 looks, with 38 being ready-to-wear pieces and 10 evening gowns all complimented with headscarves.

Her designs are inspired from her home country Indonesia and is reflected in rich traditional jacquard fabric, intricate lace and embellishments.

“Famously known for its unique styles reflecting the rich cultural diversity, this Capital of Indonesia inspires Anniesa to once again present another remarkable face of Indonesian stunning ethnic mosaics”, she said on her Instagram post announcing her upcoming debut at the NYFW.

Although, Hasibuan is not the first Indonesian to be at NYFW, she is the first designer to showcase a collection where all models walked down the catwalk wearing full hijab, a traditional head covering worn by Muslim women.

The models were dressed from head to toe in either trousers, silk gowns or tunics which displayed a color pallet that was heavy in gold, brown, peach and green and caught the attention of the mainly non-muslim crowd.

“While many think fashion is frivolous, I believe in the power of fashion,” said Melanie Elturk, CEO of Haute Hijab in her blog post.

“It's just one of the outlets in which we make a cultural shift in today's society to normalize hijab in America - to break down stereotypes and demystify misconceptions. Last nights' show was a huge leap in that direction.”

Hasibuan began her career just over a year ago with couture fashion and recently branched out into ready-to-wear clothing completed with jewelry and shoes that are also manufactured by the Anniesa Hasibuan brand.

“My ready-to-wear line is simple and elegant, but still uses the luxurious materials that I am known for, and my wearers can now feel like princesses in their day-to-day lives, not just on special occasions,” she told The Jakarta Post.

Hasibuan considered her love for fashion as a hobby until friends and family encouraged her to open her own fashion boutique and since then her brand has gone global.

Her first debut on a big runway was in London, which is one of the four fashion capitals in the world. Hasibuan has also showcased her work at the Jakarta Fashion Week, Beverly Hills Haute Couture International Fashion show, the Golden Age Hollywood and the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week.

“People sometimes think that I’ve just jumped straight into going to NYFW, but it was a process. It has been a long journey which I have taken step-by-step,” she said.

NYFW is one of four major fashion weeks in the world and is considered the epitome of a fashion designer’s career due to its exposure to potential buyers, celebrities, fashion bloggers and influences. 

AUTHOR: Mishka Daries