Salaams and Salations Beauties,
It is another installment of 'Beauty on the Outside'. Now we're featuring Najm Designs. I have LOVED Najm Designs for YEARS. For those who live in the Maryland and KNOW about the Sister's conference here, you've seen her prints and grafics. My girls and I have 3 of her bags. With out further typing... I present you with NAJM Designs.
BU: What's the philosophy behind NAJM*?(meaning star, also the 53rd Surah in Qur'an)
NJ: My slogan is "Design With Purpose". The concept here is even our dress is a form of worship and serves a purpose for us as women so it should mean something. I design practical, comfortable clothing. I also design a graphic line that expresses the pride and ideals of the muslimah ummah as a whole.
BU: Have you always had an eye for fashion?
ND:I have always been an artistic soul, mashaAllah. I was in the Arts Honors Society in HS and also performed my poetry at various events. I knew I wanted to have a creative career and use my talents. Allah blessed me to take my shahadah, and I learned about human images being haram. At the same time becoming a hijabi and did not like the products available in my local stores. I realized my purpose, and enrolled in college and majored in Fashion Design with a goal of bringing stylish islamic clothing to my sisters.
BU: What types of products to you provide for your line?
ND: I provide Modest clothing for women (jilbabs,dresses, skirts, tunics, skirts & wideleg pants). I also have a graphic line which consists of tees (mens,womens,childrens), bags(totes, messengers, bookbags), accessories (jewelry, key chains, mousepads, travel mugs) that have bold, yet fun islamic themed sayings on them. (ex. "Hijabi-Liberated & Educated", "America's Next Top Muslimah", "Pretty, Proud & Muslim", "Righteous Wife-I make you better"
BU: What drives you to bring modest affordable fashions to American sisters?
ND: My drive comes from only Allah(swt)! He's blessed me with the creative talent to come up with these ideas and put them out there. Also I feed off the energy of my muslimah sisters. We have all experienced the discrimination and stereotypes that are attached to muslimahs and hijabis. I wanted to develop a way to speak out against it without even opening your mouth. As one customer said "just talk to the bag!". Sisters have personally thanked me and told me my bags have "broke the ice" among non-muslim co-workers and family members, who just didn't know they felt so much passion about wearing hijab. They thought it was a forced decision and that there was no way they voluntarily enjoyed wearing hijab.
BU: What is your definition of beauty?
ND: My definition of beauty is being pleasing in mind, body, and soul. To be truly beautiful all 3 must be in place. I also want to note that I meet beautiful sisters regularly that wear a variety of displeasing clothing(ie. too tight, wrinkled, stained or ripped). It is absolutely possible to obey Allah and be modest, as well as being conscience that our outer appearances are a dawah to other people. Be proud of who you are as a person, be proud of your commitment to Allah as a Hijabi, be proud to be a role model to your daughters and be proud of the status Allah have given you in our ummah! There is no excuse to have low self-esteem and walk around looking like a hot mess! You don't have to be the "designer diva" muslimah type,lol it's not about that. And if you need help finding your islamic fashion identity there are designers out there like me, who are passionate about what we do and have the expertise to help you look and feel beautiful.
You can also put my contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org, coming soon:www.najmdesigns.com
JazakAllah khair for interviewing me and including me. Please let me know when it comes out. Great to see you as usual, talk to you soon, inshaAllah.
Beautiful Ummah thanks Sister Najmah for the interview. We also thank her for comming out to our 'Designer's Delight' in NYC a couple of weeks ago. Insha~allah we'll see her soon.