KUALA LUMPUR – Like most women, Muslim ladies too love to look stylish and graceful, and with boutiques specialising in fashionable Islamic attire mushrooming in most towns, they are spoilt for choice.
Their clothing choices have been keeping abreast with the passage of time, and it has become a popular trend for Muslim women to experiment with fashion and, at the same time, fulfil the requirements of the dress code expected of their religion.
It is almost phenomenal the way modern and elegant yet modest Islamic garments have emerged as a major attraction, to the extent that fashion shows such as the prestigious Islamic Fashion Festival, under the patronage of the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, are being staged to promote Islamic fashion to the world.
HELPING HAND FOR WOMEN
Knowing fully well the potential of the Islamic fashion industry, the husband-and-wife team of Mohd Faizal Mat Nayan and Nor Azyliana Ahmad Azam, both 31, have plunged into it by setting up an online boutique called Fana Couture, which offers customers a wide array of stylish choices.
Mohd Faizal said his reason for establishing the boutique was not motivated by profit but, rather, the desire to help resolve certain issues Muslim women usually face when they shop for clothes.
“Our intention is to help women, especially nursing mothers, to get the correct attire. They too want to look stylish but they find it hard to get clothes that are suitable for them. Our boutique offers nursing-friendly and ablution-friendly robes to facilitate women to nurse their babies and perform their ablutions.
“Usually boutiques that specialise in branded attire do not offer clothes with such features. We are thankful that we’ve been receiving encouraging response,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.
To ensure that their boutique’s offerings were up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, Mohd Faizal and Nor Azyliana constantly monitor the local and international fashion scenes.
Together with their eight employees, including a fashion designer and tailor, the husband-and-wife team come up with inspirations and ideas for their collections of fashionable robes, scarves and headgear, using high-quality imported fabrics.
The fabrics are sourced from Dubai, Korea, Thailand, China, Indonesia and Vietnam to ensure that their customers get only the best products.
EXPANDING THE BUSINESS
Acknowledging that Islamic attire and headgear were very saleable in the market, Nor Azyliana said Fana Couture’s collections of robes and headgear have managed to win the hearts of the local women, and even those in Hong Kong, Singapore, France and Brunei.
The couple, who also own a brick-and-mortar store in Selayang, Selangor, specialising in Islamic fashion, intend to open a similar boutique in Johor.
Meanwhile, actress and model Puteri Sarah Liyana Megat Kamaruddin, 29, said the wide availability of Islamic attire in the market has made it clear to all how well accepted it was by the people.
“Now we are seeing more artistes and members of the community wearing Islamic attire and realising that it’s the best as it not only covers our body adequately but is also comfortable enough for us to perform our religious obligations,” she said.
Dismissing the perception that Islamic fashion was unattractive, Puteri Sarah Liyana, who is the wife of popular movie director Syamsul Yusof, said there were a number of boutiques in the market that offered clothes and headgear made of fabrics that came in eye-catching designs and colours. – Bernama