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Muslim Designer @ NYFW

Muslim Designer @ NYFW

Muslim Designer Anniesa Hasibuan Had an All-Immigrant Cast of Models at NYFW

“Difference isn’t something we should be afraid of, it’s something we should embrace!”

Last season, Indonesian designer Anniesa Hasibuan made history by becoming the first-ever designer to present a New York Fashion Week collection with hijabs. Now, amidst a season where multiple brands have taken the opportunity to make political statements with their shows, the Muslim designer decided to respond to the anti-immigrant policies we currently face by casting her show entirely with immigrants and second-generation children of immigrants.

“For me, fashion is an open world. I don’t want to discriminate,” she told through a translator after her show last night. “The ability to express diversity in this business is a value that I hold on to. [Diversity] is what fashion is for me.”

“This show was the opportunity to show that Islam is beautiful,” the designer continued. “I believe everyone should be presented with equal opportunities, especially if he or she has passion, talents, and skills, because not all immigrants are ‘bad.’ We’ve proved they are beautiful and a great contribution to the States.”

During castings, models were interviewed about their thoughts on what is happening in politics. “About the Muslim ban, I think it made me really sad because, first of all, my mom is also Muslim—but I think that religion shouldn’t be an issue to immigrate,” one model, Chantal Kammerman, who is Swiss-African, explained in her casting video. Calling to mind the time she spent in a Syrian refugee camp last year, she wondered aloud, “Is it wrong to escape your country just to have a better life? To wish for a better future? To have a proper education?”

She continued, “It’s really important that we come together. That we fight for the good. And we rise. And we love. And we support each other. I’m going to fight for that as long as I can.”

Watch the entire fashion show here!

About The Author


Amira is a Canadian author, blogger and entrepreneur. She published her first novel 'Ecstasy' March 2014.

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