Meet Aydha Mehnaz, a fashion blogger and professional stylist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her journey has taken her around the world including to Malaysia, Turkey and Dubai. If you are based in Dhaka and pass by billboards on the fashion high streets, Aydha was most likely involved in those projects. Check out her hijab video tutorials and lookbook among other inspiring tabs on www.minazification.com. Get to know this inspiring talent and aspiring designer here:
R.Tell us when and why you created Minazification? What inspired you to come up with the name?
M.I created my blog Minazification two years ago, in 2013, during the summer. When I was young, I always had an interest in fashion, my aunt (my mother’s sister-in law) whom in Bangla I refer to as “bowma,” used to dress me up and take pictures of me. Fast-forward 15 years when I started wearing the hijab) I faced this challenge of incorporating fashion into modest wear. That’s when Minazification was born. It always has been and still is a documentation of my own personal style as it evolves in the course of life. I love to create and put my imagination to life even if it’s a single post for the blog, tutorials for YouTube or when I occasionally take up styling projects for other brands. Alhamdulillah, I am blessed that I have been able to connect and make friends with so many sisters around the world who shares similar style interests. We are like our very own Minazification community
The name Minazification came to existence kind of in a very boring way. Whenever people ask about the name, they expect some sort of an exciting story behind it! When I was writing down my username for creating my youtube channel, I wrote “minaz” which was previously my msn messenger name (remember the messenger days!?!) and the search box suggestion automatically generated “minazification” and viola!
You gotta love these search boxes!
R.What designers do you admire or look up to and why?
M.I love things when simplicity makes it stand out from the crowd. Phoebe Philo’s work for Celine is one of the biggest inspirations for my own personal style. I like styles that are a bit mysterious and speak of true elegance. Among the Asian designers I absolutely adore Restu Aggraini’s simple and bold take on modest fashion and also Hana Tajima, who previously collaborated with UNIQLO to launch her line of modest wear exclusively for Malaysia.
R.How do you find your inspiration for your blogposts /styling projects?
M.My inspirations come from the most random places you can imagine of. Earlier this evening, I was just looking around at a basement car parking because it seemed like a really cool spot to take photos with all its bright exit signs. When you’re creative and really passionate about something, your brain stimulates into thinking about the next big project.
R.Tell us about your most recent projects and upcoming projects.
M.I work part-time as a marketing executive in one of the local main-stream fashion companies based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. My recent styling for their winter campaign just went up on the billboards a few days ago so it’s really cool to see my work everywhere in the city. As per blogging, I have previously collaborated with many local companies here ranging from hand bags, shoes to dresses. My recent collab for Minazification was with a local modest fashion brand where I directed and styled their winter campaign. I also work actively with international modest labels and brands like Dubai’s Rabia Z and Turkey’s Modanisa.
I just came back from Kuala Lumpur where I went to speak at Moslema in Style international Fashion Forward and already in the process of preparing for a few more blog collaborations for the coming days.
R.What does fashion, in general, mean to you?
M.Not to sound very cliché like or superficial, but fashion to me is very much figuring what you like or don’t like to wear. If you are properly dressed, it adds up to your level of confidence when you speak. Trying to define and find my own personal style is more important to me than trying to make a fashion statement.
R.What is your usual attire for home, work or just a walk on the high street?
M.At home, I usually wear something that is very comfortable and old. I love how fabric feels after a couple of washes, how soft they become when I have worn them for a while. For work or random daily activities, I try to keep it semi-casual with long tunics, maxi dresses and salwar kameez. But for formal occasions, like presentations, I try to put on a suit or wear a subtle colored saree.
R.Where is your office based?
M.Most of my work for Minazification is either outside on location, where I am shooting or on the Internet. So my bedroom is sort of like a semi-office with bed on one corner of the room and my workstation on the other. But the company that I do part-time for i based in Dhaka.
R.Do you incorporate your Bangladeshi background into your fashion?
M.Yes, mostly on special occasions like someone’s wedding or somewhere I have to dress traditionally. I like incorporating different ways to wear hijab with something as traditional as a saree. It is the number one request that I get for tutorials on my youtube channel, like “how to accessorize different hijab styles with sarees, traditional outfits etc.”
R.What are your fashion goals?
M.Minazification is still a blog, but insha’Allah, in the near future, I would like to design my own line of scarves. Since most of my work is very closely related to working with designers and their design teams, I am able to watch and learn about design and technical things about it even though I don’t formally have a degree in fashion.