“The way you dress is inspired by the way you live,” is the theme of Haya Fashions by Rasheedah Muhammad. She is an established fashion designer who believes that fashion tells a story. Here is hers:
R.Salaam Rasheedah! How would you describe the relationship between the above quote “The way you dress is inspired by the way you live” and the theme of your fashion line?
Ra. Walaikumsalaam. Your attire can tell a story about you. Haya is derived from the root word, “hayat,” which means modesty, humbleness, shyness in Arabic.
R.What does the word “fashion” mean to you?
Ra. Fashion to me is a lifestyle. As Muslim women, we even put on our best to pray to our Creator. Fashion tells a story wether it’s about love, activism, pride and culture. It takes on a form of its own.
R.Where does your inspiration derive from?
Ra. My mom taught me how to sew when I was 13. I told her I wanted to go to the mall and she said, “Well, that’s not happening, if you want new clothes come learn how to make your own.” So I did. I worked at a retail corporate company for about eight years and I love the product, but I always had to layer up, change the style or even just wear that attire to work. It wasn’t attire I was happy to say I can rock this at Jummah (Friday prayer) or even for salat (prayer time). I wasn’t happy about that. I wanted my Lord to be pleased with me and my choice of garments. So I decided to take a chance and go in business for myself.
R.Throughout your journey from an aspiring fashion designer to a professional one, what have you discovered about yourself?
Ra. I’ve discovered that I’m complicated and I embrace that. I’m very meticulous, it has to be perfect. I’ve also realize that I had to have a hard start and a hard stop. I create for all modest women, I take that very seriously. I’ve become very conscious of my responsibility to style women, each garment is made with intention and prayer. I want Allah to be pleased with us all.
R.Which fashion icons inspire you?
Ra. There are so many, but one of my favorites is Sheikha Moza for the grace and detail in what she wears, exactly how she wears it and what she’s doing in those garments. More of my inspiration comes from my fellow modest women who are not afraid to be bold, wearing vibrant colors, being different, being unique, true to their faith, to their cultures and to themselves.
R.If there is one advice you could give an aspiring fashion designer, what would it be?
Ra. I would say make time to increase your faith. Study your field, be an expert in it. Keep a circle of like-minded or wiser people around you. Make as many mistakes as you can and keep striving to do your best and give back. Know how powerful you are as a designer.
R.How can we follow your journey and where can we purchase your products? (ex. social media links, website, etc.)