The internet offers a low cost and low risk platform for emerging designer-retailers who are looking to test and develop their product in the marketplace. Facebook, for many, has become a popular starting point as a tool for generating new interest and helping to facilitate the physical retailing experience. Women are mixing and matching outfits sourced online from Islamic, modest and mainstream stores and adapting these to accommodate their faith as well as the latest fashion trends.
Another tool which is becoming increasingly influential to the success of designer-retailers, both online and offline, is blogging. In 2010 Delina Darusman-Gala, aka Haiina Love, founded what is thought to be the first Australian Muslim women’s fashion blog, ‘MuslimStreetFashion’ (MSF). MSF features Delina’s fashion tips on dressing both stylishly and modestly, including personal fashion stories, ideas for creative hijab tying and other styling hints.
Mya Arifin is another Australian Muslim fashion blogger with a strong following. “My blog ‘MyazFashionSpot’ is mostly directed to Muslim women about fashion and how to dress stylishly but modestly at the same time. In saying that, it’s not only for Muslim women, but anyone looking for tips about how to dress modestly and different looks and outfits to put together.”
Apart from driving new trends, fashion blogs provide a ‘safe’ social space for like-minded women to test their thoughts around fashionable and modest attire. “[The blog] inspires you to get a bit creative”, said one follower. “I go on there for inspiration and to see what other people are doing and saying.”
In their words
“All my friends used to ask me where I purchased my clothes from, so I decided to set up the blog to help them out … I also wanted to let them know that Muslim women can be stylish as well.” Delina
“I try to dress as modestly as I can in my style even though I do dress a little bit differently to a lot of Muslim hijabis. I do try to keep it as modest as I can, but also different and creative.” Mya
“I would describe my style as quirky, personal, what I feel like on the day. A lot of bright colours. I shop anywhere where there’s a bargain. My favourite price is probably $10. Anything that has a $10 sign, I’m there.” Delina
“I like to try different styles, I don’t set my mind into one category because I like to be open minded about creativity because that’s what creativity is about – not just about one certain aspect, but you can branch into different areas of it. So, I would call my style ’open’.” Mya
“My blog is basically about Muslims and their street wear, a bit about my life, how to wear your hijab in different ways and where to get clothes from. It also features shops in the Muslim community to help out the Muslim community.” Delina