You’ve been a long-time collaborator with Uniqlo. What inspires you to keep designing?
I started designing from a young age and haven’t really stopped. There is something about the balance of art, function, and movement in each piece of clothing that keeps my mind fixated. For me, designing is much more about the process than the product. So in that way, it’s about changing my approach, looking at different methods of construction to get a more adaptive fit, or exploring new and interesting fabrics.
I write about modest dressing quite a bit here on Who What Wear. Do you have any tips you’d like to share with readers who also dress modestly or want to explore the style?
I’m so glad women like you exist to help navigate a world that can sometimes seem daunting. When I became Muslim (16-ish years ago), I went from having a strong and distinct sense of my own style to being completely lost. I would try clothes that my Arab or Bangladeshi sisters would give me. Beautiful clothes, but it didn’t feel like a style that belonged to me. Eventually, I started to scour vintage stores and make my own skirts and dresses. But it takes time and is always changing.
If in doubt, keep it simple. Find those staples you can rely on—a dress or shirt and pants—and build a wardrobe from there. Lastly, if you’re working with loose silhouettes, you can still think about proportion. A lot of my pieces utilize unusual body seams to add subtle shapes. Texture and layers can also help when you’re more covered. It helps to give depth and breaks up the line of the body a little.
Experiment and be patient and kind to yourself and your body. Allow yourself to dress in all sorts of styles, and eventually, you’ll find yourself in there.
What’s your favorite piece from the current collection?
Perhaps the piece I’ve worn most are the linen-blend pants. I wanted to create a piece that was completely effortless. You can throw on a T-shirt and wear it all day without feeling over- or underdressed. Then, slip on the linen-blend jacket and a colorful heel and suddenly it’s this elegant, unfussy head-to-toe look.