By Latifa Saber for Mvslim.
She’s the daughter of a retired imam and a successful fashion designer. Some people would think the combination of being a Muslim woman and having a career in the fashion industry would clash, but Iman Aldebe is here to break these stereotypes and take over some runways along her way.
Iman now designs clothing for Muslim fashionistas and she has a successful turban line that is sold in exclusive stores from Paris to New York. But her journey to becoming the entrepreneur she is now hasn’t always been a smooth ride.
Turning a passion into a lifetime career
As the daughter of an imam she always felt like she had to live up to some expectations on how to act and especially on how to look. Standing out from other Muslim women in the community by wearing makeup or different clothing was not done. But dull colours and similar outfits were a living nightmare for Iman so she had to find a way to escape this. When Iman was 16 she decided to study fashion design in high school since fashion had always sparked her interest. And that’s where she found out that there was more to her passion for fashion, there was a part of her that was thinking of taking this passion and turning it into an entrepreneurship. Iman Aldebe started out as a designer of graduation and wedding outfits for friends and family, now her iconic pieces are sold worldwide.
Dealing with the critics
Unfortunately Iman had to deal with a lot of critics, both from Muslims and non-Muslims. Muslims would tell her that what she’s doing is not acceptable for a Muslim woman and non-Muslims would discriminate her. Especially after 9/11, when hijabis felt really vulnerable.
But instead of letting all these hateful comments get to her, Iman pushed through the critics and took her job as a fashion designer to another level. She used fashion to empower women and give them strength.
She decided to create customized hijabs that would make women comfortable to wear them to work. She was even assigned to design a hijab that would fit the police uniform and even an official hijab that would go with the army uniform.
We can definitely say that Iman Aldebe is not just designing, she’s changing the way Muslim women are portrayed and she’s even breaking the stereotype that hijabis can’t be entrepreneurs or be a pioneer in anything. Or to say it in her own words “Fashion is art and art is positive and can dispel the prejudiced notion that Muslim women are oppressed. I want to continue to create clothes that will create opportunities and change for people.”