Two beautiful sisters, Afra and Eiman Said, launched a fashion line dedicated to beautifully detailed and handcrafted kaftans in November 2011, after constantly being asked where they got their outfits from, at events and social occasions. They realized that there was a major gap in the market and a lot of Muslim women couldn’t find modest kaftans and created Mohajababes – refers to the arabic translation; mutahajiba- the ‘act’ of covering. Over the past year, they’ve been extremely active in attending various Muslim events and conferences such as the ICNA and R.I.S , to name a few, as a platform to interact and introduce their customers to Mohajababes. These sisters are passionate about bringing an alternative option to evening wear to those that would like to dress modestly but also want their fashion styles to be reflective in their choice of clothing.
Mohajababes is sold during events and online, where orders can be made directly through their FB page. These elegant chiffon hand embroidered kaftans start to retail at $130 and above. By catering to clients through events and an online platform, they’ve managed to keep their kaftans competitively priced.
I was able to have a chat with Afra Said, to find out more on the story of Mohajababes.
What kind of obstacles did you face when you decided to launch Mohajababes?
Well,for a start, we both live in different countries with two very different time zones! I’m currently in the US and Eiman is living in the UK, so we both try to email each other constantly with updates and feedback and Skype has been an absolute lifesaver. Starting any new business is challenging, and more so, when we’re very particular in sourcing kaftans in materials and designs that we love and find unique.
Mohajababes is fairly new. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years time ?
We’re constantly introducing fresh and unique styles to our clientele and want to be a one-stop shop for not only providing accessories for the kaftans purchased, but also a guide on how to wear them perfectly.
What sets you apart from other retailers?
Firstly, we would never purchase or sell kaftans that we wouldn’t wear ourselves! When you wear one of our kaftans, you will be attending an event knowing that you will be the only Mohajababe wearing something spectacular. Our kaftans are available in various designs, styles and colors so you’ll be able to find something for those shoes, that social event, a special hijaab, or just because it’s a color that you’ll look and feel great in.
What’s your personal fashion style when wearing your hijaab ?
We love all kinds of hijaabs, but particularly hijaabs that have a lot of volume like stiff polyester or raw silk scarves that don’t get too close to the head. In terms of shades, we’re totally loving greys, nudes and dark bold prints. Wearing a bandana/bonnet is a hijaab necessity esp if you want your hijaab to stay on right, the way you want it too, all day long. Also, we’d never leave the house without steaming or ironing our hijaabs. A creased hijaab is a big NO in our books.
What are your fashion must-haves ?
Eiman: Over-sized bags – the bigger the better, in all shapes! They can carry everything.
Afra: For me, it would have to be jewelry especially long necklaces that don’t get covered by your hijaab and of course bangles and bracelets. The more, the merrier.
Last but not least, give us some style tips on how to wear your kaftans !
It’s important to find a kaftan that suits your body type. If you’d like to accentuate your waist, our kaftans with belts are perfect. If you’re petite on top, our kaftans with high necks (close to the polo neck styles) are great because of all the heavily embroidered beadwork. If you prefer to draw attention away from the top, or for our more mature customers, we highly recommend our U/V style designs, where the details go far down the front of the dress. It’s also a great option for those special occasions! Also, it’s essential that you dry clean your kaftans and get them steam pressed or ironed, don’t try chucking them into the washer in the ‘delicates’ cycle as it will only ruin them.