Breaking down barriers by removing labels
Hannah Fellerman - a Muslim Fashion Designer breaking down barriers by removing labels.
Upon Instagram stalking a few months ago, I fell onto Hannah’s page (@hannahfellerman), which caught my eye because there were images of models in scarves, worn as hijabs, neckties and drapes. This isn’t really something I’ve seen a lot of, it’s either hijabs, or it’s every other way to wear a scarf. Moreover, her bio said ‘British Designer’ and ‘Lifestyle Brand’. With no obvious indication that this was a Muslim designer, I decided to find out why there was a range of models, as well as show my appreciation for it.
After emailing, Hannah told me that she is a revert Muslim, and her brand is not just for Muslims, “it is for everyone”, and that’s why there are some typically modest photos on her Instagram and website, as well as some that are less modest. She told me she wanted her brand to be part of a movement with modest wear, “without labelling it or restricting it to Muslims only”, and her next collection aims to normalise modest dressing outside of the Muslim community even more with a collection of maxi dresses.
Modest clothing has been surging in popularity, especially since many bloggers and digital influencers have caught media and designer attention, like H&M, and Dolce & Gabbana.
Hannah’s approach to designing was to include everyone, and not limit scarves to just one particular audience. Scarves can be versatile, they are and have been a staple accessory to many people, and she wholeheartedly embraces this flexibility and diversity.
"As a young Muslim entrepreneur, Hannah welcomes diversity within all people, whether they are Muslim or not."
Hannah launched her scarves, which are a variety of prints, cuts and materials, in late July with a catwalk show and advert premiere. The collection ranges from satin to crepe de chine to chiffon, and are available in squares, large squares and maxis. The best part about these scarves, at least for me, is the range of prints and colours that are available. From floral, to marble, to geometry, Hannah’s scarves include patterns and prints in a refreshing way. Not only do they make great hijabs, but they’re also suitable for other wear, and will definitely brighten up any outfit.
I was invited to attend the launch as a guest as well as one of the models, so of course I decided to go. Hannah’s brand is rather rare - a Muslim designer who designs for everyone without the label of Muslim fashion. I wanted to find out more and meet her so went down to her old stomping grounds, the University of East London, where the launch was happening.
The runway took place with a range of models of different ethnicity, sizes and backgrounds. Not only was Hannah passionate about the models she chose to take part but also the way the scarves were presented to the audience, “the scarves can be worn in many different ways and that’s what the collection is about, so it was important to have a diverse range of models.”
Some models were styled in hijab, while others wore them as a belt, headband, or shawl. As a young Muslim entrepreneur, Hannah welcomes diversity within all people, whether they are Muslim or not. The entire collection is extremely distinct: it’s not limited to Muslims, and it’s not limited to non-Muslims - it’s aiming to bridge the gap, reinforcing the idea that modesty, and an iconic accessory like a scarf, can be for anyone, no matter who it’s designed by.
THE WRITER: ANNIE MIRZA
Annie is a professional model and writer from the UK with a Pakistani Muslim heritage. Despite the restrictions within the modelling industry for South Asian and Muslims women, Annie has worked with a range of fashion professionals within the UK, Pakistan, India and Canada. She is also a freelance writer and editor for various magazines, websites and companies.
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