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Faith and Fashion: Global Interest in American Modest Design

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Al-Nisa Designs. Courtesy of Bruce Cecil

Al-Nisa Designs. Courtesy of Bruce Cecil

Koret Auditorium

Consulting curator of the exhibition Contemporary Muslim Fashions, Professor Reina Lewis, brings her public talk series Faith and Fashion from London College of Fashion, ULA to the de Young in conversation with Carmen Muhammad, founder of Al-Nisa Designs.

Lewis is Professor of Cultural Studies at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, and is an authority on Muslim and modest fashion. Her books include Muslim Fashion: Contemporary Style Cultures and Modest Fashion: Styling Bodies, Mediating Faith.

Carmen Muhammad will join Reina Lewis to discuss the global impact of American modest fashion. As founder and designer of one of America’s longest running Muslim modest fashion brands, Muhammad is ideally poised to reflect on changes in the American and international scene.

Learning to sew as part of her education within the Nation of Islam and starting a business in the mid-1990s to meet community wardrobe needs, Muhammad was soon making bespoke garments for women in the Nation of Islam across the country. Now, she shows her seamless tailoring on modest fashion catwalks around the world, as well as in America, with recent collections displayed in Dubai, Milan, Turin, and Paris. Her designs combine the Nation’s distinctive aesthetic with seasonal trends into a look that is uniquely her own. Muhammad knows that clothes communicate religious cultures and social values. She dresses her entourage as well as her models in bright color block ensembles that invite interest – creating opportunities to be ambassadors for the faith and for American fashion.

Join Lewis and Muhammad to discuss the relationship between fashion and faith, and to hear about the opportunities and challenges that the now global modest fashion infrastructure presents for independent brands.


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This event is free to the public. Tickets will be first-come, first-served, and space is limited. 



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