Fashion Designer: Rabia Zargarpur on why ‘modesty is always in style’

United Arab Emirates based fashion designer Rabia Zargarpur who owns the world renowned label Rabia Z proves how modesty is always in style in her latest S/S14 collection.

Rabia has always depicted the hijab as a significant piece within her wardrobe whilst donning the hijab during her studies in the US. Rabia came to terms post 9/11 attacks on the hijab her response was to ‘design creative outfits for the modern Muslim woman.

Through her own incorporation of the hijab Rabia soon let it be heard as liberating modest fashion piece. Rabia recalls ‘It kind of became like a conversation piece and just like that I was able to give them this insight on hijab and Muslim women.’

Growing up in the UAE, Rabia designed clothes using her mother’s manufacturing unit. After completing a business degree, she studied fashion in New York. Years of researching and branding later, she created demand for her designs and finally launched her label Rabia Z online in 2007.

A creator in modestly-chic clothing, Rabia has collections that consist of colourful abayas and ready-to-wear outfits, including everything from casual to luxurious eveningwear. Her latest S/S14 designs from the Mukhawara Collection are inspired by the traditional dress, the Mukhawara, influenced by her rich Afghan-Arab heritage.

Rabia states, “I promote modesty…the fact is that we have to live in this life, in this society and in these trying times. Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said to choose moderation and that’s what I see.”

Trend Alert: Backpack Traveller

The minute that Cara Delevingne sauntered out onto the Chanel spring/summer 14 catwalk carrying a graffiti-sprayed backpack, our love affair with the humble rucksack was reignited. While Chanel’s version is a whopping £2,245 Salaam Style found 10 stylish high street back packs that would add a great retro traveller look to any hijabi outfit this Spring/ summer why not explore this trendy new accessory?


The tale of Marrakech

As the Easter holiday is speedily approaching it is time to travel, unwind and most importantly get away from work…work…work. Marrakech is a place full of culture and vibrant colours at Salaam Style HQ we look back at a tale behind our most favourite, statement jewellery pieces.

It was the third day of my Easter holiday that I had long awaited for. The scent of strong home grown coffee steamed through the café I was sitting in. Plates hung on the wall full of swirly intricate detailing as I embraced the art such beautiful setting around an open space a strong male figure blocked my view his hand reached out to me this was after all Marrakech and I was sitting in the middle of a market.

As he opened his hand the jewellery was full of uniqueness. You’re probably thinking ‘hmm I do see Moroccan jewellery in London’s Camden market’ however these pieces had a lot more significance as a followed the gentlemen to his stall I saw two workers at the back hand crafting necklaces with they’re very hand no I asked the gentlemen how did you make all of this fresh jewellery that hung he pointed at a  a tray of metal tools.

The jewellery explored different metals different gems and different carved detailing. Inspiration of the eastern culture crept out through every piece of jewellery. I was a long way from home in the perfect setting to embrace the beauty of such a culture.

Jewellery is a statement and in every piece I seem to understand thoroughly now all of the work was put in to be proud of once I was wearing the jewellery we are embracing a culture with such skill. The limitation of one tool that produced such eye-catching exceptional jewellery I taken away with me a few pieces that I would forever treasure the prints and stunning qualities are an instant reminder of the tale behind the craft of the jewellery I wear.

Art behind Afghanistan

Where is the art behind Afghanistan? This rhetoric in such a contemporary society can only be answered by people who know about the culture of Afghanistan and its significance. Some people may not know, but Afghans do actually have their own unique fashion forms, their own clothing and their own jewellery.

To get the world to notice the beauty behind afghan art fashion designer Zolaykha Sherzad’s label Zarif Design explores the distinctive qualities of such an intriguing culture. Zarif Design means “precious” in Dari with a mission to preserve and merge Afghan traditions and culture with the elegant designs of today.

This belief is showcased through the distinctive, drawing on the rich cultural heritage of Afghanistan with intricate detailing and unique fabrics. The works of Zoloykha Sherzad proves every culture has a significant history of art behind it. It is the exploration beyond the Burqa and the Hijab where you truly develop an understanding behind the culture of Afghanistan.

“I want to show people that Afghanistan is not all about war, orphanages and Burqas. It’s also about textiles, history and culture. It’s about beauty.” – Zolaykha Sherzad.

Zolaykha Sherzad’s recent fashion show explored women’s traditional Afghan clothes made through coloured silk with hand embroidered designs on top and rich silver metal crafted jewellery. The traditional Afghan clothing consists of a long length dress or kameez with a loose trouser or partug. Through the traditional Afghan clothing colour of the kameez is always different to the partug.

Overall the Afghan attire is a unique piece of art full of an oasis of colours, textures, variety of fabrics and exquisite hand embroidery. Zolaykha Sherzad helps express this view what lies behind the burqa/ hijab is the artistic traditional fashion forms of Afghanistan that will never fade.

The art behind Afghanistan Not anonymity but rather identity

Zolaykha Sherzad’s designs are currently on sale in a French boutique called Agnes B in Marylebone High Street, Fenwick and Bond Street, London. 

3 Easy steps to a trendy turban hijab

This trend has been around for a while it can never get old as the turban headscarf is the ultimate chic trend especially for the Spring/ Summer season so get practising with Salaam Styles 3 step guide.

Turban (1) Turban (2)  Turban (5) Turban (7)

1. First make sure all of your hair are tied up in a bun, bend your head over and pull the scarf over your head. Tie the ends of the scarf into a knot in the front, right at the centre of your forehead.

2.Twist the ends of the scarf around each other. Start from the base where you tied the knot and continue twisting until you reach the ends.

3.Pull the fabric back across your head. Tuck it underneath the scarf in the back, and make additional adjustments if necessary.

  • You may want to use bobby pins to help keep the turban in place.

5 Dare To Wear Celeb Looks


1.Suit it up-This month Angelina Jolie proven this look is a powerful metaphor of women evolving from ordinary dresses. The suited look gives a sophisticated, elegant female boss vibe that would have you looking smarter than ever.

hbz-fashion-risks-03-sandra-bullock-md2.  Pinker the better- yes pink is certainly a colour to invest in this summer Sandra Bullock shows how it can be have a delicate look with embroidered detail through the rich candy coloured frock.

hbz-fashion-risks-04-nicole-richie-md3.  Half Time- sophisticated slouch makes a huge comeback this season, it’s the effortless trend you need to explore. Here Nicole Richie teams up a fancy ball skirt with a crop top proving smart and casual wear go hand in hand creating a chic look.

hbz-fashion-risks-05-solange-md4. Top to Toe Print- the jumpsuit is bold and creative this season with a high emphasis on prints.  Solange Knowles created a buzz of print recently by proving just how daringly quircky this look really is. We love it!

hbz-fashion-risks-10-margot-robbie-md5. Mix ‘n’ Match- be creative this season by exploring and mixing together more than one print, Margot Robbie works two clashing prints by coordinating colour pallets leaving an overall powerful fashion statement.

Look For Less! Jessica Gomes nails urban chic

The model that has rocketed the runway for over a year,  Jessica Gomes  proved her style status as she dined with fashion’s elite at Chateau Marmont to celebrate fashion label Sandro Paris. The 28-year-old Australian model looked fabulous then ever in her urban chic ensemble.

She wore torn blue  jeans, with a white top and sleek tailored black blazer.  Accessorised with a black clutch and gold statement earrings. Giving Cara Delevingne a run for her money. At Salaam HQ we loved how Jessica Gomes explored the look that can be taken from day wear to evening wear.

We put together a wonderful mimicked high street look that includes a zebra printed scarf to finish of the statement look. That would ideally be styled as a turban inspired Hijab creating a daringly girly look.


Hijab Center of Attention at Tokyo Fashion Week!


Aspiring Asian fashion designers taken centre stage at  Tokyo fashion week from Revived  sharp detail forms to sophisticated slouch. Every garment had an awe of precision.  One of the most striking was an Indonesian label’s bid to blend a traditional Muslim head scarf with haute couture.

The twice-yearly show, which wrapped up today, saw NurZahra roll out its autumn/winter collection “Layers of Fidelity,” turning the modest hijab into sophisticated fashion.

the meaning of the labels name itself stands for a “ luminous light” in Arabic.
“The modest hijab is not actually a restriction” in fashion, designer Windri Widiesta Dhari told reporters after her stylish designs hit the catwalk.

It’s how you cover yourself and look more elegant in a way that has a loose fit.”
But Dhari sees the traditional scarf as not just a modesty covering, but also a stylish, comfortable accessory.

“We want to inspire people to think that wearing hijab is not something difficult, and could be worn by anyone,” she said.

Her collection also bucks a contemporary design trend for simplicity and minimalism.Blending cotton or silk into her hijab, she includes natural dye prints that rely on a traditional Japanese tie-dye technique called shibori and the Indonesian batik method.

With patterns ranging from mini mandalas to Turkish geometrics, Dhari plays with multiple layers of fabric to freely shape her silhouettes. Another eye-catching element of the collection was a hat that spreads wide in the back, a throwback to the sixties with elements resembling a long-ago royal head piece.

“The concept of the hat was actually inspired by the style in one from 1963,” Dhari said. “I was looking for vintage hats that could be used to cover your hair and also your neck.

“I used that inspiration and then mixed it with a traditional ethnic concept, so it becomes something very unique.”

Tokyo certainly ended on a high note portraying fashion has no limitation and just how much there is to explore. Fashion designers including NurZahra, breathed this vibe and showcased there efforts to make a statement.