My Huge Concept: Modest Style Will get a Refresh | Bostonia

My Huge Concept: Modest Style Will get a Refresh | Bostonia

Ameera Hammouda (Questrom’18) has launched a clothes model that redefines modesty as vibrant and stylish

Ameera Hammouda (Questrom’18) sporting the Noha, a gown she designed. Hammouda is the artistic drive behind the clothes model Ameera.


Ameera Hammouda (Questrom’18) has launched a clothes model that redefines modesty as vibrant and stylish

In our sequence My Huge Concept, we deliver you interviews with BU alums and different members of the College neighborhood who’ve launched a enterprise, constructed a brand new product, or solved issues massive and small. We ask them how they obtained the thought, what have been their greatest hindrances, and what’s subsequent for his or her massive concept.

Should you suppose modest clothes needs to be drab and forgettable, you haven’t met Ameera Hammouda. The 26-year-old’s designs—a fuchsia silk chiffon cape that cascades to the ground, a polka-dot satin gown trimmed in black ostrich feathers—are as dramatic as any runway ensemble.

For Hammouda (Questrom’18), an Egyptian-American Muslim lady, modest clothes doesn’t must be shapeless and boring—she prefers to put on lengthy sleeves and free suits bursting with colour and element. Her clothes model displays that philosophy: Ameera is dedicated to redefining modesty as stylish, energetic, and youthful.

Its choices—which embrace attire, skirts, and a cape—fulfill the sartorial wants of many Muslim ladies who, like her, honor their religion by masking uncovered pores and skin. However modest style strains like Ameera are interesting to a rising variety of ladies usually. Final 12 months, as established manufacturers and start-ups alike started providing fashionable-yet-modest duds, the modest style business was valued at $277 billion and is anticipated to achieve $311 billion within the subsequent two years, in accordance with the 2020/21 State of the International Islamic Economic system Report. 

With its candy-colored hues and luxurious materials, Ameera takes a daring stance. Hammouda, who’s had a lifelong curiosity in style design and did a stint in BU’s Style and Retail Affiliation, was 25 when she based her clothes model in 2021, with the assistance of crowdfunding and her personal financial savings. Now, Ameera has outgrown its humble beginnings—prior to now 12 months and a half, the model has attracted a world buyer base and earned a stint at New York Style Week in September 2022. A few of her most eye-catching designs—just like the Noha, a grape-colored shift gown with waterfall sleeves—have turn into bestsellers. 

Hammouda not too long ago spoke to Bostonia in regards to the lengthy street that led to Ameera’s launch, what’s subsequent, and why she thinks modest style is (lastly) having a second.


with Ameera Hammouda

Bostonia: How did your sense of style develop?

Hammouda: I’ve positively had a powerful imaginative and prescient since childhood and have at all times been inquisitive about style. I used to see high-end designer items in catalogs—that I’d not be shopping for from as a nine-year-old—however I’d rework them into my very own items by reducing or BeDazzler-ing them. As I obtained older, I developed a method round clear strains, good colours, and high-quality materials, and that’s positively current all through my line.

Bostonia: Who’s the Ameera woman?

Hammouda: Our woman is busy. She desires one thing simple; she doesn’t wish to must layer gadgets or put on one thing that’s dry clear solely. She simply desires one thing that she might throw on. However that being mentioned, she desires one thing that’s nonetheless distinctive and timeless, as a result of a part of that ease is just not essentially needing to refresh your wardrobe each single season. She values issues which can be handmade, made in America, and she or he values modesty.

Bostonia: What makes a modest garment thrilling and recent?

Hammouda: I believe the impetus behind Ameera is that modest style was at all times geared towards older ladies. It’s type of drab. Boring shapes, boring colours, and unhealthy materials went into the modesty bucket—and the whole lot that was good was not modest. I’d query sure items of clothes, like, why can’t this be made with a unique neckline? It could nonetheless be simply as trendy. I believed that we might deliver these two issues collectively: you can also make good, modest clothes. A maxi gown will be very trendy. It’s simply in regards to the cloth you choose and the way in which it’s reduce and the way it suits.

Bostonia: What’s your design course of?

Hammouda: Designing modest style virtually makes issues simpler, since you’re at all times going to have sure restrictions, like how the ultimate garment will look on the physique. It’s not going to cling. However then you could have room to play with the whole lot else: the materials, the colours, the shapes, the sleeves.

I begin with the design. Both I get impressed randomly and I do a fast sketch, or I would see an outdated movie and suppose that I’d like to see [a costume] in a modest silhouette. Design, silhouette, and cloth are the three most vital components of the ultimate piece. Fortunately, I discovered some wonderful producers who I belief.

My Huge Concept: Modest Style Will get a Refresh | Bostonia
Hammouda revisits sketches for her Wendy cape and Rosemarie gown. Each clothes are comprised of washable fuchsia silk.

Bostonia: The place does the model’s give attention to sustainability come from?

The model is closely influenced by my religion, and I believe caring for the earth and sustainability are large pillars of Islam. It’s positively not one of the vital highlighted ones, both in Islam or in mainstream media, however there’s really a saying from the Prophet that if the very last thing you are able to do in your life is plant a tree, it is best to do it. These parts are all linked: modesty, sustainability, and philanthropy, and that’s why we plant a tree for each buy. I guarantee that our clothes and the method itself are as sustainable as potential by selecting sustainable materials and designing timeless items that received’t be thrown away in a month. I make the whole lot in New York, so I do know I’m not going to must fly abroad each time I have to make one thing.

Bostonia: What’s arising subsequent? Any particular collections?

Ramadan is tremendous particular to me and it’s clearly a giant deal for Muslims all around the world, and this assortment is unquestionably one thing I’ve dreamed of for a very long time. I’m working with this very proficient Muslim artist, and we’re doing a bit Ramadan toile de Jouy assortment. The print itself is impressed by traditions of Ramadan, with dates and prayer beads included within the print. Whenever you go to the mosque, there’s a convention that you simply put on new garments, or no matter makes you’re feeling good and assured. Our predominant customers are Muslim ladies, so I felt like it will be good if these garments might turn into heirlooms that these ladies can pull out each Ramadan and possibly in the future go right down to their youngsters or their grandkids.

Bostonia: Do you could have any recommendation for budding style designers?

Lots of people have persistence, however once they’re instructed “no” from somebody with a whole lot of authority they may suppose, okay, that’s it. However there’s at all times a approach of negotiating. I attempted all 4 years of school to get a style internship, however obtained rejected. Now that I’ve a enterprise, I’ve much more persistence. Don’t hand over and simply don’t take no for a solution. Whenever you’re instructed “no,” suppose, is there one other approach to do that? Did I actually give it my all? Did I ask each single particular person? Typically, for those who take a look at issues with a birds-eye view, you’ll see there’s one other path to take.

Bostonia: What has been essentially the most rewarding a part of launching Ameera?

I not too long ago did a pop-up at New York Style Week, and we had this beautiful younger girl cease by who was very passionate in regards to the model—she used the phrase “obsessed”—and mentioned that we’re altering modest style, which I discovered so humbling. We’re nonetheless in our growing-pains part, the place we’re searching for consciousness, so the truth that somebody can, in a single 12 months, really feel that linked to us was tremendous rewarding. The truth that somebody might really feel that linked to the model actually made me really feel prefer it’s all been price it.

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