Indonesian designer, Anniesa Hasibuan, was the first ever designer in NYFW to present a collection with hijabs last season. This season was no different for Hasibuan’s runway. However, there is a difference present given America’s current political climate. Amidst a time in America where political statements can be seen across larger platforms such as NYFW, Hasibuan made a pretty incredible statement with the use of her models.
this fashion designer responded to the latest anti immigrant policies by using a cast of all immigrant models. The result? A beautiful show, stunning pieces, and a powerful message.
Hasibuan spoke to Elle through a translator after her show and said, “for me, fashion is an open world. I don’t want to discriminate, the ability to express diversity in this business is a value that I hold on to. [Diversity] is what fashion is for me.”
She continued, “This show was the opportunity to show that Islam is beautiful, I believe everyone should be presented with equal opportunities, especially if he or she has passion, talents, and skills, because not all immigrants are ‘bad.’ We’ve proved they are beautiful and a great contribution to the States.”
When speaking on casting the models, Hasibuan stated that they were asked their thoughts on what’s happening in politics today. Chantal Kammerman, a Swiss-African model said this in her video, “about the Muslim ban, I think it made me really sad because, first of all, my mom is also Muslim—but I think that religion shouldn’t be an issue to immigrate.” She continued, “Is it wrong to escape your country just to have a better life? To wish for a better future? To have a proper education?” Kammerman thought this aloud after recalling her time spent in a Syrian refugee camp just last year.
Kammerman continued with a wonderful message, “it’s really important that we come together. That we fight for the good. And we rise. And we love. And we support each other. I’m going to fight for that as long as I can.”
Hasibuan’s hope for this show and those she will have in the future is to promote that women who wear hijabs “can be as stylish and glamorous as other women can be.” Her aim is to promote the beauty of difference, “difference is not something to be afraid of—it’s something you should embrace”. Ultimately, this designer said that there is “this vision and mission of bringing peace, and fashion is one of the means we can use to spread these beautiful values to the world.”
Watch the full show below: