'What's Your Faith Without Conviction?' – The Story of Our Ottoman Star Hijab
Sep 1, 2022
@sohamt wearing the Ottoman Star Hijab
If you’re an OG fan of Haute Hijab and the HH Instagram page, you may remember a photo from the way, way back of a Turkish lamp with an eight-point star design illuminating the dark around it with shards of starry light. That photo, taken on a 2012 trip to Istanbul, Turkey, sat in the back of HH CEO Melanie Elturk’s mind and in the quiet depths of her heart for a decade.
“It’s a pretty common geometric design across Turkey – the eight-point star,” says Melanie. “But for me it was the first time I saw the citizens of a Muslim country really owning their Islamic heritage in a deep and meaningful way.”
The Ottoman Star Hijab, part of our “A Journey Through Time” Woven Print collection, speaks to the beauty, wonder and conviction Melanie gained on that trip to Turkey, a moving experience that cemented the Islamic knowledge she had gained growing up. “What’s your faith without conviction?” asks Melanie. “You can say, la illaha illa Allah, but what is that without conviction?
“When I visited Turkey, I had done a lot of traveling, but this was the first Muslim country I had visited [that had such pride in its Islamic heritage]. And you go there and see the turban [of Yusuf (as)], the swords in Topkapi Palace, other artifacts from the time of the Prophet (saw), and seeing these things was huge for me. It further cemented my yaqeen in our ummah. I was forever changed by it,” says Melanie.
For Product Development Manager Elizabeth Walsh, the Ottoman Star Hijab represents the ownership of Islamic heritage that Melanie felt in Turkey but also a uniquely American Muslim experience that she never expected in the early design stages of the hijab. “When you create something like this, you have something in your mind,” says Elizabeth. “I started out thinking about a starry night, and that transformed into something completely different from my initial design.”
As the design of the hijab evolved based on color, inspiration, tessellation and pattern placement, Elizabeth initially felt a reluctance to move forward with all the changes as it moved away from the vision she had in her mind. “But now when I look at it, it has all these beautiful eight-point stars, which draw from the Ottoman times, and five point stars that feel so American – it’s so cool.
Soha Taha @sohamt wearing our Ottoman Star Hijab.
“It’s become something to me that symbolizes the dichotomy of what some people feel about being American. It brought depth to it, and that’s the beauty of collaboration from a design perspective and an inspiration perspective,” she says.
“I find this hijab so beautiful. I find all the hijabs in this collection so beautiful,” says Melanie. “That was what I was trying to get at – this beauty fills your eyes with wonder. It gives you a sense of pleasure in your surroundings, in your context. Too often it feels like we downplay beauty in our communities, in our own faith practices. But putting beauty out into the world is something we should not take lightly. It transforms us in ways we sometimes don’t even realize. I’m an advocate for investing in beauty.”
Styling the Ottoman Star Hijab
The scattering of stars across this hijab gives it a playful and youthful vibe that is tempered by the gorgeous colorscape of navy blues, creams and teals/greens. Try pairing this hijab with a dark blue top, or wear a monochromatic fit of cream colors and let the hijab be the star of the show. Or, take a simple outfit of denim with a cream or white color top and let this hijab pull it all together.
Try styling it by folding the hijab lengthwise a few inches, if you prefer that folded edge around your face while wrapping, or wrap it as is by starting with the middle of the hijab on the top of your head, the wrap it around your face and secure it with a No-Snag Hijab Magnet. Criss-cross the ends and toss one end behind your shoulder while letting the other flutter in a beautiful drape across your other shoulder and let the stars do all the talking. Or, wrap it more securely by starting with a short end and a long end. Secure it with a magnet, and tuck the short end into your shirt. Cross the long end across your neck, then wrap it around your neck, bring it over your shoulder and let it hang down the front of your outfit!
Caring for the Ottoman Star Hijab
The Ottoman Star Hijab up close.
This hijab is the same length and width as our standard Bamboo Wovens (74” X 27”) and have the same fibers and sustainability properties as our original Wovens. (See here to read more about how our Bamboo Wovens are made and the science of the eco-friendly manufacturing processes that went into this hijab line.)
Made of 100 percent bamboo, hand wash or machine wash this hijab on warm with only other scarves. Tumble dry low or hang to dry. For make-up or oil stains, spot treat with stain remover, and steam or iron on medium from the center outwards.
How are you styling your Ottoman Hijab? What do you love most about it? Share with us in the comments below!
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