A Muslim woman is multi-hyphenated in many ways: She is strong, powerful, respectful and respected, wise, faith-ful, compassionate, caring, vulnerable, driven and pretty much a force to be reckoned with. She is any combination of these things and a million other descriptors that can’t all be named here.
But the one word that stands out to Haute Hijab CEO Melanie Elturk when she reflects on the women she met on her 2016 trip to Lagos, Nigeria is driven. “The women I met when we visited Nigeria were amazing. I was blown away by how ambitious they were, how ambitious they are. How driving, how creative - there is nothing stopping them.”
Children playing on a hill outside of Kano, Nigeria; image source U.N. Foundation
Melanie’s trip to Lagos, courtesy of a U.S. State Department program at the time to connect established entrepreneurs with upcoming entrepreneurs, took her through three different cities, starting in Kano, which is the second largest city in Nigeria after Lagos. “The women and men we spoke with in Kano were unfazed by every challenge they were facing, and they were just trying to get their feet off the ground.”
From there they traveled to the capital city of Abuja and then onto Lagos, where immediately they were immersed in the local culture. “We went to a spoken word poetry slam, and it was beautiful. People took up the guitar on a whim and would begin singing. We visited art galleries and other places and then spoke at a business school for women about our entrepreneurial journey.”
“I had never seen women like that growing up in America - every single woman I met, no matter where she was coming from or what obstacles stood in her way - was completely driven to succeed at whatever business idea or plan they had. Nothing was ever handed to them,” says Melanie. They were a symptom of their environment, that you need to make it. Nothing else will do.”
The Lost in Lagos Hijab
(from our A Journey Through Time
new Woven Print collection) honors that endless inspiration, drive and strength Melanie witnessed while visiting the beautiful city of Lagos (as well as Kano and Abuja). In presenting these feelings, ideas and imagery to HH Product Development Manager Elizabeth Walsh and her team, the seeds of a geometric pattern came to life, which was also (for Elizabeth) based on the concept of shukr
, or giving thanks.
“When we brainstormed with Melanie and talked about her different travels across the Muslim world, her time in Lagos not only imprinted upon me the strength of the women there, but it also left me in awe of how much shukr the women there – and really women all over – often maintain for however their life unfolds,” says Elizabeth. As she began designing interlacing geometric motifs reminiscent of lattice panels seen throughout various Nigerian and Islamic art, the team settled on a colorscape of a rose-brown hue influenced by the rich adobe clay often in Nigerian architecture.
“When I look at this hijab, I feel like these repetitive patterns on both ends of it puts me in a meditative state, urging me to take the time to sit and be reflective,” says Elizabeth. “When I was a kid, before I was Muslim, I remember sitting and looking at stained glass windows in church, and I had my deepest thought moments when reflecting on the patterns and colors of those windows.”
This design is a celebration of the beauty and strength that is Lagos, Nigeria while also a reminder of our connection to our Islamic roots within nature and all we have to be thankful for. We hope you feel that connection and strength when you wear it.
Styling the Lost in Lagos Hijab
is a unique merging of solid with print that lends itself to numerous styling options and makes it especially perfect to wear if you’re not entirely comfortable with wearing prints. The middle portion of this hijab is a solid rosey-brown hue with a beautiful lattice pattern that fans out on both ends of the hijab with hints of minky pink.
Pair it monochromatically with a rose-brown top and bottom or maxi dress, or perhaps play off the pinks by styling this hijab with a muted pink top and let the lattice pattern on the ends of the hijab fall across your shoulders.
Try styling it by wrapping the solid color of the hijab around your face and secure it with a No-Snag Hijab Magnet
. (You can fold the hijab lengthwise a few inches if you want that folded edge around your face while wrapping.) Then criss-cross the ends and toss one end behind your shoulder while letting the other flutter in a beautiful drape across your other shoulder to showcase the stunning print. Or, criss-cross the ends and secure both ends in the back with another magnet and let the lattice pattern waterfall down your back.
Caring for the Lost in Lagos Hijab
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 Lost in Lagos Hijab? What do you love most about it? Share with us in the comments below!