For Muslim women across the country, modest fashion has come a long way in the past two decades, with new offerings popping up each year. Fashion marketplace ASOS now has its own modest fashion range, and hijabi-founded businesses like Haute Hijab, Vela Scarves and Veiled Collection offer styles in neutral shades and materials for any occasion and climate.
Charlotte-based business Unheard of Hijabi is the newest brand to cater to Muslim women, selling everything from avant-garde head scarfs to ultra-versatile sweatskirts on its digital storefront, combining modest fashion and streetwear for a Y2K feel.
After attracting attention for her own thrifted headscarf, founder Kowsar Sheikh began designing uniquely patterned head scarves with the aim of helping young hijabis feel comfortable and confident in their modesty.
“For me personally, I would wear a certain outfit and I would wear a hijab, and it felt so bland and it just didn’t look well or it just didn’t make it pop,” Sheikh said. “I feel like wearing different hijab designs, it makes me look so unique, and makes me love the hijab even more.”
Aside from some outside help with photo editorials and fabric printing, Sheikh is the brains behind the business, designing her own website, posting regularly to cultivate Unheard of Hijabi’s social media presence and filling out orders herself.
“I do have times where I get a lot of orders, but I just do it myself,” Sheikh said. ”Honestly, I don’t think I’ve gotten to the point where I need to hire people because it’s not like thousands of packages or hundreds of packages, but I’m excited to get to that point. Right now, it’s just a few, sometimes I’ll get like 30, 50, maybe 100, but it wouldn’t be in one day — it would kind of be like in a week span.”
Unheard of Hijabi has grown significantly since the brand’s launch in August 2021, with a large following on Instagram and TikTok and attention from hijabi influencers and online publications like HypeBae. Sheikh’s next goal is to foster potential collaborations.
“I definitely see my brand growing really big and being really out there and so to collaborate with different brands or having brands invest in the brand and the idea and everything, I feel like it could honestly just be huge,” Sheikh said.
Sheikh’s favorite collection so far has been her limited-edition paisley head scarves, featuring black and white colorways styled with contrasting abayas against a cityscape in the brand’s product campaigns.
“We just went to a small part of the city and took pictures … and I feel like it really took off, Sheikh said. “[I] kept it very simple, making the hijab stand out, making it like the main point, not having any extra looks. But for other collections, especially color collections, I try to [style] it with actual outfits so people can see how it looks and people can see how it’s styled.”