When it comes to fashion, today’s globalized culture often puts women in the eye of a storm, buffeting them with the message that to be chic they must abandon their own values and imitate others. Enter Alya, a newly launched luxury fashion line that seeks to redeem the innate worth of women’s own identities and choices, while providing underprivileged women with a living and preserving traditional handicrafts.
“Conservative Muslim women struggle to be fashionable and trendy while preserving their commitment to their religion,” explains Alya’s founder Rula Alami, who says Islamic fashion is “a niche market that is almost totally neglected.” Her service, then, “is to offer the total look without a frustrating, time-consuming shopping experience.”
Alami sees e-commerce as the future of worldwide shopping culture, and says her online business platform enables her to reach a wider target market that includes “working women, college students as well as fashionistas”. But she emphasizes that the ultimate value of her clothes cannot be measured by price alone.
The name Alya, or “elevation”, reflects our common aspiration “to ascend to a spiritual world and inner peace, each in his own way.” Inspired by the way great art is “a universal language that transcends the boundaries of fanaticism, extremism, racism…[and] the dichotomy between east and west,” Alya’s aesthetic likewise harmonizes “the undeniable links between cultures in today’s global village,” Alami says.
In this, it reflects her own passionate conviction “that these cultures can complement each other and even elevate us to levels of education, openness, tolerance that would be otherwise impossible.”