Anniesa Hasibuan Just Made History By Including Hijabs In Her NYFW Show — PHOTOS


Designers are constantly trying to make a statement at New York Fashion Week. Just this season, one designer sent his models down the runway covered in lube, while another rented out an entire pier to throw a carnival. But one woman in particular made a powerful, not-to-be-ignored statement when, for the first time ever during an NYFW show, the models came down the runway wearing hijabs.

At only 28 years old, Anniesa Hasibuan is the first Indonesian designer to show at an official New York Fashion Week venue, ELLE reported. On Monday night, she presented a 48 look ready-to-wear collection full of silky dresses and trousers, metallic tweed embroidery and glittery embellishments. To top it all off, each look was accessorized with an expertly wrapped hijab.

Not only was the collection gorgeous, it was diverse, inspiring and and inclusive. The models, and the line as a whole, proved that women absolutely can be fashionable while dressing modestly.

At the end of the show, she received a standing ovation from an audience that was reportedly largely non-Muslim.

At the end of the show, Hasibuan came down the runway wearing one of her own designs, complete with a full hijab.

The hijab has become increasingly more mainstream in the fashion world — Dolce and Gabbana, Oscar de La Renta, and Tommy Hilfiger all now have their own "modest wear" lines — but this is the first time in history that a designer has sent a full fleet of models down the runway wearing the traditional Islamic headscarfs.

Hasibuan drew inspiration for the collection from her hometown of Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. "I want to bring the Indonesian name to the fashion world, and use my clothes to introduce people to the different and diverse parts of Indonesia," she told the Jakarta Post. Indonesia happens to be the largest Islamic country in the world, so it's no surprise that the designer chose to include hijabs in her collection.

In the wake of France's attempt to ban burkinis, it's welcome relief to see the fashion community embracing Islamic traditions rather than rejecting them. There has been an overwhelming showing of support for Hasibuan's designs, both through the standing ovation she received at the end of her show as well as through an outpouring of positive messages on Twitter.

During a time of the year when fashion may seem foolish or overexposed (as anyone who has seen Snapchats from the Alex Wang party can attest to), Hasibuan proves that it really can matter. Melanie Elturk, Founder and CEO of Haute Hijab, was particularly touched by the designer's decision to show her collection with hijabs. "While many think fashion is frivolous, I believe in the power of fashion," she wrote on her blog. "It's just one of the outlets in which we make a cultural shift in today's society to normalize hijab in America — to break down stereotypes and demystify misconceptions. Last nights' show was a huge leap in that direction."

Hasibuan has taken one giant step toward inclusivity in the fashion industry, and for that, we salute her.

Images: AnniesaHasibuan/Instagram