Baraka Women is an Australian contemporary women's fashion retailer which designs modest clothing for an intersecting market of Muslim and non-Muslim women. Founded in 2008 by friends, Kath Fry and Eisha Saleh, Baraka (which means 'blessing' in Arabic) represents one of the new, emerging fashion labels catering to a growing market of women who still want to dress stylishly, but with that extra coverage.
Kath, an Anglo-Australian convert to Islam, and Eisha, a Muslim born Lebanese-Australian, first met while studying Sharia (Islamic law) together. After exchanging stories of their difficulties finding fashionable, yet modest pieces of clothing to adhere to their Islamic faith, they decided to fuse their skills in fashion design (Kath) and business (Eisha) to create Baraka Women. 'We used to sketch designs for clothes in class together', says Kath. 'But it still took us several years before we were brave enough to start the Baraka label'.
Apart from their diverse Muslim and non-Muslim women's customer base, Baraka Women differentiate themselves through their fusion of modest dress with a unique expression of personality and style. 'Putting on your hijab is a life-changing experience and a large percentage of us live in the west, so western clothing is the only thing we know and feel comfortable in. But, we still want to show our Islamic identity. This is the Baraka Woman. She can be a mum, a co-worker or a wife – but she loves to invest in beautiful, well-made clothing that will make her feel great'.
This particular outfit was designed by Baraka Women as part of their 2010 Japanesque collection. It demonstrates the mix and match capabilities of their garments and the use of bold, expressive colours which has come to embody their brand. The headscarf and arm band accessories also exemplify the different dress code requirements worn to reflect the Islamic faith.
Personal correspondence with Kath Fry and Eisha Saleh, 2010-11
'Interview with Baraka Women and Exclusive Sneak Peak', Hijabi Fashion Week website
http://www.lovehfw.com/2011/05/interview-with-baraka-women-exclusive.html (Downloaded 26/5/2011)