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2011/49/2 Outfit, womens, jersey / cotton / silk / leather, Kath Fry / Eisha Saleh, Baraka Women, Croydon Park, New South Wales, Australia, 2010. Click to enlarge.

Outfit by Baraka Women

Designed
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.

References
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)

Summary

Object No.

2011/49/2

Object Statement

Outfit, womens, jersey / cotton / silk / leather, Kath Fry / Eisha Saleh, Baraka Women, Croydon Park, New South Wales, Australia, 2010

Physical Description

Outfit comprising 'Jeddah' long sleeve crew tee in black, chocolate drape knit cardigan, chocolate leather belt and Oriental tea silk maxi skirt with floral print.

Production

Notes

Baraka Women design and hand make each garment in Australia. They use mainly natural fabrics, including jersey, cotton and silk, which are sourced both locally and from overseas (New Zealand and Europe).

Like any mainstream fashion design house, Baraka's designs begin with something inspiring. The original concept for the business, for example, was rooted in the images of Thierry Le Goues for French boutique store, Antik Batik. These captured elegant women set in a desert landscape wearing beautifully constructed, Islamic inspired high end fashions. Principal designer for Baraka Women, Kath Fry, says 'I love the way these shots blend glamour and sophistication together….while still being very modest. When I saw these shots I knew this was the type of look we wanted to be creating'

This garments comprising this outfit were cut in Marrickville, Sydney and sewn in Surry Hills and Marrickville. All other stages from the design to garment delivery are produced within Australia. This includes the patternmaker, the sample machinist, the photographer, the makeup artist, the hairdresser, the fabric supplier, the grader, the cutter, the button man, the zipper man, the garment label lady and the maker.

History

Notes

This outfit was designed in 2010 as part of Baraka Women's Japanesque collection. This collection was inspired by Japanese draping and origami wrapping. The colour palette was selected based on scenes of the Japanese countryside, which are particularly reflected through the hem of the oriental tea skirt.

The idea for Baraka Women was first conceived in 2006 by friends Kath Fry and Eisha Saleh, but was not realised until 2008. Initially launched as an online store, their first boutique outlet was opened at Croydon Park two years later.

Kath, the designer, and Eisha, the business entrepreneur, first met while studying Islamic law together. They decided to go into business together after sharing their anxieties about not being able to find any fashionable, yet modest, clothing around Sydney. 'I was struggling to find long western style clothing. Everything was three-quarter length and I couldn't believe that noone had solved this problem', says Kath. 'Most people I knew wore skirts and dresses, yet there was nothing on the market all year round, you had to buy up big in winter! I was working for Jigsaw and David Lawrence at the time and thought I could help solve this global problem – everything just needed to be extended longer!'.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 2011

Acquisition Date

20 July 2011

Cite this Object

Harvard

Outfit by Baraka Women 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 7 March 2021, <https://ma.as/416534>

Wikipedia

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