Designer Makes Powerful Statement At NYFW By Casting Only Immigrant Models In Her Show

"Not all immigrants are 'bad.' We've proved they are beautiful and a great contribution to the States."


During New York Fashion Week (NYFW) last season, Indonesian designer Anniesa Hasibuan made history by including hijabs in every single one of her looks during her runway show. No other designer on the official NYFW calendar had ever done that. 

Now, the Muslim designer is once again making a powerful statement by responding to the anti-immigrant policies currently facing the U.S. In her fall 2017 NYFW show, Hasibuan cast of models included only immigrants and second-generation children of immigrants. 

Like her show last season, each and every model wore a hijab. Unlike last season when the models wore hijabs in a variety of colors, each model donned the same silver hijab. The decision helped to bring out each model's unique beauty while simultaneously sending the message that all of them are connected through their immigrant background and stand together.

On Instagram, Hasibuan shared that the collection was inspired by the stories of women who found a way to change weakness into strength. The materials and colors she chose for her collection reflect the glamour, elegance, and beauty of these women. 

During the casting process, models were interviewed about their thoughts on politics including President Donald Trump's executive order to bar citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days.

"This show was the opportunity to show that Islam is beautiful," Hasibuan told ELLE. "I believe everyone should be presented with equal opportunities, especially if he or she has passion, talents, and skills, because not all immigrants are 'bad.' We've proved they are beautiful and a great contribution to the States."

"Difference is not something to be afraid of — it's something you should embrace," she continued. "We have this vision and mission of bringing peace, and fashion is one of the means we can use to spread these beautiful values to the world."

Hopefully, Hasibuan's show will send a positive message to others about being more inclusive and embracing diversity. It might just inspire them to learn more about Islam and immigrants in the process. 

You can watch Hasibuan's full NYFW runway show in the video below:



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