Posted on Dec 24, 2018
Haute Hijab Staff
What a year it has been for Haute Hijab and our HH community! This was a great year of growth for us, with the launch of some fabulous new products, several new hires at our headquarters and some fantastic events and moments! None of this would be possible without our Haute Hijab community and your support. And, with that in mind, we’d like to share our top Haute Hijab company moments of 2018! Drumroll please …
Silks! Underscarves! Luxury! The past year was significant for the fabulous products launched, which became best sellers and favorites of our HH community! The start of the year brought us our fabulous Creative Director Gizelle Begler’s creation of the first-of-its-kind Luxury Collection.
“The luxury category for hijabs produced in mass doesn’t exist here in the U.S.,” said Gizelle in this post for the launch of the collection.”We wanted to fill that gap -- as well as seize the opportunity to provide you with a range of classic colors and a variety of embellishments to give you choices.” Haute Hijab’s luxury collection includes sophisticated, one-of-a-kind hijabs with Swarovski crystals, custom-made appliques and embroidered flowers on beautiful silks, tulles and laces. We’re so grateful for all the great press pieces that came out in Glamour, ELLE, InStyle, Bustle, PopSugar, Vogue Arabia and Harpers Bazaar Arabia.
May brought us the launch of our silk hijabs, a beautiful line that elevates your everyday wardrobe with hijabs made of pure silk -- 100% natural, luminously soft and extremely strong. If you haven’t seen it already, check out this this fun tutorial on how to wear and style silk hijabs from Gizelle and Melanie!
Then, August saw the release of our coveted Ultimate Underscarves, a precisely-designed set of caps to wear under your hijab, which sold out on first release and are back on our website. The material for our underscarves -- specially created through an exclusive partnership with Pyratex -- are breathable, temperature regulating and anti-bacterial with built-in 50 UPF. (Be sure to get yours before they sell out again!)
The past year saw a lot of growth for Haute Hijab with several new wonderful people joining the team to help take the company and the HH community to the next level. Salwa Marzouk, our fantastic junior graphic designer, and Erin Smith, our merchandise planner, were the first hires of 2018, starting their positions in January. All our beautiful photos, advertising campaigns, Melanie’s photo shoots, and so many other graphics have Salwa’s talented imprint on them. She knows how to make graphics visually pop and aesthetically pleasing! Although she might be the smallest member of the team (coming in at 5’0”), she is also the fiercest and the most ravenous one among us!
Erin’s relationship with Haute Hijab runs deep, joining the team in 2012 to manage inventory, customer service and order fulfillment in Chicago when Melanie and Ahmed were in Dubai. She continued with the company in a variety of roles and finally joined full time at the start of 2018. Her memory of Haute Hijab products is so impressive, and she can spout colors, weaves, names and types of hijabs like nobody’s business! In her other life, Erin is an accomplished musician and an active member of the improv and sketch comedy community!
If you’ve ever emailed or called HH to talk about an order or ask a question, you’ve probably interacted with Brittney McFarlane, who’s from New York by way of Kingston, Jamaica. Brittney joined in May as a CX (customer service) associate, working on logistics, interfacing with customers and doing customer research. She is an anime lover and enjoys cooking and learning new languages.
Mahmoud Yousif -- the first male member of the HH team (after Ahmed, of course) -- joined in October as our software engineer. He hails from Maryland, where he studied computer science at Salisbury State University, is a huge fan of the Daily Show with Trevor Noah and is the rock that makes sure the code and technology behind the website runs smoothly and innovatively.
Lily Steele also joined in October as a product development associate, researching materials and fabrics and working on orders to help make the best partnerships and products for HH. She is from New Jersey, studied international relations and strives to, “live my life with the commitment of a tiger and the majesty of a narwhal.”
Mona Mostafa, a Jersey girl, born and raised, came on board in October as well as our social media specialist. She manages our HH Spotted Club Instagram page as well as our Pinterest YouTube, Facebook and Twitter feeds. Basically she is the Queen of social media and social listening and has her ears and eyes on all the news, discussions and trends our beloved HH community is buzzing about!
Dilshad D. Ali is the last hire of 2018, starting in late November as the blog editor, in charge of all things content. She is our first remote employee, working from Virginia with frequent visits to our New York headquarters. She has covered American Muslims as a journalist and editor for nearly two decades and is excited to help write and edit Muslim women-centric stories and bring interesting and relevant content to our HH community and beyond! Plus, she’s super proud of her three kids and always has extra cuddles for the family's fat cat.
Haute Hijab Gets Around!
This was an exciting year for Haute Hijab and hijab fashion, as Melanie ended out her year as a brand ambassador for Fresh, and we had our first joint event where we invited our Community Rewards members into the Fresh Beauty Kitchen for a night of fun! We saw our hijabs worn by rising model Halima Aden (the first mainstream hijabi model) in her recent feature as a Change Agent in Elle and Melanie and Haute Hijab were featured on a variety of podcasts including Gotham Gal, One Foot in the Sink, Confessions of Successful Asian Women, and Feminine and Fulfilled.
Over on our blog, some of your favorite posts (and ours) included Irtefa’s Story: Not Just My Hijab, in which the storyteller learns that her hijab is meaningless unless it reflects something from within; Coping with Domestic Violence and What You Can Do to Help, which deconstructed common stereotypes and judgments about domestic violence; and 6 Hacks for New Muslim Converts, which offered some great ways for New Muslims to ease into the practice of Islam; finally there were so many stunning style posts from Melanie that featured numerous amazing looks.
Haute Hijab was also hopping on social media, with Melanie’s vlogs, Instagram and Insta-stories on fire! In an effort to provide more support for our Haute Hijab community, we created a Haute Hijab Community Group, a closed group on Facebook for our lovelies to e-meet, chat, share stories, seek support and post styling and hijab stories and questions.
Melanie was profiled in MM LaFleur’s The–M–Dash, PopSugar’s NYFW Style Diary and Haute Hijab was featured on CNN, NowThis, TechWeek, and Money Magazine. As per usual, Melanie was on the speaker circuit throughout 2018, speaking at SXSW, NYU Stern School of Business, Create & Cultivate, I Heart Halal, and The Jewish Museum among others.
Whew! From our new products to all the great people who joined our team to the different places our hijabs, Haute Hijab as a company and Melanie were featured, we are so grateful to all of you -- our HH community. Alhamdullilah for it all and Bismillah for everything to come in 2019!