This girl has it all figured out. Not just her sense of style oh no!! that is a crust to a richer more delightful core that is Hana Tajima-Simpson.
We met to talk about her label , her style and when and why she decided this is what she wanted to do. We ended up talking about that and so much more:Family, religion her outlook on life and work.
I tell ya she's got it figured out! And to think of how much younger than me she is!!! (Nope not gonna tell you my age or hers!) All I could say is that at her age I was no where near being in the right place with myself and the world as she is (probably still not!)
Anyway we digress! OK Hana,her designs,her style and her label ...I stumbled across her blog Style Covered when I was researching for a piece about Islamic fashion. I took one look and I was hooked.
The one thing I noticed about her style is how simple and expressive it is. It's quite understated but there is no mistaking that the looks that Hana puts together are very deliberate and thought through and more importantly very true to who she is.
(Check out her Abaya inspired wrap dress)
"My style is very eclectic." she tells me."I like different things." And it's true the looks she puts together vary from the super feminine with soft fabrics and clean lines to the layered funky boyish look.Like this one that I LOVE!
It all started with the blog ...
"I started by reviewing catwalk shows and different looks and got good responses. But I found that I got most responses when I started styling myself and putting photos up on the blog. I had many positive comments about the looks an decided this is the way I wanted the blog to go"
And you can tell how well the relatively young blog is doing from the avid following. "It was just this instant thing where Muslim women can see a look and try it for themselves right away because it was on a real person.There wasn't anything like that for Muslim women before."
From Style Covered to Maysaa
The success of the blog revealed a marked that was hungry for more."I've always made clothes for myself, especially when I became Muslim there was nothing out there that was stylish and was covered up at the same time and I felt I lost a big part of my personality in the beginning of my Hijab days. It took time from when I started wearing Hijab to my look today."
But how did it go from making her clothes for herself to starting a label, launching it and turning it into a business? "Well, first of all I didn't want this to be a job. I wanted to remain passionate about it and not to be jaded. Especially that I had studied fashion before and left it because I saw what the industry was like from the inside and decided I didn't want that."
"After I'd settled into my religion(She became Muslim 5 years ago)and got married I though about what I wanted to do with my life.I asked myself what is it that I wanted to do that didn't feel like a job and it was designing.My husband suggested that we work on it together and so here we are. He handles the business side of it and I handle the creative part."
They've just launched her label Maysaa last month and have already met all their sales targets.Hana is now thinking about her next collection which she says will feature more colour and prints than the first one.
"I wanted the first collection to be a foundation for any wardrobe pieces that you can play around with and dress up and down.Timeless pieces that could work for you where ever. The next one [collection] I've added more colour and prints."
We finish our coffees and roam the streets and look at clothes.I show her the shoes I'm currently drooling over at Zara and she gives me her stamp of approval!
During shopping I ask her about trends and whether she thinks about that when she designs her clothes. "Of course you follow what's going on in fashion but my clothes are very personal,timeless and that's the most important thing."
Watch this space for more Timeless pieces to come! Hana will be guest blogging and I'll be dropping in on one of Mayasaa's photo shoots soon.