"I want to show myself, a Muslim, living strong and beautiful, through my art"
A Japanese Muslim has been redefining hijab fashion through her Instagram photos.
Born and raised in Tokyo to Indonesian Muslim parents, Yazid was never pressured to wear a hijab but still wanted to choose her clothes around it.
“I felt that the hijab was a religious item of clothing, so I was choosing my clothes to match,” the 24-year-old said.
However, her decision to wear a hijab conflicted with Japanese fashion at the time. “Not only did I stand out as someone with foreign heritage, my daily outfits now consisted of my mother’s old hijab and outfits that were totally different from designs and colors that were popular in Japan at the time,” she said.
“Although it was my choice to wear the hijab, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel as though the hijab was, instead, wearing me,” she added.
Fortunately for Yazid, she encountered the work of British Japanese designer Hana Tajima, which would inspire her style. “Her fashion didn’t feel like it was trying to be particularly gorgeous, vivid, or even traditional,” Yazid said. “That was the moment the hijab changed from an impersonal, religious item of clothing to something that was true to my life.”
On her Instagram account, Yazid has over 14,000 followers. She posts pictures of herself dressed in a Hijab with a Japanese backdrop and often combines Japanese fashion with her hijab.
“I also add accessories to create a more lively look,” she said. “I like hats, so I often wear a beret over the hijab. That’s part of the fun. It’s like solving a puzzle.”
Yazid hopes her work will inspire and empower other Muslim women as well as improving other people’s perception of Muslims.
“Hijabi fashion — Muslim fashion — transcends the boundaries of religion and can be a source of enjoyment for anyone,” she said. “It’s something that all women who want to look beautiful with can empathize with and enjoy.”
“I want to use what I do to improve people’s understanding of Muslims, change biased views about the religion, and help people realize the value of living in a diverse society. I want to show myself, a Muslim, living strong and beautiful, through my art.”