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‘Modern, yet vintage’: Fashion designer seeks to revolutionize modest fashion

(Photo: Handout from Razan Younis)
AMMAN — Whether it is a sweeping ball gown with delicate silver embroidery, a daring bridal bodysuit instead of a traditional dress, or even a simple crop top emblazoned with traditional Palestinian tatreez (embroidery), Jordanian fashion designer Razan Younis is updating modest fashion by merging it with modern style innovations.اضافة اعلان

The term modest fashion, also known as modest dressing, refers to feminine clothing that doesn’t reveal much skin, popular among some Muslim women in particular. "I design chic and elegant pieces specifically for the modern modest woman,” Younis said in an interview with Jordan News.

"Finding clothes for a hijabi is difficult. There are no modest fashion lines, and we need to strengthen it in order to get local clients and establish our own industry,” Younis said.

The designer is primarily focused on clothes that feature traditional embroidery paired with modern silhouettes and styles. "The piece is modern and vintage at the same time," she explained. She added that she also hopes to promote the culture of tatreez, traditional Palestinian embroidery, through her designs.

Younis told Jordan News that she draws inspiration from traditional Palestinian and Jordanian dresses to produce contemporary designs and modern looks.

"I couple tatreez with modern outfits, and get inspiration from the traditional Palestinian and Jordanian dress designs without editing the main concept, because the greatest beauty of these pieces is their heritage,” she said. "They are casual outfits such as shirts, skirts, or dresses but have the art of embroidery."

"I discovered that trendy patterns with embroidery were in high demand among girls, so I focused on this line,” she said.

She also found major support from social media star Natalia Papadopoulou (Ajnabiyeh). "Through social media, she helped me to showcase my designs to the audience," Younis explained. 

Social media plays an essential role in the designer’s work. "We've started three years ago, on social media platforms,” she said. “Social media also plays a role in fashion by helping girls learn how to create different styles, and get inspiration."

Younis began her career in fashion in university, where she studied both translation and fashion design. "My path in learning fashion design was different. It was a practical experience, rather than just ideas and theories,” she said.

"The most interesting thing about fashion design is to see what you imagine as a reality,” Younis said, adding that she also loves to hear “positive feedback from the customers."

Each design for her collections goes through a complex, multi-step process.

"I use sketching in drawing the concept, as brainstorming,” she began. “Then we start drawing the pattern, which is the measurements of all the dimensions of the body, then cutting the pattern, and the final step is sewing."

"Currently we don't use any computer software in designing, our work is sketching and hand drawing, but I am planning in the future to work on (software),” she added.

Younis said that she always stays up-to-date with the latest fashion trends by following trending colors and adapting to the newest pattern techniques. She also follows the world’s fashion designers in hopes to learn from their success. "Every designer in the world has their own signature,” she said.

The designer expressed her disappointment that Jordan does not manufacture fabrics and materials, making designers heavily dependent on imports.

She added that during the COVID-19 lockdowns, she focused on white bridal dresses. "I was not affected much by the pandemic, there were a large number of brides during the lockdowns."

Younis’ new collection will feature classic styles for both hijabi and non-hijabi women.

"In the future, I am seeking to expand my business and to have a showroom in the center of Amman," Younes added.

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