“Amaliah started as a personal frustration,” says 24-year-old entrepreneur, Nafisa Bakkar. “We realized that it was a big pain point for Muslim women to find clothes that were modest but also fashionable.
In 2015, Nafisa Bakkar and her sister, Selina, launched Amaliah on Instagram, curating Muslim-friendly clothes from such designer brands as H&M, ASOS and Zara. Since then, the page has grown to more than 250,000 women who share their personal stories and fashion sense. “I see Amaliah as a … tool for cultural change,” says Nafisa. “I don’t really see us as just a clothing brand.”
The goal for the sisters is a compellling one: to change the perception of Islam. “In today’s political turmoil… it’s never been more important for Muslim women to be heard,” says Nakisa who grew up in the U.K. with her sister to Indian parents. “What we’re seeing in the Islamic economy [is] a lot of start-ups rising out of frustrations, out of feeling that we’re not catered for.”