PHKI finally got to interview the lovely Najmah Abraham! She is a women of many talents including spoken word artist, host of her own radio show on American Muslim 360, clothing designer, and graphic designer. Did I mention she’s also a mom?! Check out her interview below on hijabi fashion, poetry and much more!
PHKI: You dabble in a little bit of everything, please explain to PHKI what all of your talents are?
Najmah: MashaAllah! Overall I am an artist. I just like to use different ways to express myself through art. Currently, I am a fashion & graphic designer, a photographer, a spoken word artist, a motivational speaker/mentor, a radio host, a marketing consultant, and a promoter.
PHKI: Awesome! Now, despite your clothing business being on hiatus, what first inspired you to design clothing?
Najmah: I have done art since childhood. Was a member of the Art Honors Society in HS, mainly I was into painting. After taking my shahadah and finding out about the drawing of images being haram, I steered away from going to art school, since I drew and painted portraits. I eventually decided to go into fashion, obtaining a degree in Fashion Design, since it was a halal way to be artistic, and at the time there was a huge need in the community to have more islamic fashion designers, since there weren’t many out.
PHKI: It’s definitely nice to see so many hijabi’s partaking in designing islamic clothing now! So how do you define the hijabi styles of NYC/Philly?
Najmah: Hijabi styles in NY are fashion forward. Since NY is a fashion capital, Hijabis here are also pushing the creative envelope, with layering, color blocking & unique prints. Philly has their own hijabi style that is unique to the city. You can’t look at a sister from NY and say she is from NY based on her hijab style. But in Philly, you automatically know “She’s from Philly” based on the way she ties her scarf. Philly has a signature.
PHKI: This is so true! I also think that both sister’s from Philly & NYC often times get inspired by and swap ideas from each other as well! So tell us, how does writing and performing poetry inspire you to be creative in other aspects of your life?
Najmah: I feel my whole life has been a whole creative expression. I think writing/performing encourages me to be creative in my fashion choices. I am more fashion forward in my hijab styles, color choices, and dress styles when I’m on the stage as opposed to everyday life. I will style my look based on the venue and pieces I may be performing. I have also been inspired to design clothing based on a poem I’ve written to capture the mood I was in, which is pretty cool.
PHKI: A true artist, mashaAllah! Tell us, what’s next for Najmah53?
Najmah: Alhamdulillah 2012 was a big year. Completing and promoting my poetry cd “Put the Stars Into Alignment 1.2” I have traveled all over nationally. (philly, md, dc, detroit, etc). I’ve also done a few collabos with some artists. I plan to work on another cd, but my main project will be a book, combining all of my artistic talents, inshaAllah it will be epic. I also plan on expanding my graphic business, & relaunching my fashion line. I also have a goal to add international travel to my list. I want to perform overseas inshaAllah.
PHKI: That sounds amazing!!! What’s the best way for potential clients or promoter’s to contact you?
Najmah: Go to my website! www.Najmah53.com click “Contact” or email me at Najmah53@Najmah53.com.
Shukran for the interview. Might I add that you are one of the most down to earth and real sister’s that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. May Allah grant you success in all of your endeavors, Ameen!
PHKI caught up with LiaWear Action to discuss modest clothing options for the fit muslimah, where the inspiration to make clothes comes from, and why you should choose them for your active clothing needs!
PHKI: First and foremost, please tell us how you got into creating clothing?
I come from a very creative family. My mom has done everything from decorating cakes to upholstering furniture to improving the décor of our local masjid, MashaAllah. Whatever she touches, she makes beautiful. From her I learned how to have an eye for detail and to keep trying until I produce my personal best. My dad is Rudolph Ali creator of the Ali Bean Pie. From him I learned that it takes hard work to accomplish your goals but the results can be very sweet.
As a little girl my creativity came in the form of clothing design. I was inspired by the color and excitement of the Muslim fashion shows my mom would take me to see in Philadelphia.
I had the awesome opportunity of shooting with Neal Santos of Philadelphia City Paper for a Street Shoot immediately after completing a full day of Teaching Social Studies to teens! Story posted next week inshaAllah! For more information visit our blog on Facebook!
I ordered the hijab Sept. 2, 2012 and it arrived Sept. 6, 2012 (Please note I ordered on a Sunday and it was a holiday so this was great shipping).
Would you recommend this store?
Absolutely! The hijab was sprayed with a lovely scent and came with a beautiful cuff which I am wearing in the picture but isn’t very visible. In addition, the shipping as mentioned above was great as well as the price (a hijab and cuff for under $20)! Besides a few hanging threads which had to be tucked under once wrapped, I have NO complaints! I will definitely be ordering from them again inshaAllah. I encourage you to support their business!