It’s an exciting time for hijabi women and fans of a conservative silhouette: modest fashion is coming to the masses. Multi-brand e-tailers ASOS has unveiled their Ramadan campaign and style edit, which has been curated by 23-year-old fashion and beauty influencer Shahd Batal.
Cosmo ME caught up with the model to talk Ramadan routines, the misconceptions around Muslim women, and, of course, her bomb ASOS edit.
Cosmopolitan Middle East: How did you get into fashion and beauty?
Shahd Batal: I shot my first video when I was in college on my Macbook Air and I hope it never sees the light of day. I used to hide the fact I was creating YouTube videos from my friends. If someone came up to me and said they saw me on YouTube, I would be like, ‘no that wasn’t me!’ I was so shy about it. As the followers grew I decided I needed to tell my parents before someone got there before me.
Cosmo: You only started wearing your hijab a few years ago?
SB: I actually used to create hair tutorial videos – basically the opposite of what I do now! I decided to start wearing it three years ago. I was going through a lot in my life and I turned to religion and it just felt right. I lost a lot of followers who used to follow me for natural hair tips, but I didn’t take it personally, and after I started wearing the hijab I really got into beauty and make-up.
Cosmo: Do you think there is still a misconception around the hijab?
SB: Of course! I try not to take too much notice of micro aggressions, but it’s strange being in an area that is not my community. I do experience some stares from people; the misconception is that we’re oppressed.
Cosmo: Let’s talk about your ASOS collection. Who was the woman you had in mind when curating this edit?
SB: That was definitely my biggest struggle when piecing together this collection. I wanted the collection to be as close to my personal style as possible. I’ve selected pieces that aren’t necessarily modest, but they can be layered and styled modestly. I always try and dress as the best version of myself during Ramadan.
Cosmo: Your style edit in three words?
SB: Versatile, comfortable and elevated.
Cosmo: If you had to pick your three favourite pieces, which would they be?
SB: A two-piece sage suit (below) which is really easily to style modestly, the beige tracksuit and the lavender organza top, which such a moment.
Cosmo: You’ve included beauty products in your edit as well. How does your beauty routine change during Ramadan?
SB: I definitely let my skin breathe a lot more than normal. I haven’t been wearing as much make-up because of quarantine as well, so that’s been nice. I mask more and just take a lot more time to work on any skin problems, like hyper-pigmentation.
Click here to shop Shahd’s Ramadan ASOS edit.