Upcoming Designer Dina Toki-o Takes Muslim Fashion World to Another Level
By Sobia Lodhi Kamran (www.reveilingyourself.com)
Dina Torkia, 21, is an upcoming designer who definitely has the oomph factor! She'll take the Muslimah-fashion world by storm and give Calvin Klein, Chanel and Armani a run for their money.
The moment I saw Torkia's work and designs, I knew she was the new "it" girl on the "Muslimah block!" She is commonly known as Dina Toki-o in the hi-tech world, such as facebook, blogs, twitter and other social networking websites.
Before I began talking to her, I had this preconceived notion about Torkia:
pretty + fashionable = arrogant.
After talking to her for quite a while I realized why the wise advised not to judge a book by its cover. She was anything but arrogant! Torkia was so down to earth and bubbly that you wouldn't be able to tell she was whipping up designs that could easily set fire on a ramp.
She was so busy in life that she had missed the train with technology, she was still using hotmail (nothing against it), so I introduced her to gmail! (I know I'm biased.) I walked her through the process: how to create an account, how to add people and how to even sign out, all at fajr time in England, which is where she lives. She had nothing of what one would consider a "diva attitude."
She's been into fashion since she was at GCSE level, this is the first stage of secondary or high school education for students in UK. One would think she would have big names as her inspiration, instead they change from T.V. show to T.V. show, "Like last night I was inspired by Nicki Minaj and the week before it was a poster I saw on 90210," Torkia said, which followed by her virtual giggle.
She stopped designing when she was 18 all the way up until the age of 20, and then she just couldn't resist her passion to design fashionable clothes. She kept completing projects for school, designing on the side and taking pictures of her work, which is what really got her motivated in the first place. Her motivation has brought her so far that she claims, "I get headaches because I have so many ideas and I don't have enough time to do everything that I would like to do." She says sometimes she even starts disliking the project she's working on at the moment, because she feels like her brain just produced a better idea.
She's a confident woman who is constantly working. Torkia takes it day-by-day or else she says she feels she'd lose all of her hair worrying. As a designer, one is always in the company of fierce competitiors, fast paced life and even faster changing styles. So does Torkia worry about her brilliant ideas being replicated? "Of course I do, it's already happened, but in the fashion world you'll see something similar being designed somewhere else! I just think to myself, you can take this design but you cant copy what I've got planned next in my head."
What ReveilingYourself has found out from Torkia is that she is definitely different in one way from millions of designers out there, and that key detail is that she's designing with Muslimahs in mind. Torkia says, " I think in western stores there is so much choice now for hijabis to find really suitable clothes, its not a problem anymore like it used to be a few years back. However, what I find is that the majority of hijabis I see really dont know how to make themselves look stylish at the same time, and that really does my head in! I'm designing for hijabis that don't have a first clue about what clothes to put together, which would need a specific hijabi line."
Torkia gave us some of her valuable time on answering some questions, so f you're really looking into following in the footsteps of Dina, then these are some of the things she mentioned as her likes/dislikes/advice:
Favorite designer: Zuhair Murah, Jil Sander, and whoever designs for Top Shop, (which is a popular shop in the U.K.)Can't walk out the door without? If I'm not wearing jewelry then I feel naked. It has to be at least one big, fat ring or loads of little ones on most of my fingers, and I have to have a chunk of bracelets on my left wrist. One thing you see Muslimahs do wrong? Wear their hijabs so forward that you can't see their eyebrows, and also when hijabis show their ear lobes in an attempt to wear earrings.
Solution you would provide for that? Push it [hijab] back a little. My models are used to wearing it like that [covering eyebrows] and it was hell trying to get them to do the other style. For the earlobes, I would suggest just to wear your earrings on your under-scarf.
General advice for your fans: I would say wear whatever shows your personality. Be creative with what you wear and don't always go for the "safest" option because it'll probably turn out boring and predictable.
Safest colors to wear: I'd say nude/tan/beige with any color to match. It will look good any time, any place, in whatever form of clothing
Goals: I want to be a great, big, fat successful designer, insha'Allah! I want to open stores worldwide and have shows in New York Fashion Week! What more could I want? It will take me several years but I'll be doing designing work, whether successful or not until I die, because I love it.
Torkia plans on launching her line (fingers crossed and God willing) by the end of summer 2011. Yes ladies, it's just a few months away. And according to this stylish diva, what you can be planning on seeing in this collection are some "funky hijabs that are really fun to wear!" This work-from-home designer has promised ReveilingYourself.com a sample from her new collection when her label launches, and exclusive never before seen pictures of her behind-the-scenes! Stick around because in the next post you'll get to see Dina Torkia sewing and just living it up in her daily life!
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did interviewing and writing it up! Reveiling Yourself wishes Dina Torkia the very best with her work and hopes to see her when she makes it big!
Copyright Rules Apply. (Meaning No Copying)
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