Islamic Lifestyle

She’s normalising hijab in the mainstream: ‘You don’t get in this game if you’re not strong’ – Melanie Elturk, Haute Hijab

Women are active drivers of the growth and success of the global Islamic economy. This story is part of the Successful Women in the Islamic Economy series published in the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2020/21 report that you can DOWNLOAD HERE


Haute Hijab celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, a journey that co-founder Melanie Elturk admits has “not been a straight line”. Through the challenges, she constantly reminds herself of her intentions and why she started the business to begin with.  

“Starting to wear the hijab at 13-years-old I knew that I was not alone in feeling that we just didn’t have the right product, especially living in the West, growing up in America, I just didn’t have the hijabs that I wanted to make me feel beautiful and confident and comfortable and that really fit in with my style and aesthetic,” said Melanie who started Haute Hijab with her husband Ahmad Zedan.

The hijab is such a big identity marker for Muslims living in the West that having the right product for each woman, and as a way to uplift her community, became even more important for Melanie.

“I really wanted to create and build a community of Muslim women to elevate us as women and to help those who are struggling. This community aspect of building on the ground, this great community of women who are all supporting each other was just as important as the product itself.”

In the increasingly competitive modest fashion industry, Melanie and Haute Hijab have had to think outside the box and be “really creative” to solve problems.

“See [obstacles] as opportunities, see them as windows that you’re opening rather than doors that are closing in your face. So long as you take on that mindset, an idea will come to you, something will come to you.”

Read more of the interview with Melanie in the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2020/21 report that you can DOWNLOAD HERE.

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