“There was absolutely nowhere one could go to buy simple, functional and climate-friendly abayas or hijabs… unless one wants to wear the thin black abaya and freeze in the harsh UK winter months.”
Shahida could see there was a style obstacle for Manchester’s Islamic community. And she thought she knew how to fix it.
In 1995, she embarked on a mission to develop style-conscious yet wearable Islamic clothing – working with her husband Altaf to launch Abayas Boutique – and the city’s leading luxury ‘House of Hijab’ was born.
Today, the Rusholme-based clothing brand is the go-to spot for garments that conform to Islamic guidelines without compromising on style, specialising in beautiful hijabs and abayas that are fashion-forward; with chic options made from luxurious fabrics.
The business idea originated from Shahida’s need for an abaya that allowed her to feel confident, and she enlisted the help of her fashion designer husband to create one.
What started as a simple idea soon skyrocketed to popularity in Greater Manchester.
“Word spread and my friends were placing orders for customised abayas and hijabs – we were inundated with orders from the local community,” Shahida explained.
Abayas Boutique is now run as a family business, with their eldest daughter assisting Shahida and Altaf in creating the garments.
The brand puts a new spin on what Islamic clothing usually entails, adopting luxurious and trendy designs that still allow for modest dressing.
“We offer exclusive stylish designs for the modern Muslim woman demonstrating that conformity to Islamic guidelines need not compromise on elegance and style”, says Shahida.
The abayas and hijabs from the brand also befit any occasion, whether it’s a casual streetwear composition or a more formal style.
The founding couple are proud Mancunians – Altaf was born and bred in Longsight whereas Shahida has lived in Manchester for most of her life – and they’re both dedicated to catering for the city’s Muslim communities and style-conscious students.
Rather than being inspired by the city, they firmly believe that they’ve made a difference to Manchester’s fashion scene.
“We have paved the way to modest fashion and luxury abaya fashion,” says Shahida.
“We are literally bringing the trends and so forth to the city.”
Abayas Boutique has recently launched their Ramadan spring collection, which adopts flowy silhouettes and pastel colours that are befitting of the spring weather whilst still in keeping with their luxurious style.
“We are in Ramadan right now, so clients are looking to purchase one or more of a fancier abaya to wear for Eid or to gift,” states Shahida, who is keen to provide customers with only the best of luxury modest Islamic wear for this occasion.
“Our new collection’s inspiration has been derived from distinct fusions of different periods in history, cultural art and fashion, as well as cultural trends.”
Manchester dentist loved by celebs is knocking £1000 off popular Invisalign treatment
A luxury dentist in Manchester is offering Invisalign treatment with a massive saving this month.
Ruh Dental, which counts the likes of Molly-Mae Hague and Helen Flanagan as patients, will be offering packages with more than £1000-worth of savings.
The special offer is part of the boutique dental practice’s Invisalign Open Week, with discounts on the hugely popular clear brace system which straightens teeth discreetly.
Most cases are able to be completed within six months, with noticeable differences in just three months.
Invisalign can close gaps, and fix overbites and misaligned teeth with less clinic visits than traditional ‘train track’ braces.
Anyone who books in for a consultation and takes up treatment during Invisalign Open Week will save over £1000, thanks to a free consultation (worth £75), free 3D digital scan and simulation of your teeth (worth £300), £400 off aligners, free Vivera Retainers worth £500, and free teeth whitening worth £175.
The open week will run between 29 March and 5 April, with the offer valid for five days after the consultation.
Ruh Dental is based in the heart of Spinningfields and is trusted by the likes of Jill Scott, Helen Flanagan and Olivia Attwood.
The private practice has no waiting lists, with patients seen ASAP, and focuses on restorative and cosmetic procedures.
Its dental team is led by the award-winning Dr Billal Arshad, an expert in his field who trains colleagues nationally and internationally and is famed for his attention to detail and artistic flair.
Another Ruh Dental deal currently running is a Mother’s Day offer, where you can claim a free afternoon tea at The Ivy and a free hygiene appointment when you refer your mum for an appointment with Dr Arshad.
Trafford Centre’s new interactive ‘Wonderwall’ experience helps you style your home
The Trafford Centre has come up with a novel way to design your home with their exciting new ‘Wonderwall’ experience.
On until Sunday, 26 February, the fully interactive Wonderwall is a fun new touchscreen approach to styling your home and selecting fine new furnishings, featuring furniture and homeware items from various Trafford Centre retailers.
Doing up your gaff can be a fun but often stressful and challenging task, with the sheer amount of choice sometimes feeling overwhelming and the notion of making appointments with a stylist or a full day of shopping around is simply too much faff when you’re trying to get on with everyday life.
That’s where the Wonderwall comes in: not only do you get to create your own mood board on the fly with countless top-quality items from the likes of John Lewis, H&M, Selfridges, Next and more, but you also get on-the-go styling advice as you build out the look for each of your rooms.
Moreover, you never have to risk that dreaded scenario of your order turning up and being nothing like you expected or it was advertised online, as the best part is you can literally go and look, feel and test every piece you pick from the shops within the Trafford Centre.
Better still, if you sign-up to become a Pulse member — TC’s dedicated loyalty which provides you early and exclusive news, perks and events from all of their retailers — you can win yourself a limited-time only gift card to put towards styling your home.
All you have to do is sign-up by joining the WiFi when you’re there. Happy days.
Last but not least, with less than a week left of half-term, not only is the Trafford Centre the perfect place to take the kids but the Wonderwall can also help keep them occupied as well as get them involved in the redesign.