Modesty and modeling — two seemingly diametrically opposed concepts. But the founders of the cheekily titled Muslim modeling agency Underwraps are hoping to somehow marry the two. The first modeling agency of its kind, Underwraps aims to create “a fusion of Inclusion—creating the best of both worlds.”
Founded by American-born Muslim Nailah Lymus, the agency cites Muslim modeling success Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, of Tunisia, and Hindi Sahlial, of Morocco, as signs that a tidal wave of Muslim fashionistas may be approaching. So far, Lymus has four girls unofficially under her wing, who she’ll take around New York Fashion Week to get a taste of the experience.
According to Muslim tradition, women should dress modestly, exposing only face, hands, and feet. Clothes are also to be loose-fitting so as to not expose a woman’s shape. “[Muslim models] come from a background where they dress Islamically appropriate, but to be in this industry and to be a model you kind of have to forfeit that,” Lymus told Fashionista. “That’s why I wanted to start this agency, so you don’t have to do that. You don’t have to lose who you are to be in this business.”
But given that so much of fashion is about exposing and highlighting the body, showing off its curves and angles, that it’s difficult to say how far Underwraps’ reach can really extend — at least as far as Western fashion is concerned. [Glamour]