Under The Abaya started out as an Instagram account for Saudi women to share their daily fashion endeavours from the very streets of the kingdom. Now Under The Abaya is not only an account that posts #ootd photos, but it’s a statement and lifestyle in and of itself.
Curated by Marriam Mossalli, the account truly personifies the rebirth of the notion of a Saudi Arabian woman. Mossalli believes the Abaya is a cultural and national symbol, and she wishes for it to be the country’s official attire, just like the Japanese kimono and the Moroccan kaftan.
And so, the notion of the abaya, and who’s underneath it, is revamped into something else than what is perceived around the world. The Abaya becomes a icon of fashion and personal expression, instead of the presumed oppression.
What does the triple-threat brand do basically? Fashion featuring, funding, and forwarding.
The Instagram accounts features daily photos of women from the streets of KSA. Each woman tells her own story through what she is wearing, and so gives character to the black abaya. They talk about their careers, their life, their style interests, and everything that makes them who they are. For the women to be featured, they just need to post their photos with the hashtag #UnderTheAbaya.
Following the same path of the Saudi Vision 2030 in which women rights are emphasized upon, the online presence was transformed into a hard copy, Under The Abaya. The book features a series of photos, submitted by the women themselves, showcasing their unique and captivating style.
The concept doesn’t stop there, because their aim is not only to showcase, but also to provide opportunities for people in need. All proceeds from the book are dedicated to Niche Arabia’s Fashion Design Scholarship Fund, which offers scholarships to aspiring fashion design students in financial need.
And so, they fund the dreams of many Saudi women around the country aspiring to work in the emerging KSA fashion scene.
This concept is not only supplying daily fashion inspirations, but also disclosing to the rest of the world a sneak peak into the lives of the strong, independent, and inspiring females that are often portrayed wrongfully in the media.
The brand celebrates the modern Saudi woman and depicts what she truly embodies, away from all the stereotypes and preconceptions. Not merely in the fashion sense, but also what these women do in their daily lives, what they dream of achieving, and who they aspire to be.
Thus, the remarkable women under the abayas are now being forwarded to the rest of the world, in their authentic, resilient, and quite fashionable element.