Fashion is not defined on the podiums anymore. Social media has become an important tool to shape fashion. Style consultant Hülya Aslan is one of the names who has realized the influence of social media on fashion and uses it. She had turned the hardship that she was having about hijab clothing into advantage and offers new alternatives for the ones who adopts it as a lifestyle. Moreover, her followers are not only the ones who prefer hijab clothing.

We met at the Haydarpaşa Terminal with Aslan who became a phenomenon of social media thanks to her suggestions to her followers and talked about the transformation of the hijab fashion and the influences of social media.

How did you become interested in fashion?
I love to dress well since my childhood. Before working as a fashion editor, I’d worked in different sectors for seven years but I was not happy. One day, I have met with a fashion magazine and fashion has become an indispensible in my life.

Did you have any education to become a fashion editor or did you have any experience in this field before?
I had a fashion editor training at the Fashion Academy in İstanbul for a while. I was the first one who had taken this education and first one in hijab to enter the fashion magazine sector due to the newly development of the hijab fashion. I have taken style consultancy training from Tülin Kermen. I have attended to many workshops. Being a fashion editor and the brand consultant contributed a lot to my career.

How did the hijab fashion developed, in your opinion?
The women in hijab used to see parkas as their only option until very recently. Because of this uniformed clothing comprehension, textile businesspeople and designers didn’t find it necessary to diversify the hijab clothing. Designers had the concern of “if it were produced, would it be in demand?” The number of the women who is wearing hijab is increasing in the business world. Therefore, the need in this field is also increasing. The women in hijab want to look stylish and elegant at the office. This transformation is caused the rapid development of the hijab clothing.

Is there such a thing called hijab fashion?
Within the rules determined by Islam, there are certain lines of hijab that are not supposed to be passed over. I think that these are supposed to be obeyed. In this aspect, I think the adaptation of the existing fashion into hijab style is commented as the hijab fashion.

Which countries have created the fashion in this field?
We can tell that rich Arab countries such as Dubai, Qatar, and Morocco have taken the first steps in this sense. Unfortunately, designers and brands in Turkey look at the situation with blinkers on and cannot think global.

Do you think that they don’t have the courage?
Yes, unfortunately. We couldn’t widespread social media very well. In addition, we have a disadvantage; textile didn’t have much support. If it were supported, today it might be much easier for us to enter the foreign markets. For instance, we could organize a fashion week that would be based on hijab clothing. Not only the representatives in our country, but also the representatives of other Islamic countries could have been invited to the event to show them our improvement.

What are the effects of social media on the clothing sector?
There are serious effects of social media on women’s clothing. Because you can observe more people. You can fallow more brands. You can see the world fashion with one click. Right now, social media has become the trading house of many new entrepreneurs and brands. Therefore, the effects on the clothing sector cannot be underestimated.

Why did social media embrace you this much?
The people around me tell me that I add spirit into what I wear, and I am warm and sincere. However, the fashion looks merry but at the same time, it has another face that looks serious. Because the moment you put that clothing on you, you look through stiff and harsh eyes to inject another dimension to your outfit. I preferred to smile in that clothing. I think what people liked was that.

Do you get reactions from some circles?
I get some criticism, of course. Hijab has its risks… I am aware of it and I mention it all the time. What they see is what they think you are, because they don’t know you or your lifestyle. Since I share things about fashion in social media, it looks as if this is the only thing that I do.

Do you promote brands in social media?
Yes, I promote brands through my shares. My followers are looking to find the answers to how to create a different style in their daily lives, or for a special event that they are invited. I am answering to their questions in this sense.

Who are the designers in the world and in Turkey that you follow, and whose styles do you like the best?
I like Ascha Akf, Russian designers Ulyana Sergeenko and Miroslava Duma in the world and Işıl Reçber, Ayşe Kucuroğlu, Feryal Gülman in Turkey. I also like the styles of Zeynep Babuçcu and Özleyiş Topbaş.

Tips from Hülya Aslan for women in hijab:
“A woman should know her body before creating her style. After finding out what goes on her and what not, the shopping would have an all-new meaning. Let me talk about the indispensables of wardrobes: black blazer jacket, white silk shirt, straight pants. These are the saviors of women. You can select among those pieces for the last minute meetings, or events. Large pieces are prominent this season. Oversize coats, and dresses… It seems like brands were working in our favor… We can combine the coats that are in full length with loose white shirts and jewelry that reflects our style. We can also add a combined unity with a matching purse and a shawl/head cover.”

Special Events:
Silk fabrics can be selected. In addition, depending on the importance of the event, the type of the accessories and the fabric that are going to be used might show differences.

Official meetings:
Simple selections that are not going to tire the other party’s eyes should be made. Shoes should be in harmony with your outfit and should be Cuban or low heeled.

Daily life:
Make comfort your priority. Choose outfits made from soft fabrics and flat but elegant shoes that are not going to delay your routine rush.