It is not asking for much to want to enjoy the beach. Yet, Hijabis have found it difficult to do just that for years. Whether it be due to the lack of trendy, fashion-forward Burkini options, or the prejudice against Hijabis swimming. Reem Shabrawy decided to do something about it. This proactive 23-year-old created Glo, a burkini brand, from scratch for her Bachelor’s project. The brand is now catering to Hijabis and all women looking for modest swimwear, with gorgeous fashionable designs, and enough variety to suit different tastes.
What is the message you are sending with your designs?
My message is empowering women, giving them more confidence while on the beach wearing the burkini, and spreading awareness that we can actually look cool and fashionable wearing a burkini on the beach in public.
I suffered a lot trying to find a fashionable look for myself in terms of swimwear
Do you think Egyptian Hijabis find fashionable outfits easily? Especially when it comes to swimming suits?
From my personal experience, I suffered a lot trying to find a fashionable look for myself in terms of swimwear. I was always looking for a solution. I started by tailoring burkinis for myself, and I received many complements that made me feel more confident about it. And that is when I decided to spread this feeling to every woman who wants to look and feel more confident about herself.
Why do you think burkinis are so frowned upon?
Don’t get me started, because this is actually really frustrating. Some places in the North Coast ban women in burkinis from swimming, as they believe we are not good looking and fashionable. I will prove them wrong one day.
The hardest part is to create designs which are modest yet fashionable and not boring
Have you found that selling burkinis is more difficult than selling other types of swimwear?
Selling burkinis is actually more difficult than selling any kind of clothing in terms of marketing, manufacturing, fabrics and most importantly the designs. The hardest part is to create designs which are modest yet fashionable and not boring.
Have you personally faced an incident where you weren’t confident because of the type of swimwear you put on?
At the very beginning of my Hijiab journey, yes, but it didn’t last. Now I only get compliments that I am actually looking good wearing the burkini.
What do you dream of achieving within your business?
My dream is spreading this message as much as I can here in Egypt and abroad as well. And I hope that my brand will make women feel better about themselves, and never think of taking off the Hijab because they are not feeling confident about themselves.