Ã‚lÃ¢, a new fashion magazine in Turkey, is empowering Muslim women to dress stylishly from headscarf to pointy-toed flats. The magazine, which has been compared to Vogue and other prominent fashion publications, covers health, psychology , marriage, engagements and the law without the sensational and sexual connotations of the others. Its readers are mostly educated females whose families have climbed the social ladder after migrating to the cities, so it’s not surprising that many of these women are embracing the magazine’s message that “you can wear a headscarf and still belong to the jetset.”
Faced with competition from other women’s magazines that sell at least 20,000 copies, Ã‚lÃ¢ got off to a very good start, selling 30,000 units per month in Turkey with an additional 5,000 in Germany. “Elle, Vogue, and Marie Claire do not provide fashion answers to conservative women living in Turkey,” says Mehmet Volkan Atay, founder of the magazine”
The magazine’s potential is even greater, he explains, as approximately 60% of women in Turkey wear either a traditional scarf worn loosely (başörtüsü), a headscarf which leaves no lock of hair uncovered, or a çarşaf, the black cloth that covers the whole body (Worldcrunch).
With more than 100,00 followers on Facebook it seems that Ã‚lÃ¢ has proved to be an outlet for Muslim women who have longed to be heard and seen as beautiful and worthy of attention. The magazine’s glossy cover and couture looks ultimately appeal to any woman who indulges in fashion and is curious about cultural trends. It also offers a platform for women to feel comfortable about dressing modestly where it’s less about the body and more about the clothes.
Controversy over whether or not fashion and Islam can comfortably coexist still remains, as many traditional Muslims believe women on display in any fashion is a violation of Islamic principles.
Regardless of these sentiments, it appears that Ã‚lÃ¢ is here to stay. And with Turkey’s growing number of observant Muslims, the magazine is in a position to set future fashion trends and continually influence an emerging culture of women who are ready to be comfortable and chic in their own skin.
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