America’s First Muslim Clothing Store Challenges Stereotypes
A typical American woman has 30 outfits in her closet for different uses and events, whereas in 1930 women had just nine outfits each. Yet when it comes to dressing for the occasion, a young entrepreneur is working to challenge the stereotypical beliefs on what is appropriate for women to wear.
Lisa Vogl has opened up Verona, the first brick-and-mortar clothing store specializing in modest Muslim clothing.
Located in the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando FL right in between a Dillards and The Limited, Verona hopes to cater to women of all faiths.
Vogl, an American fashion designer, converted to Islam in 2011. She started her own modest clothing and hijab brand in 2013 and since then has been challenging the apparent Islamaphobia towards Muslin women who choose to wear headcovers in western countries.
Vogl says her inspiration for creating a modest clothing store spanned from the challenges of going to the mall looking for undershirts and slightly modest clothing and coming up empty handed.
Without any formal fashion design training, Vogl launched Verona’s online boutique in February of 2015. She tells The Huffington Post that she aimed to give the clothing a western feel.
She explains, “Whenever you think about Islamic fashion, you always attach it to the Middle East. But Islam is such a diverse religion and you’re going to find millions of Muslims living in Europe and North America … So I ended up going with an Italian name to speak to the majority of our consumer base, which is European and American Muslims.”
This is working, as Vogl explains that the majority of her client base are non-Muslin women who are simply searching for modest clothing at a reasonable price.
Explaining the opening of Verona as being a significant milestone for the American Muslim community, Vogl hopes to expand her enterprise internationally. Within the next few years, she plans to expand this culture of influence and open stores in Paris and London.