Samia Malik’s label IHTGW—short for “I Have to Get Work”—is a response to the way capitalism has structured our daily lives. Raised in a multi-cultural neighborhood in West London, Malik grew up surrounded by different religions, languages and cultures but found social unity in the city’s growing music scene before studying design at Central Saint Martins. For her latest, “Collection 1,” Malik explored the theme of parallel diversity more closely by examining Islamic dress codes and integration in society.
As part of her research, Malik looked at the way modern Muslim women wore the Hijab and how the dress returned to prominence in recent years. She emphasizes that fashion and religious conservatism are not incompatible, but are instead a reflection of a woman’s choice to portray herself in a way befitting both her stylistic and spiritual outlook. “More women seem to be adopting the Hijab as their way of dress,” she notes, “but at the same time some of them try to preserve the image of a woman who enjoys consumption of the latest disposable trends.”
Malik’s designs are difficult to describe without sounding unorthodox, but each piece stands for something more than clothing. “It’s about integration,” she explains, “different types of people surviving next to each other.” Malik has continued to expand upon her original focus of interest with a number of streetwear-based collections, focusing on t-shirts, sweat tops and hooded tops, while finding new ways to integrate her politically and socially charged concepts.
Photographer: Andrej Vasilenko
Make Up Artist: Amy Conley
Models: Lauren Munisamy, Savita Shukla, Nerea Carrion Sanchis