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Modesty x Couture | New Muslim Modeling Agency in NYC

9 March 2012 General 21 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Model for Underwraps Agency, NYC

Model for Underwraps Agency, NYC

Modesty x Couture | New Muslim Modeling Agency in NYC

By Ada Lee, Schema Magazine

The American-born Muslim designer Nailah Lymus seeks out to bridge the gap between fashion and modesty. She does so by launching a new modeling agency in New York City for Muslim models.

The agency, Underwraps, will represent aspiring models that wish to work in the mainstream fashion industry without having to compromise their faith-led belief of modesty in dress. According to Lymus, it is a belief that requires clothes to be loose and not shape revealing, and that the only body parts that can be visible are your face, hands and feet.

“Being modest isn’t just a Muslim concept; it crosses many religions and cultures,” says Lymus. “Beautiful women who have always wanted to venture on to the catwalk but have declined because of their beliefs now have a chance.” Lymus’ goal with Underwraps, to me, seems to be creating a new space for reconciling concepts that are seemingly conflicting.

Lymus attracted attention when she first launched her line of clothing “Amirah Creations” last year. Her designs are hot but they’re also trail blazing—she’s determined to break stereotypes and limitations of what Muslim women can wear, and ultimately, how they can fit in without forfeiting their identities.

Underwraps Model

Underwraps Model

How will this agency fare in an industry where flesh-baring models are the standard? Judging by the comments online, it seems like everybody has their own idea of what modesty, Islam, modeling, and high fashion should be about. Many are skeptical of whether it’ll survive. Others are saying that there is no market for modest fashion.

But if fashion is an expression of the self, then what Lymus is doing resonates in Schema—Underwraps is to Muslim models as Schema is to hyphenated Canadians. It’s a space where 1st/2nd/3rd generations can navigate through cultures without having to compromise, without having to choose simply being one or the other.

So I say, you go, girl.

Ada Lee is a sixth year Human Geography/International Relations student who is interested in people and what makes them tick. The list ranges from social justice to astrology. She tries to get by in life by getting high on ideas, breathing deeply, and dreaming vividly. Follow 0415ADA at your own risk.


  1. I think it is a great idea. Actually it is about time there is a way for models to show true beauty by keeping their clothing ON.

  2. Fabulous concept. Hideous shoes!!

  3. this is wonderful, i think we in america accept the worst in fashion exposure.

  4. I think this is a very cool idea. I’d love to see a fashion show like this!

  5. The shoe people have been berserk for a while now. They’ll give you a burfoot alright! Pic 2 looks she has a whole tablecloth on her head.

  6. Awesome!!! I mean the most beautiful women I have seen are the ones being quite modest, particularly the ones wearing the hijab. :). I think muslim dress is very pretty <3

  7. Id like to see the designs before judgements but I don’t know how clothing that covers up everything Will sell.

  8. If that leading picture is an idication of things to come, I’d rather move to Saudia.

  9. I could not walk in those shoes. I am glad they are trying to promote cute modest clothes though. No one wants to wear boring stuff. At least not my friends 🙂

  10. HOORAY! İts about bloody time, too! Not all of us (even non-Muslims) want to dress like hookers! You go girl!!

  11. I’m not sure how this agency will work since it’s a model’s job to show the clothes of the designer.Models are hired to showcase the clothes of the designer, if a model has a problem with a designer’s clothes for whatever reason then don’t work for him. It seems this agency will only work for models who are only willing to model certain types of clothing.It should also be noted that “modesty” means different things to different people.One groups standard for “modest” behavior is not the only acceptable standard for women.

  12. Rachel
    Lol ive seen girls in long cardigans, maxi dresses, jeans and boots, I’ve seen it all. Hijabi girls just buy bits and pieces and pair them together.

  13. I’ll wear the shoes. Anything to give me height lol.

  14. Lam lam I love love love maxi dresses

  15. I own like one. Its black with beige, pink, and white flowers on it.

  16. I think that companies like this are insanely cool! Eventually all Americans will think Muslims are incredibly beautiful too, and that’s what we all try to do right? Look beautiful without exposing ourselves. That’s pretty chic 🙂

  17. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)?

    7 Conditions For a Woman’s Dress in Islam

    1. Clothing must cover the entire body, only the hands and face may remain visible (According to some Fiqh Schools) .

    2. The material must not be so thin that one can see through it.

    3. The clothing must hang loose so that the shape / form of the body is not apparent.

    4. The female clothing must not resemble the man’s clothing.

    5. The design of the clothing must not resemble the clothing of the non believing women.

    6. The design must not consist of bold designs which attract attention.

    7. Clothing should not be worn for the sole purpose of gaining reputation or increasing one’s status in society.

  18. I love dis! its gives muslim ladies who wish 2 become a model the opportunity 2 fulfil their dreams witout exposing their body. I also wish 2 become a part of dis,how can I get sign up,pls reply.

  19. This is great, I wanna sign up but I live in CA how do I start

  20. i have been very interesting in this modeling agency for muslim woman, i have been looking for it to sign up, i really what to have thi opportunity with this agency. but keep up the good work its amazing how juh give muslim woman an chance to shine as well. thanks 🙂

  21. This is a great idea for people like myself who desires to become models in a halal way. Thank you very much ,I hope to hear from you .

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