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“Modesty is a state of mind”
At times modest fashion can be perceived as only Muslim women covered from head to toe.
However at Barjis we believe modesty is more about you and not necessarily your faith. I agree that modesty stems from your faith and not showing off your body in a sexual context is promoted in every faith. However, modesty is a state of mind. It’s more about how you carry yourself, how you speak and your modest lifestyle. You can be top to toe covered up but still lead an immodest lifestyle or carry yourself in an immodest manner. On the other hand you can be looking very immodest but your character, personality or lifestyle is modest.
“Modest fashion and BARJIS ethos originates from my Britishness”
“The Barjis ethos has always been about creating clothes for modest women, irrelevant of which background, country, faith she comes from. There are so many modestly dressed women who don’t wear the headscarf but choose to dress elegantly. They don’t like showing off their shoulders, shape of their bodies or even their arms. But the fashion industry I believe have not truly catered for this woman. BARJIS the brand is perceived as a Muslim brand with a Muslim ethos but if we dig deep this modesty that I have chosen doesn’t just stem from my faith. It has been adopted from my two cultures – British and Pakistani. Actually if I am really honest, I have been influenced on modesty from the British culture more than from my Pakistani. I find British society to be more modest in their lifestyle and thinking than the Pakistani. Coming from a Pakistani background, it is expected that when you have made it or want to project success you buy a luxury car and park it outside your house. While British people are naturally more modest about their achievements and success. I think this influence has shaped me and made me who I am today. This whole idea of modest fashion and the BARJIS ethos originates from my Britishness and not just my faith. I can be very British and at the same time have quintessential Pakistani qualities. This fusion of two cultures that are different but very similar shapes BARJIS’s ideology and Fashion. The Pakistani culture is naturally more colourful, enriched with beautiful folk music and extravagant by nature. They enjoy showing off their wealth through their homes, cars (there is nothing wrong in that). But the point I wanted to make is that the Britishness within me has made me more modest.
“This fusion of two cultures that are different but very similar shapes BARJIS’s ideology and Fashion”
The combination of the two cultures is what makes BARJIS unique. The colourful prints are from my influences of going to Karachi on my holidays. Richness and intricacies in the embroidery are also from my Pakistani roots. The understated simplicity of my clothes, clean lines and my modest lifestyle choices comes from my British values. I have the best of both worlds, I am proud of being a British Pakistani and this resonates in my clothes and in BARJIS” – Barjis Chohan