Interview: Behind Niyya’s Design-Minded Prayer Mats with Founder Myhra Mirza

Balancing tradition and style, the brand encourages expression of identity with pride

Religious wares are oftentimes traditional, ornate (even outdated) and this makes sense considering they’re rooted in rituals that are thousands of years old. It’s not common that a religious object is functional and authentic while also being contemporary and design-forward. But for Brooklyn-based designer Myhra Mirza, prayer mats (used predominantly within the Muslim faith) existed on two ends of the spectrum: they were either traditional …

Model Ugbad Abdi is Among Those Changing the Face of Fashion

Teenager, Iowan, Somali, Muslim and talent agency-recruited runway model: Ugbad Abdi’s rise to stardom began just after her high-school graduation. One of NYC’s top agencies messaged her on Instagram, and months later she was walking in Valentino’s Paris show. She then walked for Burberry, Chanel, Fendi and Marc Jacobs; and appeared in Vogue’s April, August and September issues. She’s done so on her own terms: …

Explore The Met’s “Heavenly Bodies” Exhibition

While there was no missing the coverage surrounding the Met Gala—whether it’s the reportage, live-tweeting, or ensuing memes—sometimes the celebrity fanfare gets more attention than the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s spring exhibition. This year the show is titled “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” and explores the connection between the religion’s iconography, symbolism, imagery and how this identity has influenced the world …