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Global Runway in KUFashion culture of Malaysian and American exchange students
Choi Hyo-min | 승인 2017.07.13 11:51

Sometimes when you walk around the campus, you may see some foreign exchange students wearing veils around their hair. In fact, the veil is called hijab and is worn by Muslim women as a symbol of modesty and privacy. To find out more about hijabs, let us ask some questions to Adibah from Malaysia who wears hijab for religious reason. 

Malaysian Hijab Style

Adibah / Environmental Engineering 

People say for women their hair is their crown. However, for Muslim women and girls, hijab is our crown.” 

Q1Normally, at what age do people start wearing hijab?

Actually it differs from religions but women and girls should start to wear one after puberty, around 11 to 15 years old. It should become compulsory after puberty but nowadays, some people choose not to wear it. 

Q2Is there a famous trend with hijab going on in 2017?

Nowadays, it is getting busier with work life so they just keep it simple. For my hijab, it is very simple to wear, so I can just put it on and go out. We usually buy it from the store. There is one famous store called Ariani. It might be quite expensive but some people would try to look up their new collections. 

Q3What type of hijab do people prefer?

In case of me, it is just a plain color. I have one box of hijabs right now so every day I change it to different kinds of colors. Some people wear hijabs decorated with flowers or various designs on it because of higher interest in fashion. Thanks to that, the hijab industry has become very famous. For example, there is a Japanese Muslim called Hana Tajima and her hijab fashion is known all over the world. She has recently collaborated with Uniqlo for her hijab fashion. 

Q4Are there some good or uncomfortable things about hijab? 

On a hot sunny day, others say “You look uncomfortable” or “You seem oppressed by the hijab. Then, I just say it is okay because it is my religion so I feel the duty to protect it. In fact, hijabs actually prevent my hair from easily falling down because without it, my hair would be directly exposed to the sunlight. 

Yuna as Malaysian singer-songwriter and hijabista 

Q5Have you heard of hijabista (hijab + fashion + star)?

I know there are people who are famous because of hijabs like Yuna. She is from Malaysia and currently having her activities in London. It makes me so proud because hijabistas did not remove themselves from the community in the past just because they are wearing a hijab. However, they chose to go out fashionably and be confident. 

 

Hijab seems to be a very interesting fashion item, then how about western fashion culture this time? Here is Helem from America who would love to satisfy our curiosity. 

American Fashion style 

Helem / International Trade 

America is very individualistic so it is all about you.
It goes in with not just lifestyle in general but fashion too.

Q1What kinds of college apparel are there in America?

Every university has their mascot or logo and the school usually prints that out on sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, or sweatpants on their own. Sometimes the university does not have to sell them inside the campus and they sell them at Walmart. In case of my university, the Walmart sells hats, blankets, pencils, and pens. If you live by the university, you can buy those. If your kids are in university, the parents can just buy a sweater there. 

Q2What is the difference between Korean and American university students’ fashion? 

Here in Korea, I have noticed that everyone wears the same thing but they are super trendy. When people dress up, it seems like they go out in their best clothes. However, in America, you can wake up in your pajamas and go to school like that and no one would care. In fact, everyone will congratulate those people because it is like “That is what a college person looks like, pajamas and slippers.” However, in Korea, it seems like people make impressions with their clothes, which I think is cool too. 

Q3Is there any fashion trend going on in America right now in 2017?

What is really in right now is minimalism so the less you have, the prettier it looks. With everything like colors and patterns, people just wear one solid color and it is usually neutral. That is what is in the spotlight because all of the celebrities wear like one color or pattern and then people follow that. However, even though there is one set style that people know about, most of them do not follow it. 

Body Positivity

Q4What do you most like about American fashion culture? 

There is this thing in America called Body Positivity. It means that you have to love yourself and be comfortable about your size, shape, color, race, or anything that you are. People celebrate that because you love yourself enough to wear what you like. It is really an accepting society. 

Q5Some people think that Americans have a lot of freedom about what they wear and do not care other’s attention. I want to hear your thoughts about this opinion. 

That is kind of a double meaning. In America, people do say they do not care about anybody or what they think. However, they actually do care so when it comes to style, they are aware of what is in style right now but also kind of wear what they want. 

 

 

 

 

 

Choi Hyo-min  hmc97@konkuk.ac.kr

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