An Abaya is a traditional Arab garment that is worn as a cloak. However, In today's times, it's also carried as an outer layering such as Kimonos, Capes and long coats.
Murcyleen Peerzada’s journey may have begun with films and movies, but today she’s dabbling in what impacts her and the lives of many women who believe in modest dressing—designing chic abayas. Movies always fascinated Murcyleen; and desires were then translated into a career as a stylist and costume assistant director at Yash Raj Films.
Soon enough, a personal transition drew Murcyleen closer to the faith she was born in, & her life changed course, including her dressing. She opted for modest dressing but was unable to find pieces in India that would appeal to her. Finding the right clothes was a quest, one that took her to different places; she even tried to stitch some pieces for personal use but to no avail. It was then that she travelled to Dubai and was left awestruck at the choices available. She soon resolved to bring that variety of abayas to India and was determined to penetrate the Middle Eastern fashion market. This sheer lack of choice and options when it comes to abayas led her to start her eponymous label. However, her public speaking stint and her formal education in Islam left her with very little time. Now that she is done with the training, she’s founded her label that promises to bring to the Indian market a line of abayas that we truly lacked.
Women who Murcyleen would meet would often compliment her abayas. Those praises only further strengthened her resolve to design a collection of her own. And Dolce & Gabbana launching its abaya line in January 2016 and Anniesa Hasibuan launching her hijabs at the New York Fashion Week held in September 2016 only added to the encouragement. There sure is a market for well-designed abayas and Murcyleen has tapped it in time.
Murcyleen’s first collection is inspired by fairytales. Since childhood she’s had an appetite for fairytales. For the collection, she has used pearls with soft colours. She has also used coloured stones in some, giving the abayas a royal, princess-like feel. She has also made butterflies out of embellishments for the 'butterfly Arabian bisht' (bisht is the Arabic word for a cloak).
She even has pieces inspired by fairytale villains; they’re dramatic and bold, characterised by spikes and faux fur. With her label Murcyleen Peerzada, the young designer wishes to redefine what abayas mean in the desi market. She is trying to change the audience perception. A feminist by confession, she strongly believes that modesty is one of the ways one can deal with beauty; and that dressing modest doesn't mean that one can't shine.
Apart from the fact that her brand something for everyone, the USP of Murcyleen’s pieces is the colours she creates them in. She even plans to launch new abayas every six months so people have something to look forward to.
Considering her line of clothing, Murcyleen knows that her target audience is going to be modest dressers from her faith. However, she is positive about her collection reaching a wider audience, since her creations can also be worn as cloaks. She will be making pieces with the cloak and the scarf, and her wearer can decide how to flaunt the creation.