An Orthodox Brooklyn Clothing Line Shared a Photo of a Woman In a Hijab, and Their Customers Flipped Out

Mimu-maxy-skirt-hijab-photo.jpg
Image via Hipster Hijabis
The "controversial" skirt photo.
We'll begin with the nice, non-controversial part of this story: Mimu Maxi is a small clothing line in Brooklyn, owned by two sisters-in-law from Crown Heights, Mimi Hecht and Mushky Notik. Hecht and Notik are observant Orthodox Jews, and as such, as they write on their website, they've often struggled to find clothes that were stylish but still as modest as Orthodox custom requires. "But instead of bemoaning the trials and tribulations of shopping with modest sensibilities in mind," as their company bio puts it, "they took matters into their own hands and set out to create the ultimate pieces they so needed for their wardrobe."

Not everybody who wears Mimu Maxi is Orthodox, of course. A popular Muslim fashion blogger from St. Louis named Summer Albarcha, who goes by the name "Hipster Hijabis" on Instagram is also a fan of their line. Like observant Orthodox Jews, many observant Muslim women struggle to find sufficiently modest, stylish clothes.

So far, so good, right? Well, there's more: On July 12, the fashion line and the blogger decided to do a little collaboration. Albarcha posted a photo of herself to Instagram wearing a lime-green Mimu Maxi skirt, paired with a white collared shirt, a few simple accessories, and of course, her hijab. It looked smashing. Mimu Maxi re-posted it to its Facebook page and to Instagram. And that's when everything went all to hell.

According to local Orthodox news service Col Live , Mimu Maxi's Orthodox customer base immediately erupted in disapproval, saying that a photo of a woman in a hijab during this time of heightened Israeli/Palestinian conflict was "insensitive."

"Definitely not the right timing," one angry clothing fan wrote on the Facebook page, according to Col Live.

Another wrote to the news service strongly suggesting that such a photo was "appalling." Col Live says the email read:

Let's face it, Israel is currently under attack, and people, our own brothers and sisters, are living in fear! Many people, who will scroll down their feed and suddenly see a Muslim woman in garb on a frum clothing page, will, initially, be appalled.

There may have been nothing wrong if the photo was posted in a different time and place, however, it was posted in a time when our brothers need our support.

("Frum" is the Yiddish word for an observant person or organization.)

All the negative comments on the Instagram post can be viewed here. A number of women even vowed to boycott the clothing line over their perceived treachery.The backlash got so bad that Mimu Maxi, issued an open letter on Facebook, calling out their own customer base for intolerance. It was also cross-posted to Instagram.

"It was exciting for us to share a Muslim modest fashion blogger's style-take on our design," they wrote in part of the letter. "It was modest. It was feminine. It was beautiful. The post received a disproportionate number of "likes" and lots of beautiful open support, highlighting the integrity and openness of the majority of our followers and customer base. That did not go unnoticed."

Story continues on the next page.


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31 comments
brianjlg
brianjlg

Proving once and for all that Jewish people really are racist. This Muslim woman doesn't even live in Israel but they blame HER for whatever is going on there.  Next time all Jews are blamed for the Bernie Madoffs of the world, don't dare complain. You set the rules now live by them.

shopchakralive
shopchakralive

nice and simple. I like this combination of white and green.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin

I have zero problem with religious rules of any kind being mocked. Religious rules are imposed on life because someone, somewhere along the line, put magical thinking ahead of being human. So, yes, hijabs are mockable. So is keeping kosher. So is giving up chocolate for Lent. So is everything that mortgages ANY part of a real person's life to the pleasures and demands of a fictional deity.

Chiara Shea
Chiara Shea

What the hell are they talking about? How can this be "inappropriate"? Are we essentially saying that it is offensive for Muslims to be visible during times of religious conflict? Restrictions like that are why we have such conflict in the first place.

sheena.levi
sheena.levi

Please edit the line "Mimu Maxi's Orthodox customer base immediately erupted in disapproval." I was the first Jewish follower of this Instagram post to immediately respond to the first negative comment because I wanted to make sure it was known that the user did not represent me, nor all Jews, with their naive comment. That means the second Orthodox Jewish comment was in support of the post! Immediate approval! I loved the photo of Summer the second I saw it and followed her on instagram right away. When I scrolled down and saw that first comment from the Jewish side, I was so saddened and ashamed by it that I didn't hesitate to voice my thoughts in support of the unity the post represented

ABC Animal Hospital
ABC Animal Hospital

Our favorite part: "It certainly is not the Jewish way to be attacking or hateful. At the same time, given high tensions between Jews and Muslims right now, we totally, totally understand the visceral reaction. But truthfully, its exactly at this time that such a collaboration means the most."

rosannejp1972
rosannejp1972

On the contrary...people should show the middle east that here, in this part of the world,  Jews and Muslims can live together! We, as Jews, are no better than they are if we breed this kind of continued intolerance.  This is not our way. Showing a woman in hijab should be a proud thing...showing that Jews and muslims alike are banding together AGAINST these terrorists. I think it was a beautfiul gesture that shows both sides can live and work together in peace...ut should be an example not an exception!!!!

Proud Jewish Canadian

RichardLev
RichardLev

You can see the racism and hate that has been instilled amongst my fellow Jews by the policies of the State of Israel and Zionism. Now the world can see it for themselves.

epac666
epac666 topcommenter

For the same reason people ask "How can a gay person be a Republican?", I would ask "How can a woman belong to any orthodox religion?"

iamourhaj
iamourhaj

Does the word "frump" come from "frum"?


In any case this is an opportunity for some smart and patient interfaith dialogue partners!



IHateEveryoneEqually
IHateEveryoneEqually

Why is it that the slightest hint, no matter how disconnected, of unfairness toward a Jew and they all start screaming anti semitism, but the blatant and prevalent racism shown by that same community is accepted as routine?  Bravo to Mimi and Mushky for standing for what's right, not just for what they're being pressured to.

Yelena Babiy
Yelena Babiy

At this time when we have a war in Israel we need a little collaboration between our cultures, there are pain and lose on both sides also America is country of immigrants and showing your discontent towards other Americans who happened to be Muslim is anti-American we here because we wanted to escape war, hate and despair and sitting here pretty knowing your children having wonderful summer in this country and they don't have to go to war and condemning any collaboration between us is insensitive for both sides!!

Gerry Flood
Gerry Flood

Problems is that this modest outfit is still not modest enough for religious extremists.

MHZ02
MHZ02

That is a damn fine looking outfit. Almost as beautiful as the response from the designers. People of all faiths could learn from that example.

Gianluca D'Agostino
Gianluca D'Agostino

in 2014 like 2000 years ago, Religion is still the primary cause of war

Ten Kat
Ten Kat

Disgusting people. On a fashion note, smashing outfit! And I'm not even looking for modesty! lol

Darcie Pickering
Darcie Pickering

I just bought this skirt because of this article. Thanks

Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson

All this religious nonsense about clothing. Some imaginary being taking interest in what women wear. Dosent any one find this ridiculous. People dying, children dying over Iron Age superstition. What is wrong with these morons.

Judge_Jeph
Judge_Jeph

@RichardLev Hate and intolerance were not instilled by Israeli or Zionist policies. Hate and intolerance are despicable reactions by fanatics and extremists of all stripes to anything and anyone that is not like them.

ctpierce
ctpierce

@epac666 how can anyone believe that the source of any holy book is divine?

steve18932
steve18932

I find your spelling ridiculous :)

headfaceperson
headfaceperson

@ctpierce @epac666 People are people, whether they're men or women, and if a religion or way of life suits them, it's none of our business. Everyone deserves our respect for their choice of belief system - we don't know who they are, what they value. Why are hate and judgement so easily felt by people against entire groups of people? Boggles the mind.

ctpierce
ctpierce

@headfaceperson @ctpierce @epac666 From the my typed words you take away "hate and judgement so easily felt" That boggles your mind? I have to assume its easy boggled. Your religion is my business when you try to force  it on me. Your beliefs are my business because beliefs have consequences and the belief that one holy book or another is your life compass has disastrous effects.  I know who they are because they cant stop telling me and showing me. Religion is good for no one but if you can not see how it has been 10 times worst for women you are not dealing with the reality of this word and I sincerely wish you luck with that. 

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