Keep reading to the end of the post for an exciting hijab fashion giveaway!
Cindy van den Bremen, a 37 year old product designer from Netherlands, says she came up with the idea for Capsters when she was studying design. She was intrigued by Muslim women and says because of her own curiosity and somewhat of a prejudice she wanted to learn more about hijab.
Through her own personal research and the will to learn about Muslim women, she came out with a design called Capsters that grabbed media headlines across the country. She wanted to come up with a design project that would help dispel the prejudice of hijab in her country.
“My idea was to design something that would match the Western work life. I was studying at the design academy and I shared these stories with my teachers. They weren’t too pleased because it’s a heavy loaded subject especially in Western Europe.”
van den Bremen’s design focus is to take certain social issues like the environment or integration and finding ways to solve them from a design perspective.
“There are enough people designing couture. Society needs designers to help change certain issues. So I focus on cultural diversity.”
During her research about Muslim women, van Den Bremen came across an old news story about a Muslim girl who was getting kicked out of gym class for wearing Hijab. van den Bremen took an interest because the girl ended up in court to resolve the issue.
“Nothing helped and even though you can’t prohibit hijab in Dutch law, the gym teacher could prohibit for safety reasons. The girl was told to wear a swim cap and turtleneck instead.”
van den Bremen says her first reaction at reading the ruling was to laugh because that wasn’t the right solution to the issue.
“It was not about the covering, but about the way they covered. That spoke to me as a designer, that I should solve that issue. So I started to design a sports line.”
Initially van den Bremen says she was a little insecure about the subject because she didn’t know how people would react.
“Although now I’m married to a Muslim man, I know it’s such a loaded subject. I wondered am I allowed to touch up on it?”
van den Bremen says she researched the topic extensively and tried to get input from Muslim women.
“To my big surprise they welcomed me with open arms. They were very pleased a non Muslim, non hijabi would bother to look upon their problem. I went back with my designs and I showed them my ideas and together we continued improving and making the designs.
After she graduated from the design academy she kept in touch with all the women. In addition she’s formed a panel with local women to come and give her feedback on her new products.
“Three to four times a year we invite these women in the studio and show them the designs and they put them on in front of the mirror and give feedback. That’s the best feedback I can get.”
van den Bremen says the initial Capsters designs got a lot of media coverage after she was approached by a research institution and wrote an article about it on the internet.
“When I published my story my hotmail account was mentioned and I started to get emails from South Africa, Australia, eve New York and I realized it’s not just a Dutch problem. The personal emails were from women playing tennis couldn’t find a hijab for tennis. This experience opened up a whole new world for me as well.”
van den Bremen says through her research she not only designed Capsters but eventually wrote a book about hijab three years after she graduated from the design academy in order to tell a more objective story about hijab.
Aside from the Capsters business Cindy also teaches industrial design at the technical university in Eindhoven.
“I work on social engaged projects in neighborhoods that need more attention. I’m also finishing up research in Rotterdam where there are a lot of problems, a lot of clashes between groups. They want my vision as a designer to see if we can change the situation with creative projects.”
Want to win your very own Capsters?
What year did designer Cindy van den Bremen graduate with her Capsters
designs for sportshijabs at the Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Please visit www.capsters.com and find the answer.
The first person to post the correct response in the comments below is the winner!
The winner gets to choose any model from www.capsters.com
Want to read more posts like this? Click on Hijabtrendz Exclusives for the full collection.