Shannie: The advice I would give an aspiring model that wasn’t looking to expose herself in certain ways would be that you no longer have to. What we’re looking for today is to find our next big thing. Salma: I applied for Umma Models because it represents and it promotes modest fashion. Ilhan: I’m kind of nervous, excited and nervous. Salma: Yeah. Mariam: So they offer something that other modern agencies don’t offer in London or anywhere around the world. Shannie: So today, we have a photoshoot with our teen models, what we really want to do is just take it a little bit more edgy, vibrant with a Monochrome contrast. Umma Models is a modest modeling agency, we’re based in London, we house modest models. We’ve had teen models, male models and female models. So funny enough, it’s called Umma Models it actually stands for United modest modeling agency. Umma actually is an Arabic word that means community and often Muslims use it for the whole Muslim community. Usually models tend to choose Umma. And if they are modest women within their daily lives. Salma: My friends always told me I should be a model but sort of brushed it off.I thought what’s the harm in me going for an agency, that is made for people like me, I’m a Muslim girl, modesty defines me and I like it that way. Shannie: So there’s a lot of ways that teens are often sexualized in fashion, and it’s not really appropriate. So it’s important that there’s this opportunity here with Umma models, for teen models, because the industry doesn’t often recognise them as being children. Fatima: I joined Umma because I saw as it was a modest modelling agency, and I was very interested in the modest world and fashion. Shannie: So the models we are working with today are fine examples of the models that we work with. But there’s definitely different levels of modesty here, you’ve got your casual look, but you’re covering with the neck out. And then we’ve got Numina’s levels of modesty are a little bit less than the girls that wear headscarves. But she still doesn’t really like show too much skin and they’re young and fresh, and they’re ready to model. Yeah A little bit more behind your head. I actually like the body works pass. Models are usually expected to wear any type of clothing. there’s kind of no restrictions, you’re expected to be okay with wearing anything they put on you. We also support religious models, I mean, being a religious woman myself. So if they need to pray, then when we sign contracts for clients, we make sure that prayer times are allocated. So currently, we have about
60 models for the agency. In the last few years, there has been a huge rise of Muslim models. We are holding a casting and the reason being is we are expanding. And we need models that basically will help us do that. So what we’re looking for today is obviously to find our next big thing. So Nadia is actually my best friend. We met a few years ago at a networking event when I actually wanted to start Umma. And since then she’s literally just been the kind of backbone of the business. So in our new models, the most important thing that we look for is that they have modesty within them as well as out of them. So I’ve already got their details and anything. Nadia: We have questions about like firstly, what do you do outside of the world of like, modelling? Why do you want to join Umma models? How do you practice modesty in your day to day life? Shannie: Yeah, good questions. Well done. You can tell she’s the organised one. Salma: I applied for Umma Models because it represents and it promotes modest fashion, which I really do not think it really would exist in the modelling world. Excited and nervous. Salma: Yeah. Excited because I really want to get there do it experiencing nervous because it’s something new. Shannie: Because majority of our models
are Muslim then we’re a Muslim agency completely not the case. And that’s because it’s open to everybody. And there’s many models that are Christians, or Jewish I mean, to wear a headscarf doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re Muslim. Ilhan: It’s hard for Hijabis and like people who cover up to go into modelling because we literally barely see them. So that’s why I found Umma Modelling like completely different to everyone else. Because they’ve got like Hijabis and modest clothing and etcetera. And they put it out there. So I thought it’d be perfect for me because I like modest clothing and everything. It’s like my go to. Shannie: Traditional like this all the time. Salma: All the time.
Shannie: Perfect. Salma: I don’t wear the turban not for full on like this. Shannie: Perfect. And Inshallah you never ever lose that. Mariam: A lot of people feel that in order to go into the modelling industry, they need to reveal a lot of flesh, or even their hair. For instance, whereby that isn’t necessarily the case it shouldn’t be. Shannie: One more time yeah. Mariam: I think Umma Model is the first model agency in the fashion industry and in the fashion world to be able to offer something different, whereby a woman could go up on the platform, and model modestly and not feel ashamed or bad about it or have to hide it from her family. Salma: Obviously, now that I’ve experienced it I think I was overreacting. And it was fun, I loved it, it was just. Ilhan: I’m kind of nervous but not that nervous. Shannie: What we want you to do is really just kind of come out of your shells. In this industry is very difficult to get by if you’re shy. So we’re going to start with walks. So if you’ve got heels with you that is perfect. Aisha: At the moment I’m pursuing to become a doctor Because modelling is something that I’ve been doing ever since I was like 11. I don’t mind doing it together with my you know, becoming a doctor working those two together, balancing them. Shannie: Would you be interested then on the more fitness side of modelling? Mariam: Yeah I think I mentioned that.
So I have done a bit of fitness modelling in the past Shannie: Yeah.
Mariam: And I used to live in Dover. Najla: I used to model when I was young 16, 17. I was invited to the Miss England and but I was told I had to wear a bikini and you know I couldn’t do it because of that. Ilhan: They were very nice, very open minded so makes you feel more comfortable not that anxious not that scared of joining in it and all of that. Najla: I’m quite excited because I’ve been waiting a while to find a modest agency and I feel like I found the one now and I’m just hoping fingers crossed it goes well. Aisha: Yeah, I’m confident because modeling is always been part of me so I’m really confident. I have had quite experiences in modelling but the thing is, it didn’t work out maybe because I was wearing headscarf all the time. And you know and they were looking for something different which I couldn’t give them.I just wanted to be able to embrace myself and not to change. Shannie: Very nice walk. Shannie: One thing we make sure is their modesty requirements are definitely looked after and they’re never made to do anything that goes against their personal comfort beliefs. Perfect, Thank you very much. Aisha: They’re really easy to deal with. So I really enjoyed today. I mean, I wasn’t expecting this whole thing go so smoothly. I did get a lot of good feedbacks and yeah, hoping for the best. Najla: I hope I do get a signed one. And I do hope I can start getting back in to that because absolutely I love modelling. I love it and if I could take it to another level this time yeah. Shannie: The deciding of who actually gets through is probably the hardest part of this job. Aisha I do like Aisha what did you think of Aisha? Nadia: I put her as a question mark slash tick. Shannie: I’m saying yes I like her walk I think it’s very nice. We also need a representation for plus size so I’m interested in Ilhan as well I feel like Ilhan is good. Nadia: Yeah, really great, great personality Shannie: Really nice. I feel comfortable if I was to put her for a shoot for something that she would be respectful just go ahead, get the job done. Nadia: Yeah, Salma. Shannie: Yeah Salma was great. I feel like everything from start to beginning to finish was nice, Najla real nice. I think she’s more commercial than anything she’s got a very pretty face. Nadia: And I’m not quite sure about the amount of makeup. Shannie: Definitely commercial work she will get. And she’s older as well, which is nice, like a commercial classic model. I feel like she should get she’s got nice skin and everything. Modesty and the body positive movement. I feel I’m definitely aligned. And some people might think
it’s a contradiction. But you may come to that perception if you feel that, to be liberated, to be free is to be naked. But if you feel that being liberated, and being accepted of your body, is to be able to wear and look however you want, then I would say is definitely aligned . I’m trying to change the industry. That’s 100% one that is my goal. Just make it all a norm when it comes to modest fashion and representation and inclusion like 100%.