Melanie Elturk

She's making the hijab a fixture of American fashion.

New YorkNY 
Fashion Forward
Ahmed Zedan
 Photo Credit: Courtesy subject

As a teenager in suburban Michigan, Melanie Elturk didn't see many professional women wearing hijabs, as she did. “The only role models [in hijabs] we could look up to, in those days, were our mothers,” Elturk, now 34, says. “I knew that we needed to show a different image to Muslim girls: You can be successful because of your hijab, and not in spite of it.” So in 2010, Elturk and her husband, Ahmed Zedan, founded Haute Hijab, an online retailer of fashionable-yet-functional head coverings. Her myriad designs—which come in fabrics ranging from jersey to chiffon and silk—have been a hit online among the Muslim community. Last year, Haute Hijab brought in $1.3 million in sales, and in February of this year, it closed a $2.3 million seed round. Soon, Elturk plans to expand into athletic and medical hijabs, as well as hair care and eyewear products that work better with headscarves. “The grand vision is to become the go-to Muslim lifestyle brand,” she says. --Zoë Henry