Zaura Models, a Modesty on Catwalk?

While questions arise following the establishment of Muslim Model Agency in New York, – will the industry buy it? -, an absolute need and opportunity to have one do emerge in Indonesia.


Zaura Models, is considered as the first muslimah modelling agency, which despite being new, but already taking part in national fashion events in Indonesia. The agency is formed by a group of muslimah models, Ashfi Qamara, Lulu Elhasbu, Witha Fitra, Lydia Septiani and Dian Ayu. As former mainstream models, Lydia and Dian Ayu began the modelling career as the finalists of ‘Wajah Femina’, while Ashfi Qamara had joined Bandung leading model management. Lulu El Hasbu and Witha Fitra had been known as muslim models since early 2003. The project set in 2010, during the Ramadhan month. “We’d love to jazz up the fashion world as covered-up models to present muslim clothing, as our daily identity as hijabers,” as quoted from Lulu Elhasbu, one of the founders.

The majority members of Zaura Models are indeed wearing hijab or veils, and a few of them are not. Lulu said “We certainly do not want to put restriction regarding this (hijab wearer), but we are committing only to present muslim outfitters, and we continuesly promote wearing hijab to muslimah out there”. Zaura currently represents 26 models, and is always open for recruiting.

In conjunction with today’s fashion industry, especially that muslim fashion in Indonesia is becoming one of the world fashion meccas, Zaura Models is here to enliven the trend, to present muslim clothing as it should be, brings the idea that the designers could use models that already wear hijab, to perform their work. And models don’t have to compromise their faith just to conform with the mainstream fashion (which tend to show more skin). As a professional modelling agency, Zaura always tries to adhere with market requirements. “We need to always adjust the terms of application per year, for instance minimum height for model is 172cm”, Lulu continued.

The existence of Zaura Models is also well-appreciated by muslim designers, and it seems that no hesitation from them as the users, to have Zaura’s models in their work or shows.  The models are often seen at numerous fashion shows of muslim designers, such as Dian Pelangi, Hannie Hananto, Irna Mutiara, Korina Supriyanto and many more. Great endorsement also comes from fellow young muslim designers in Hijabers Community.

“It wasn’t easy being a well-covered model in the modelling industry. Backstage challenges, men fitter or stylist, are some of the issues we are facing in this job. Being in a agency that adheres to our faith, we can at least minimize the exposure of such treatments. We believe being covered is our approach in carrying our obligation to God, and He will draw close and provided abundant easiness for us. “

“Hijaber models are unique, that’s our competitive advantage.”

Good luck for Zaura Models and we see that it’s going to be a bright future you :)

*photos courtesy of Zaura Models