Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Va. is now home to a Muslim women’s clothing boutique, Zeena. The originally online-based store opened its doors to customers Saturday.
“We kept hearing from our customers, please we would love to have a place to come try on things,” said Bayan Jondy, Zeena’s co-founder and CEO.
Jondy, 35, runs the store alongside her sister and co-founder Amany Jondy. Zeena is the first Muslim women’s fashion store in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area to open in a mainstream shopping mall.
The idea to start a modest fashion business that sells long tops, active wear, dresses and scarves came up four years ago, when Zeena was first created at www.simplyzeena.com.
“We’ve been designing clothes, my sister and I for ourselves, and we thought we would open a business,” Jondy said. “Then people started approaching us saying ‘where did you get your shirt from? Can you make me one too?’ and when we started hearing that from people, we got more serious about opening a business.”
Their choice to open up their first store in the Tysons area was a no-brainer, as there is a large Muslim community in the D.C. metropolitan area, Jondy said.
“We believe that there’s this area where Muslim women aren’t being catered to and we shop just like everyone else. Just like everyone caters to different body types and different styles — from swimwear to hosiery to shirts, I think it’s important for us to have stores in malls that cater to us,” Jondy said.
Fahtamah Arghandiwal, 20, doesn’t wear the hijab — the Muslim headscarf worn as a sign of modesty, yet she still finds it difficult to shop for modest clothing.
“When I go to Tysons corner, I see a significant amount of Muslims shopping there, and they are looking to buy modest clothes,” Arghandiwal said.
Zeena’s main focus has been on delivering clothing options for Muslim women specifically. However Jondy said, “We will still remain loyal to that focus, but we are also adding a whole slew of designs to make the store more mainstream.
The founders of Zeena hope they are starting a trend for Muslim women to be able to shop at stores that cater to them more.
“Tysons is one of the best malls in the area, so it’s kind of been a dream of ours to be here,” Jondy said.
***Zeena’s grand opening will be held on Saturday Jan. 31 from 6-9 p.m. and is open to the public. The boutique is located on level two, just outside Nordstrom and across from Cache.
Photos by: Omama Altaleb