by Sarah Schwarz

Influencing is not to fashion and make-up only, or travel and lifestyle- it should be for good deeds and character too. And this month’s edition is about that!

Meet Algene Aziz, a 22-year-old from Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur. She is seen active in social media promoting modesty and Islam as well as products from local brands as an ambassador.

“We can be called a modest muslimah starting from our clothes, our hijab and especially our customs. I’ve loved dressing up and trying new styles of clothing ever since I was a little girl. For as long as I can remember, my sisters and I would spend hours rummaging through our mom’s closet, dressing up (even in her traditional clothing) and walking our imaginary runaways, cheering each other on. I am a Muslim, and when I decided to wear the hijab, one of the very first challenges I knew I was going to face was finding my style that incorporated modesty. One of the religious requirements that comes with putting on the hijab. That included wearing clothing with long sleeves, full pants, and that were loose and opaque. It was so hard to find clothing that checked all the boxes and still looked chic at the same time. I started to hate summer because I could not find any tops that were light and breathable. “

My love affair with fashion quickly began to grow complicated. With the rise of social media in just the last decade, it started to get easier. I got Instagram, and decided to follow a bunch of Muslim women bloggers and influencers who faced the same fashion challenges I did. I became inspired, and slowly, my own sense of style evolved. It was not as hard to find modest clothing anymore, and I found that I preferred that neutral, simple, effortless look. “

Photo by Algene

Algene is the eldest among her siblings. So, despite having graduated Business Administration, she chose to look after her siblings while her mother is working abroad.

“Right now, what I’m doing is being a mom and dad to my siblings, and I take it as my responsibility because I’m the eldest. My mother is abroad. She is the one who supports our family, even though we don’t have a father she managed to give us a good life. We built our dream house through her efforts.  Although I graduated college, I feel the need to watch my siblings first.”

Taking both responsibilities, Algene serves as a father and mother to her younger siblings because she sees it as a necessity. She has selflessly put aside her own goals to have a career for her family.

On the side, Algene is also helping her mom earn money through her online businesses.

Algene wearing an Arvo Ph shirt; Photo from Arvo

When asked about how she felt to be called an “Influencer”, she humbly says;

“The day I received a message from you, I was very happy because I really dreamed of being a fashion influencer. In shaa Allah (God-willing) I will be accepted”

Algene goes about her life’s highlights and happy moments in her social media accounts, including a post about the product she is asked to endorse every now and then.

Her fashion influences are Grace Myu and Ananda Arsyinta whom she takes her style from, as well as Shirin Al Anthus.

“Whether we like to admit it or not, we all flock to Instagram for fashion inspiration every now and then. Social media never fails to provide a diverse range of fashion influencers each with unique style and signature looks. Many Instagram influencers have cultivated highly engaged followings who admire them for their taste and look. Since fashion influencers tend to have experience in the industry and give credible advice, it is no surprise that they have such loyal audiences or what some may even consider a cult following and it is even less of a surprise that their audiences don’t hesitate to purchase the clothes that they wear. So the fashion influencer that i look up to is Shirin Al Athrus from Indonesia. Shireeenz loves posting about Fashion, Beauty, Modeling, Film, Music & Books, Technology, Celebrities, Cars & Motorcycles.”

There are many influencers out there who stands out with great content, photography, make-up skills, and beautiful dress but very few are being acknowledge for being a good character and this is why we chose Algene for this month’s “Influencer”. (Wink *)

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