At a Yemeni cafe close to Warren Street station in central London, I meet the modest fashion influencer Salma Masrour.
Months after a high-profile incident of alleged hijab discrimination at a Paris restaurant, it’s back to business as usual for the social media star.
Dressed in black workout gear, the influencer has just returned from Dubai and says she doesn’t have a lot of time left before her yoga class.
‘We’re not seen for our talents or our work, we’ve become like a diversity tick box. Sometimes at events, I’m the only one in hijab’
– Salma Masrour
“Because of my job, I spend so much time on social media, I really need time away from my phone, even if it’s just for 45 minutes,” the 26-year-old Londoner says.
The day’s monochrome palette is a stark contrast to the vibrant and colourful outfits she usually dresses in.
Her preferred look combines sophisticated, tailored elements, with street style, while conforming to Islamic ideals of modesty.
After graduating with a degree in pharmacy, Masrour fell into the world of lifestyle influencing, catering to one of fashion’s most lucrative demographics: Muslim women and those looking for so-called “modest style”.
It’s a space where figures like Masrour have been able to establish a name for themselves, advertising “looks” that their followers can either imitate or adapt.
Masrour, who lives in the UK and is of Moroccan descent, has over 180,000 followers on Instagram where she shares photos and videos of her style choices, as well as video blogs on her lifestyle and travel experiences.
“I’ve been doing this for seven years now,” she tells Middle East