Mode-sty co-founder Zahra Aljabri wins BlogHer16 Pitch Competition.

Zahra Aljabri, the co-founder of online marketplace Mode-sty won the BlogHer16 Pitch Competition. The Pitch Competition is a contest where female entrepreneurs pitch their ventures and ideas in front of a panel of judges. The winner, in this case Zahra Aljabri, walked away with a package worth about $50,000. This included a cash prize of $10,000 and $40,000 worth of marketing and media support. She will also benefit from mentoring sessions with Barb Rechterman, who is the chief marketing and customer officer of GoDaddy.

Aljabri and her husband James started Mode-sty with the aim of catering to the group of women from different faiths who have a demonstrated desire for modest fashion. On their website and e-commerce store, they remark, “We founded Mode-sty because fashion and modesty are not opposites or reserved for royalty. We wanted to provide ourselves and women everywhere access to stylish modest fashion. Items that any women would want to wear simply because it's beautiful. We also founded modesty to unite the wide spectrum of modest women. Women of many faiths or no faith need a single destination where they can commiserate and share their love for beautiful modest fashion.”

Aljabri has a J.D. from Syracuse University and a B.S from UCLA. She has a rich background in media and entertainment, with experience gained from working for Hollywood directors and producers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott (RSA Productions/Scott Free Productions) as well as a stint at a local TV station in Los Angeles.

In one of her articles on Refinery29, Aljabri expresses her views on the untapped market that mainstream fashion has ignored, “Stylish, modest clothes are very hard to find in the mainstream marketplace. Modest dressers routinely piece their outfits together from sleeveless, sheer, mini and backless options like a game of Tetris. We’re often forced to add haphazard layers to get the coverage we need. This is despite the fact that the demand for modest fashion is massive.”

She also gives her own opinion as to why this might be the case, “Modesty gets a lot of shade from the fashion community mostly because it is mistakenly associated with dull, shapeless, and unflattering clothes. It’s been an association that has pitted fashionable and modest dressing as opposites, reasoning that if someone has coverage requirements then they also cannot expect to have great style, which — I’m sorry — is absurd. It’s like telling someone with a food allergy that they can’t eat delicious meals.”

Launched in 2012, Mode-sty has also gotten some press from Forbes and Refinery29, with Forbes listing the online marketplace as one of the hottest fashion start-ups of the year. In the Forbes 2012 article, the Contributor Chris Kreinczes notes, “We always like discovering businesses that go against the grain, and Mode-sty caught our attention because of its refusal to accept the status quo in the fashion world. While many high street chains focus on the younger and more liberal market to shape their collections, Mode-sty prides itself on stocking conservative items for women who are uncomfortable with revealing garments.”

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