Our September cover girl’s fashion icon? Rihanna.

Mariah Idrissi’s life has changed completely since she was cast in an H&M campaign last year. She’s quit her day job and has become a major face and voice of modest fashion.

One thing that hasn’t changed? Where she gets her style inspiration. When asked who her style icon is, Idrissi is quick to say Rihanna.

READ: How Mariah Idrissi ‘became a face and a voice for modest fashion’ overnight
Fashion designer, mum and philanthropist: Meet Abeer Al Otaiba

“I think people would be like, ‘Really? How is she a style icon for someone who wears a hijab?’ But that’s what I mean, I’ll take something that I like and I’ll just add sleeves, I’ll put something underneath,” she explains.

Never had a co-sign certified myself. ✨ @emirateswoman ❤️ #EmiratesWoman #Dubai #London #دبي #لندن

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Idrissi says the biggest misconception about women who wear the hijab is that they’re forced into it by their families.

“For me personally, that wasn’t the case at all,” she says. “I started to wear it on my own. My family, none of them wear it, so that’s one of the main misconceptions that I want to [address] and be a part of a more positive image.”

Check the video for more of Idrissi’s thoughts on modest fashion and backing yourself.

To read the full interview with Mariah Idrissi – including the women she cites as inspirations and her aspirations for the future – pick up the September issue of Emirates Woman, on newsstands now. 

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Styling: Carmel Gill
Styling assistant: Rachel Bassett
Photography: Rio Romaine
Makeup: Nadine at The AgenC 

Location: Four Seasons Dubai, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai