Ala Dergi Is Turkey's Vogue Magazine

Âlâ Dergi is Turkey's answer to the UK’s Vogue magazine  

The fashion forward magazine, Âlâ Dergi, is becoming one of the most recognised Turkish publications despite its relatively recent debut in June 2011. Prevailing as a prospective market leader for Turkish women, the magazine specialises in modest Muslim style and trends.

Âlâ, (pronounced ‘Aa Laa’) is an Arabic derivative term meaning "superb, excellent" and is certainly a fitting name for an emerging frontrunner. The buzz surrounding the anticipated release of the modest style magazine saw a growth to over 70k on Âlâ’s Facebook fan page, notable Turkish press coverage and being stocked in elite Turkish bookshops. Not a bad feat considering the otherwise young age and new status of the magazine.

Magazine covers are sleek-chic
The success of Âlâ’s launch is much to do with the market need of Turkish women requiring relevant fashion guides akin to Western publications, such as Elle and Vogue but with strong Islamic benchmarks. That is, Muslim women who present the niche market of necessitating the continual ‘style with coverage’ trend.

This niche market, particularly with Turkey’s lack of a similar mag, is what ignited founders Volkan Atay and Burak Bier to form the concept of Âlâ Dergi.

Ironically, neither Atay or Bier are in fashion design. Hailing from a background in advertising, a photo interest for British Muslim magazine emel by its editor Sarah Joseph, lead to the interest in a similar Turkish flavoured lifestyle mag for Muslims.

The objective to become the go-to lifestyle source for Turkish Women was also one of the motivations for the founders. in fact, the magazine's Facebook description loosely states. “Âlâ is a world first for showing a passion for indispensable fashion, while offering the perspective of real Muslim women.”

"Hijab fashion" has been a debatable phrase in Muslim culture. Hijab is an Islamic ruling of modest coverage applicable to both women and men, calling for smart presentability without overt attention. The world of fashion however, is a "bare-all" industry. "What we call fashion tells us what we buy one season should be trashed the next season. This is incompatible with the Islamic code of faith," says Volkan.

Volkan also refutes using skin as a selling point:

"Fashion has variable rules such as revealing the arms and shortening skirt lengths. In a sense, Hijab also interferes in the form of standard covering. This is why it is wrong to call it 'hijab fashion'. Of course we are going to utilise fashionable details, but this does not mean the same thing as hijab fashion."

Âlâ Dergi's coverage clearly stands out amongst competitive 'zines

Given the fresh look-books and high couture, the alternate modest presentations in the glossy monthly would most likely attract women of other faith groups and fashion houses beyond Turkey. The crisp layout and sharp editorial photography is one of many assets that links the mag's regular topics - interior decor, women's health, child development, fashion focused interviews and cultural articles.

The editorial process: Âlâ is batch printed for stockists
Perhaps most importantly, Âlâ Dergi serves as the first ever dedicated dialogue portal between manufacturer’s and the hijabi consumers. Designer brands and companies tend to tell consumers what to wear, with market research focusing only on sizing and runway results controlling the designs.

Volkan states he hopes to change this, "[By] establishing a magazine that explores, deals with fashion and modest attire. In fact, bloggers have successfully built a bridge between the manufacturer and consumer. However, they only target an 'internet oriented' audience, whereas a magazine can reach the entire targeted hijabi audience."

A fresh new face and anticipating its potentially explosive future, Âlâ Dergi is the creative magazine, focusing on making modesty a market leader in its competitive turf. It seems the "Eurovision" identity is no longer defining Turkey's developing platform.

For subscription details visit {Âlâ Dergi}

More awesome 'zines:
'Muslim Quarterly' Revives Halal Sexuality
EMEL On Cycling To Hajj
Hijab Makes A Return To Tunisia - Yvonne Ridley

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