Ad Critique

Women’s magazines go headscarf and high fashion

29, February, 2012



The context: The Muslim population of Turkey exceeds 98% with varying degrees of religiosity. Turkey is a secular country, which has a fast growing economy, and a high youth demographic.  Discussions of how the headscarf fit into this environment, and prohibitions on wearing it in official public spaces often dominate discussions.

The concept: Ala Magazine is positioned in the same bracket as Vogue or Elle Magazine, aiming at the fashion conscious yet faithful female segment. Its name “Ala” means ‘higher than high’. All the models wear modest clothing and headscarves. It is available on high street magazine stands.

What we liked: The look, feel and positioning of the magazine reflect the intended readership’s aspiration to be part of the mainstream. They are not willing to compromise on quality. The use of the Arabic word ‘Ala’ connects readers to their Islamic faith. The models are both attractive and Islamic, combining the readers’ own sense of self. The availability of the magazine in retail outlets liberates readers from the idea that their faith must be hidden, and thus generates pride amongst them. The covers are sassy and eye catching, showing through images how the readers negotiate their identity in the modern world, a balance which the Futurists embody in their day to day lives.