Where did you get the idea to create these amazing books?
As a mother of two daughters I wanted to give my girls a healthy place to develop their own style and fashion sense. It became clear to me when I was looking for toys that reflected the values I was working so hard to give my girls about tznius dressing that there was very little available that met my requirements. I began creating what has turned into Adina’s Designs to address this void. I designed a series of creative workbooks designed to give girls a place to explore their creativity and explore their fashion sense within a wholesome and kosher framework.
What kind of response did you get when you were trying to create them?
The more I talked to people about the idea of a modest design sketchbook, the more it confirmed the need. People were so happy to give their girls a way to express and develop their creativity and break down some of the negative ideas about tznius. The series was designed without any mussar or talk of halacha, as the girls seem to turn away from that. Instead, the illustrations show styles that are completely within the halacha and deliver a message that empowers girls to see that dressing modestly can be really cool, full of color, personality, individuality and, most importantly, expressive of their own style.
So, how did you get started?
The first task was to figure out a formula for a product that girls could relate to. It had to be solidly grounded within the halachos of tznius, but it also had to challenge some of the negative misconceptions around tznius. I had heard of too many girls thinking that tznius meant passé, frumpy, and just not cool! The illustrations had to be really cool and stylish, so the girls could relate to them. I spoke to a lot of teenage girls until I started to get an idea of what that meant. My own teenage daughters were there throughout to make sure all the illustrations passed the coolness test.
How do the books work?
Each of the books has lots of different colorful illustrations meant to inspire the girls by giving them a glimpse of the unlimited potential within dressing modestly. They come with tutorials and tips – that are really easy to follow – and will teach drawing and design techniques which will help them create their own beautiful styles.
What is the difference between your latest book and the earlier ones?
My first books, Adina and Shira, both focus on everyday clothing and Rina, my latest book, is about dressier clothes and the hairstyles to match. Each features a mix of tutorials so the girls will get some design techniques as well as some drawing skills. That way, when the girls start creating their own designs, they already have a direction with which to explore the blank starter figures.
What message do you want to leave our readers?
My hope is that Adina’s Designs can give a fresh and positive perspective on what dressing modestly can look like and that it can be used as a tool to encourage creative expression. I also see my books as a way of opening up a dialogue between Jewish women and girls challenging negative ideas of tznius, reframing it into something we are really proud of and through which we can express ourselves.
You can see more of her work here, http://www.adinasdesigns.com/