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An Orthodox fashion designer debuts a collection of colorful scarves at NY Fashion Week

  • February 23, 2024

(New York Jewish Week) — When Elke Reva Sudin got married 16 years ago, she was a 20-year-old art school student at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She wanted to figure out a way to cover her hair — a traditional practice among Orthodox Jewish women — while still being true to herself.

So instead of wearing a wig, which some women choose to do, Sudin opted for headscarves. This enabled her to wear colorful, artistic styles, which made her feel that she wasn’t hiding her personality — instead, she felt like she was adorning herself with something special.

“The decision to not wear a wig was part of being authentic to my identity as an artist — I didn’t want to hide something that I was doing,” Sudin, 36, told the New York Jewish Week. 

Now a mother of two and a full-time artist in Brooklyn, Sudin has expanded on this idea by designing her very own luxury scarf collection. Called the Crown Collection, Sudin debuted her scarves under her own brand, Elke NYC, at New York Fashion Week. On Sunday morning, Sudin was one of six designers participating in a fashion show at Midtown’s Sony Hall presented by Runway 7, a fashion collective and incubator that showcased more than 117 designers in shows throughout the week.

“What really excited me about doing the Runway 7 show was being able to give this idea this high-end, Fashion Week platform to say headscarves are getting their moment,” Sudin said. 

For her designs, Sudin said she finds inspiration in Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, and her own spirituality. Her scarves, which are made of modal or silk, are “mystical in nature, unapologetically psychedelic, and evoke the liquid

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