For the past year, many of the bloggers and designers I follow have been looking forward to attending the International Muslimah Fashion Week in Pennsylvania. I myself had been thinking of going but decided not to go around a month ago. In light of recent events, Alhamdulilah for my decision.
What is the IMFW, you ask?
Basically, it was a show running from Thursday – Sunday that would have vendors selling modest fashion, bloggers and YouTubers doing meet & greets and rocking the runway. All in all, it was meant to be an amazing event for fashionistas and hijabistas!
What’s with all the frenzy on social media?
The only thing that is known for sure, as of now, is that the event was cancelled a few hours before it was due to start. The below message was posted on Instagram by the organizer. Since then, nobody has been able to get in touch with any of the organizers.
Since the original message (above), the IMFW Instagram has been updated with the post below.
What does this mean?
This has impacted many people – some are listed below:
- Bloggers: All the bloggers that accepted invitations to the event were asked to vacate the rooms once the event was cancelled. Bloggers had been flown in from all over the world (to name a few – Dina Tokio, Pearl Daisy and Basma Kahie from the UK; Saman’s Makeup & Hijabs from Toronto; Hijab Hills from the Netherlands) and were left stranded with nowhere to go.
- Designers: Some designers are reporting that they are unable to locate their collections. A few of the labels that were scheduled to be displayed: Peplum Fashion Shop, Cover Me Beautiful, Acacia Label, Nu Look Salon, Sahara Shawl and Victorious Me.
- Attendees: Many people had their whole weekends planned around this event and had come from miles away. Those who had purchased their hotel or tickets may not be able to get their money back.
If you were affected, you can do the following:
- PayPal: If you purchased a ticket via PayPal in the last 45 days, PayPal may be able to refund you. Open a dispute asap.
- Credit Card: Most credit cards will allow you to open a dispute if you made a payment in the last 90 days. You must provide proof of payment and proof of service/product not delivered. Do this asap. You can also check with your Credit Card company if you are eligible for any trip cancellation insurance
- Hotel: If you had booked a for a weekend show, call the hotel asap and ask if you can cancel for a full or partial refund for your accommodation
Social media has been bursting with claims of fraud. Many people are jumping to conclusions and a variety of stories are circulating the internet. There is a mug shot of the organizer that is going viral, some are saying that she is a known scammer – having previously cancelled a similar event, others are saying that she did everything to raise money for her son who has cancer. Whatever the reason may be to cancel the event, we need to focus on the most important issue – making sure that everyone is refunded and has their products returned.
On a personal level, although I did decide not to go because of the lack of communication, I definitely did not have any idea that something this big would happen. This is a lesson learnt for all of us to share our experience more to prevent something like this happening again. I am disappointed that what could have been amazing turned out to be such a big mess. It’s totally horrible and I feel bad for those who were affected.
If you have any tips or information that will help those involved, leave a comment below!