Spotlight on: Dina Tokio

Dina Tokio

At LèMert, we’re ever inspired by brave and intelligent women around the globe. With a team of international, well-traveled women working on powerful garments, we are motivated by a range of diverse forces. Here’s to our faves! This week, our spotlight is on Dina Tokio.

Who’s Dina Tokio?

We quickly mentioned Dina in our introduction to the Human tee, where we discussed our love for humanism and treating your fellow humans with respect and love. Dina Tokio (real name: Torkia) is part of a wave of ‘hijabi bloggers’, inspiring Muslim women showing off their love of fashion while wearing their hijabs. Half English and half Egyptian, this woman rebels against prejudice, blogging and vlogging about her handmade headscarves, beauty routines, and turban-wrapping tutorials.

Her TV documentary about Muslim Miss World, a pageant in Indonesia, showed the world about Muslim culture in different countries around the world. Furthermore, Dina Tokio, together with Creators for Change, worked on a YouTube series called #YourAverageMuslim, in which she shows, you guessed it, Muslims are your most regular human being. Just like the rest of us, duh! About the series, Dina explained: “I’m pretty tired of constantly being praised for ‘breaking the stereotype’ just because I’m a Muslim woman who happens to be successful. This should be the NORM! There are so many of us that are not given media attention for what we do without it being connected to our faith in some way or other. We are so much more than just breaking a stereotype.

Why we love her

Dina Tokio is loud, unapologetic and shows us how ridiculous it is that there’s this crazy focus on Muslims and Muslim women all the time. About H&M’s ‘modest’ collection, just released before Ramadan, she states, blankly faced: “Gotta get that Ramadan money in.” It’s always funny when big brands find out there’s a huge market out there they’re not already making good use of, and it’s the exact reason why people like Dina Tokio are so successful. They realize there’s a need for representation and show the world #YourAverageMuslim needs to be included. Remember when Rihanna launched her beauty collection and added foundation in ALL kinds of skin colors? Black and brown women everywhere raced to the stores, and quickly, other huge brands followed Rihanna’s lead. You’d think it would be quite a simple realization, but unfortunately, it can take companies decades. And then, they oftentimes don’t know what to do with themselves, go into cultural appropriation mode OR sell garments for way too expensive prices. Head’s up! We’re all humans, here.

See Dina Tokio discuss this particular H&M collection and how hard it was to find the pieces online, here. It’s funny, quite painful and very necessary. Dina’s honest, witty in the most British way and opening up an interesting dialogue. Go gal!

Which LèMert garment would we love to see on Dina Tokio?

As Dina Tokio’s also pregnant at the moment – what a coincidental spotlight – we’ll go post-pregnancy. We’d absolutely love to see Dina wear our human tee in one of her #YourAverageMuslim videos! Or just out on the street. Or on holiday. Or on the couch with her new bebe. Anywhere.

Interested in showing off your human skills too? Order your t-shirt now!