Women in colorful scarves called hijabs saunter through Orlando’s Fashion Square Mall carrying black shopping bags that read VERONA in white. For many of them, this is no routine trip to the commercial hub just blocks from central Florida’s largest mosque. It is a celebration of the grand opening of a store they have been buying many of their long flowing gowns and hijabs from for months.
It is a moment to reflect on what many of the Muslim women say is long overdue: the existence of a store in a mainstream mall that caters to Muslim women and women seeking conservative wear.It’s nice to have something like Verona establish a store in a mall because it’s kind of like ‘Hey, I’m out here.’ You know? You’re being represented as American,” says 26-year-old Feena Quazi Abatti, a student at the University of Central Florida.
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