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29.07.2015

With a covered head

Khana Podobedova is the creator of the brand of headwear and accessories for observant Jewish woman, “Kosher Style”

* COVERING THE HEAD (כִּסּוּי רֹאשׁ, kisui rosh) is required by Jewish tradition from men as a sign of humility towards God, and from women as a sign of modesty in the presence of men

Khana Podobedova is an observant Jewish mother. Her children mean everything to her, and creating headwear for observing Jewish women is her favorite hobby, which a year ago turned into “KosherStyle”. Khana is a translator by profession, but previously worked in graphic design – the creative urge is in her blood. She took several years to create a separate brand.

The Talmud describes the story of Kimkhit, the mother of seven sons. Thanks to her efforts, all her sons earned the title of high priest. When asked how she achieved such a blessing, Kimkhit replied modestly that she simply always covered her head: “Even the walls of my house have never seen my hair”. This is how important this commandment is for every Jewish woman! For thoroughly adhering to it, as it says in the book of Zoar, the God-fearing Jewish woman receives many blessings for herself and her children, and also the protection of the Creator…

Khana believed that possibly her works could convince at least one woman to start covering her head and to fulfill this law that is important for every Jewish woman.

The first critics and admirers of her brand were her daughters. Like most Jewish mothers, Khana can rarely refuse them anything. So often new inventions do not get to the customer, but become an adornment for her daughters for the coming Shabbat.

“Mum, I like your new hat so much. Please give it to me as a present for Shabbat,” her elder daughter says. And how can you refuse her, everything suits her so well!? And all the women of the house greet Shabbat in truly royal fashion.

“I specially make a flower or ribbon for my daughters, and then I realize that it ideally goes with one of my items, for example a hat,” Khana says with a smile. Khana Podobedova talked to jewishnews.com.ua about how observing mitzvoth has become an inspiration.

The Jewish law obliges a married woman to cover her head

There are different modern options for fulfilling the Law: covering your head with a wig, tying a headscarf on or wearing a hat. Halakha (Jewish law) does not set precise restrictions – the main thing is that the hair is covered. I have always given my preference to the last of these, and I find a hat is most comfortable. But at one stage I realized that the majority of my hats were rather monotonous, and I wanted to have a wider range of headwear in my wardrobe. Then I thought: if I have this need, then other religious women probably also have similar requirements…

The idea to make headwear gradually matured with me. But the rush hour came with the birth of my son. I spent some time in the hospital, and every day I wore the same hat. I felt sad to look at my own reflection: I seemed so dull and pale… I wanted something bright and cheerful! To improve my mood, and also in my clothing. Then I decided that I needed to try to realize this idea.

All the hats I have even seen, I bought them immediately, studied them and thought about how to improve them. Initially I was embarrassed to admit that I was working on “kisui”, but after a while I felt it was time to come out of the shadows.

The cut

Any headwear may cause discomfort. I’ve encountered this problem in my own experience, and so I decided to study the practice of other companies around the world. I started from models that everyone knows well. And now I have a number of completely new models in my arsenal, and I’m very glad that they are popular among women – they wear them with pleasure.

The main difference between winter headwear and summer is the seasonal fabric, and of course the color of the item. I always like to choose good, high-quality fabrics, which would ideally fit on the head, wouldn’t be hot and would be pleasant to the skin. I select everything and use it for myself, and I can’t offer customers a hat which I don’t like myself.

I would like every woman who fulfills the commandment to feel beautiful, and comfortable. My task is also to make sure that my items are not only high-quality, but affordable for every purchases in Ukraine.

You can find all the new items on our page in Facebook. I try to update it regularly, although I don’t always manage. I constantly look for new ideas for accessories and materials for decoration, and I try to improve my skills.

Do it yourself

There are different models: modern and classical, which are more familiar for the religious world. The hit of this Jewish year is a stocking hat. It really is long, but it can be placed on the head in folds, and looks as voluminous as a carefully tied headscarf.

We also make headscarves. At my presentations I always try to show different methods and techniques of tying scarves, and on Facebook I not only post photos of the items, but instructional videos which are made by women from America. They show how to tie a scarf quickly and beautifully.

Sometimes our items are not even purchased by religious women, but women who do sport, for example, or like to tie up their hair and wear scarves.

Little women’s tricks

This year we offer special hats with cushions. They create the impressions that there is at least a rich plait under them. The effect of a high hairstyle looks feminine and exquisite, and this is one of the most successful of our inventions this year!

I bought a cushion like this in Israel, but for our customers I made it more comfortable and practical, so it doesn’t fall off your head.

There are different types of these folds and cushions of the necessary size. Some people suit higher hairstyles, others lower ones. It depends on the oval of the face and how the woman is accustomed to wearing the head dress. Some like the hair to be below the temple, and others like to create the effect of a high knot on the top of the head.
These hats with cushions are also of interest to people who have nothing to do with Judaism – it’s a new trend!

Jewelry for hats

I make various types of jewelry for hats. I make flowers out of silk, chiffon, lace and gauze. With beads and pearls. The jewelry can also be used separately: in the form of a broach, on a silicon string or in the form of a clasp or a badge… Everything your imagination suggests to you can be embodied on a modest women’s headwear.

So far “KosherStyle” is only represented on the social network, but there are plans to make a high-quality Internet store, and then I want to open my own design studio of modest clothing. The main audience, I think, will be Jewish. But these are just plans. At the moment I sincerely hope that the headwear I make will bring pleasure to observing Jewish women. And also, with God’s help, they will become an aesthetic argument in favor of observing the commandment of covering the head, for women who have not yet started covering their heads.

 

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