Palestinian and Jordanian clothing store puts modern touch on modest clothes

PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) — The City of Paterson is celebrating the grand reopening of Zena, the youngest Palestinian and Jordanian women-owned women’s clothing store in New Jersey.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held outside the store on Thursday afternoon by Mayor Andre Sayegh.

Sisters and co-owners Shaza and Shoroq Alhussein are putting a modern touch on modest clothing.

“In the little corner of what is the Middle East of New Jersey, we give you a little taste of what feminine hospitality would look like,” Shaza said.

They’re also reminding customers that they don’t have to be Muslim or Arab to shop there.

“It doesn’t matter what walk of life you come from,” Shaza added. “It matters about your style choices.”

Their inspiration comes from their mother who runs her own clothing store nearby. The sisters wanted to put their own touch on it by creating a fresh aesthetic for the new generation.

“She’s what helped grow the passion inside of me to start my own business and she’s currently my mentor and she teaches me everything that I know,” Shoroq said.

From evening gowns to headscarves, they outsource most items from the Middle East region.

Walking into the boutique, you feel the glitz and glamour. Their mission is to help you look and feel your best.

In that area of Main Street, also known as Palestine Way, the store is part of the growing Palestinian community.

Orlando Cruz, president of the Greater Paterson Chamber of Commerce, speaks highly of Zena and its contributions to the neighborhood.

“A business that not only helps revitalize and continue to build that consumer base here in Paterson, which is the backbone of our economy, but another business that will also serve a purpose in providing another resource to our community,” Cruz said.

The sisters hope this one-stop-shop for modest women’s wear is making a name for themselves, and so far, customers like Sabrina Ahmed are impressed.

“I think it’s just important to know that we have something like this that caters to our community and that it’s readily available,” Ahmed said. “You don’t have to put on an undershirt or put on a blazer, what it is, to try to make it more modest, that it’s already ready for you to wear.”

Shoroq and Shaza say they want to expand their shop by franchising all over the United States.

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