The hijab haute couture

Image: @hautehijab

The issue of diversity in fashion industry becomes really important in our globalized world. Today, brands feel the need to expand their collections to satisfy each customer without marking the difference in age, height, weight, skin colour, ethnicity and religion. So, it has created a surge in modest Muslim fashion.

The term ‘modest fashion’ has become known since the mid-2000s and a number of the brands have been created by designers and creative entrepreneurs who were themselves religiously motivated. Now, modest Muslim fashion is designed for people who would prefer to cover as much of their skin as possible.

Modest Muslim fashion has a positive impact on diversity within the fashion industry. It is necessary to recognize that this new fashion sphere expands the range of clothes available for everyone to buy on the high street. The biggest challenge that Muslim women face in the world of fashion, is to find brands that are inclusive and have modest clothing as a part of their collections. Also, this expansion of accepting fashion brands, in turn, has smashed stereotypes by showing the world that women who wear hijabs can be stylish and fashionable. Moreover, modest fashion has changed the representation of

Muslim women who can voice their own style whilst dressing according to their values.

If we look at high-street brands and designer labels, we could notice that well-known brands such as Max Mara, Alberta Ferretti, Uniqlo, DKNY, Burberry, Mango, even Nike and Marks & Spencer, a massive UK retailer, sells burkinis, and have released lines aimed at Muslim women. Also, Dolce & Gabbana, a major Italian couture house, put a lux spin on abayas (long dresses worn by Muslim women) and offers them to their customers in the Middle East, Paris and London.

There are some brands based in America, which make an impact worldwide and empower other Muslim women around the world. For instance, Melanie Elturk is a creator of Haute Hijab, and she runs her online label with the mission to instill self-confidence in hijab-wearing women. While Haute Hijab offers chic and fashionable modest fashion and hijabs for women, this label also intends to empower Muslim women and to make them feel stylish and fashionable, while representing and reflecting their religious views.

Also, Marwa Atik is the co-founder of Vela, a major L.A.-based online accessories store that caters to modest Muslim women. On her website, Atik sells hijabs and apparel for a growing market: Muslim women who want to look on-trend while maintaining their modesty. Vela is not a typical line of hijab and modest fashion, as it includes petaled and feathered headscarves expanding into abayas and other chic, modest clothing.

According to the “State of the Global Islamic Economy Report”, produced by Reuters and DinarStandard, Muslim women spent $44 billion in 2015 in the industry. The number is expected to double by 2021. So we can understand that ‘modest fashion’ is about the possibility for Muslim women to wear clothes which are more stylish and fashionable, but not to go beyond their religious, traditional and cultural values.

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