What is modest fashion?
The term modest fashion refers to a fashion style for women who choose to wear less skin-revealing clothes. This can be for various reasons such as religion or personal preference. Modest Fashion is certainly not only being appreciated by religious women but is becoming more mainstream thanks to high street fashion trends.
Why will modest fashion become mainstream?
The Middle East has one of the world’s youngest and wealthiest populations in the world. And they are not afraid to spend it on their luxury lifestyle. According to a 2018 report by DinarStandard and Reuters, Muslim consumers spent an estimated $270 billion on modest fashion in 2017. Sales are expected to reach $361 billion by 2023. The preferences of this demographic gave a new direction to the fashion industry. We can say that Modest Fashion finally found its way to the west.
In 2014 When DKNY’s Ramadan Summer collection, was launched (styled by Tamara Al Gabbani, a Dubai based designer and Yada Golsharifi, fashion editor of Styles Magazine), it was a huge hit. Many retail brands followed; Mango created a special collection for Ramadan 2015-2016. When H&M launched their ‘Modest Fashion line, right in time for Eid in both 2018 (LTD Collection) and 2019. Opinions varied from “Very excited to finally see something especially for hijabis” to negative about the concept in general. However, the negative comments didn’t seem to come from Muslim consumers but from women who hadn’t caught up with the latest trend yet, resulting in comments like “Nobody will wear those curtains”.
“We wanted to create a collection to celebrate the season. Our customers are looking for festive and colorful fashion at this time of year, and for us it is important to offer what our customers are looking for.” H&M
Modest fashion trends
Even though modest fashion is a style of dressing that is often chosen for religious reasons, it became a trend in the west. US, Australian and European based influencers started to either promote or make their own modest collections with kaftans, abayas, hijabs etc. You-tubers didn’t stay behind and are creating how to videos for all types of different hijab styles which results in millions of views globally.
In 2017, Ghizlan Guenez decided to launch luxury e-commerce site The Modist. After noticing the scarce options for modest-minded women like herself she created her own platform for the modest fashion lovers. Her audience are women who have an interest in luxury brands. The website features Burberry, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and more.
Modest fashion in Europe
There have always been different views on the female body and how to dress it depending on personality, culture, religion and many other factors. Remarkable is that after years of discussions, Burqa banning laws have been passed in the same Western European countries where Modest fashion has increased in popularity.
In November 2018 Antwerp hosted the first Modest Fashion Forum with an incredible list of speakers to inspire the European industry. Upcoming fall The Stedelijk Museum in Schiedam, will show a collection about Modest Fashion. Fashion designer Said Mahrouf selected 40 looks and two brands mentioned are Bouguessa and Chanel. The collection will be shown until February 2020.