The Future of Modest Fashion: Where Next?

 

Image: Unsplash

The modest fashion world is always in flux, as we know, with new designs and styles coming in and out of fashion. Therefore, it’s always prescient to look to the future and think about where the industry will be in the next ten or fifteen years. In this post, the Islamic fashion retail experts at AbayaButh will offer their insider eye on what the future holds for the modest fashion industry. 
 
A worldwide appeal 
 
In recent years we have seen mainstream worldwide retailers such as H&M and Uniqlo adopt more modest lines as part of their wider fashion offering – and this clearly means that the modest fashion market has become increasingly viable. 
 
H&M’s modest collection was released this spring, and head of design Pernilla Wohlfahrt commented that the brand “want[s] to be diverse and inclusive to all the markets where we operate – we want to be able to offer something for everyone”. Wohlfahrt notes that H&M’s collection is not necessarily for Muslims, merely offering a modest option for anyone who wishes to dress that way. 
 
It’s not just mass market brands that are testing the water with regards to modest and Islamic fashion products. High-class design houses such as DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger have both released limited Ramadan ranges, while Dolce & Gabbana has gone one further and introduced a permanent range of hijabs and abayas.  
 
More inspirational events 
 
The runaway success of various modest fashion events across the world is a trend that the IFDC has had more than a helping hand in. From the Torino Fashion Week’s modest section and IFDC’s recent Milano Fashion Week Modest Soiree to the rapidly growing London Modest Fashion Week, runway space for modestly-attired models has increased exponentially in recent years.  
 
With the growing viability and mainstreaming of the modest fashion market, we believe that there will be more and more of these events making their way into the fashion world’s calendar, especially as established media outlets such as Buzzfeed and The Guardian continue to provide column space for promoting Muslim fashion and inspiring hijabis. 
 
More big brand sportswear options 
 
As column space for Muslim fashion has grown, so has our exposure to inspirational hijabi athletes such as the fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who won a bronze medal for the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics, becoming the first American to win a medal while wearing a hijab. Nike have introduced a sports hijab to their range to cater for such inspiring athletes, but in the future we should expect more big brand sportswear providers to delve into this market, to get their brand worn by the next inspirinhijabi athlete. 

 

Image: Unsplash

A word of caution 
 
It is very important that muslimah voices remain at the forefront of this expansion in the availability of modest fashion. Worldwide fashion retailers, who may adopt a modest line as an act of goodwill towards an underrepresented segment of the global market, also need to make sure they are not straying towards cultural appropriation or insensitivity in their quest to eke out a market share.  
 
The future seems bright in terms of the increasing number of big brands and marquee events celebrating modest fashion. However, if this expansion is to be sustained, it has to fully understand that wearing the hijab and employing this style of dress is a commitment to a modest, religious lifestyle first and foremost.

 

Article created by the Islamic fashion retail experts at AbayaButh

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