Covered-up stylish: Big brands are waking up to modest fashion – The Denver Post

LONDON — When Ruba Zai uploaded her first video on-line, the Netherlands-primarily based Afghan scholar simply needed to share with different Muslim women and girls how she styled her scarf. She had no concept that her “hijab tutorials” can be an web hit, watched by tons of of hundreds worldwide.

The 23-year-previous now blogs full time, sharing concepts for the way to look stylish but covered-up with 1,000,000 Instagram followers. Zai had tapped into a quick-rising marketplace for so-referred to as “modest fashion,” fueled by younger, type-savvy Muslim girls from London to Malaysia who've lengthy felt their wants ignored by mainstream designers.

“I simply couldn’t relate in any respect to the garments you see within the mainstream brands,” she stated from her residence in Rotterdam. “After we first began speaking about our type on social media, there was little interest in the fashion world on this group of individuals: ‘They’re simply Muslims, why ought to we goal them?'”

Big brands have been waking up to that decision, and covered-up stylish is a distinct segment that’s slowly making its method into mainstream fashion. From unique designers to fast-fashion chains, retailers are attempting to court docket tens of millions of Muslim customers — particularly across the month of Ramadan, which began final week, when many Muslims purchase new garments and gown up. In 2014, U.S. fashion home DKNY was one of many first Western brands to launch a Ramadan assortment aimed toward rich Arab consumers.

Since then a number of others have adopted swimsuit. Dolce&Gabbana has been promoting a luxurious assortment of abayas — lengthy, unfastened gown-like attire — and matching headscarves since 2016 within the Center East, Paris and London. On the extra inexpensive finish of the market, Spanish chain Mango can also be selling a Ramadan assortment of tunics, kaftans and maxi attire for the second yr.

Earlier this yr Nike turned the primary main model to launch a “professional hijab,” a headband made in excessive-tech materials aimed toward feminine Muslim athletes. Even Marks and Spencer, that stalwart British division retailer identified for cardigans and sensible footwear, launched a burkini — a full-physique swimsuit — final summer time.

However maybe probably the most seen signal but that mainstream fashion is embracing the Muslim market was when design homes Max Mara and Alberta Ferretti starred hijab-carrying Somali-American mannequin Halima Aden on their catwalks for Milan Fashion Week, one of many business’s most prestigious occasions.

“Mainstream fashion is now speaking about modest fashion as a factor. Ten years in the past, in the event you have been a model coming from a spiritual background and tried to promote it in a division retailer, calling it a modest or Muslim model can be a kiss of loss of life,” stated Reina Lewis, a professor on the London Faculty of Fashion who has written two books in regards to the subject.

Covered-up stylish: Big brands are waking up to modest fashion - The Denver Post