The 14th Malaysia
International Halal Showcase 5-8 April 2017 Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre KLCC, Malaysia

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The Rise of Muslim Fashion in Global Fashion Brands
31 January 2017

For years, Muslims have been forced to deal with the problem of unsuccessfully finding fashionable yet modest clothing. This posed a problem, especially to Muslim women, who are required to cover parts of their body that are deemed as awrah since retail brands didn’t always offer maxi dresses or scarves. Imagine being a teen and meeting the issue of wanting to be trendy while also taking into account your religious beliefs and principles of modesty. This however, will no longer be an obstruction. Over the past few years, the world has seen the rise of Muslim fashion icons whose presence on social media have not only inspired many other Muslims and modest fashion designers to put their work out there, but has also played a role as muses to the global fashion brands. Shariah compliant fashion has broken so many barriers in ways we could never have imagined it would 10 years ago. There is no surprise as to why top fashion brands are churning out modest designs-- according to a report from Thomson Reuters and Dinar Standard, Muslims spent $227 billion on clothing and footwear in 2013. The most notable brand that has perused its way into the modest fashion industry is Uniqlo. The Japanese company has become almost synonymous to its Hana Tajima line. The earthy-toned line brought in many long-time fans of the British-Japanese fashionista and introduced Hana Tajima’s name further into the modest fashion world. In 2015, Uniqlo x Hana Tajima hit the shores of Southeast Asian Countries and was extremely well received. Fast forward to February 2016, the line of modest clothing was brought to Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue flagship in New York City. Up next in our list is Dolce & Gabbana. In an attempt to appeal to its Muslim customers, the Italian brand released a line of luxury abayas. These high fashion pieces of clothing are fashionable and in accordance to the faith of the majority of their customers in Dubai. Despite receiving quite a considerable amount of backlash from the global community for using only Caucasian models in their campaign, others defended the brand, adding that this is a milestone for the Muslim community. Another global brand that has addressed their Muslim audience is H&M. A recent H&M campaign included a hijabi model, Mariah Idrissi who embodied class, cool and composure in the 30 second H&M ad aimed at promoting diversity. H&M not only acknowledged their Muslim consumers but created an open door for so many Muslim women to feel included—like they belong. Although H&M hasn’t brought out a line especially catered to Muslims, the campaign was a way of telling the world that they realise our differences and their line is for all to wear, regardless of colour, religion or abilities. It’s clear to us all that international brands have started paying attention to Muslim fashion, and if they listen hard enough, they’ll also find many aspiring Muslim designers with a burning passion for it. It’s only a matter of time until Muslims will be represented on fashion show runways. Imagine a hijabi doing a catwalk! Who knows, maybe one day, there will even be a Muslim Next Top Model. The future is bright for the Muslim/modest fashion industry and looking at how things are progressing, the only way for the industry is up.