“There’s no such thing as a feminist who supports the hijab”. This was the title of an article published by the International Business Times in 2016. No doubts. You’ve surely came across such headlines already once.
Islamophobia has been on the rise these last years in the western world, may it be in the US or in Europe, with countries like France strengthening their already restrictive laws on Hijab, or Germany starting to.
Meanwhile, in the fashion sphere, modesty is on the rise. Last meaningful episode was Kanye West starring 19 years old model Halima Aden in his last “Yeezy season five” during the New York Fashion Week. But why does modest fashion has such a big notoriety?
A new emerging era
$230 billion. This is the amount of money that Muslims around the world have been spending in 2015 for fashion, according to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2015. And this number keeps growing. By 2020, Muslims are expected to spend $327 billion only in fashion products.
The internet also did his big jump into modesty. Muslim bloggers have a huge fan-base on social networks. Their big platform makes brands getting more and more interested in starring them in their campaigns. In 2016, Dina Torkia appeared in Youtubu campaign “Made for you”. Amena was in a L’oreal commercia. Kuwaiti Halal al-Doub is cherished by big names like Benefit or Marc Jacobs.
In 2016, MuslimGirl’s Amani al-Khatahtbeh has been chosen by Forbes to appear in the list “30 under 30” and was nominated as one of the young people transforming media. And the list goes on.
Modest fashion, mainstream fashion
Big brands around the world have been starring Hijabis in their commercials. Best example is H&M, with their now worldwide known advertisement campaign with Londoner model Mariah Idrissi. In 2015, Uniqlo has partnered up with stylist Hana Tajima to create a modest line. British Marks & Spencer launched a burkini collection. Big high-fashion names like Dolce & Gabbana also dedicated a line to modest women in January 2016, with a collection that included abayas and hijabs.
In 2016, Modanisa presented the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week. This was the first time that such an event took place, with notorious medias like the New-York Times calling it an “eye-catching event” and Elle writing that “modest fashion had a coming out party”.
This February, the prestigious Saatchi Gallery will host the first London Fashion Week. Last but not least, Indonesian stylist Anniesa Hasibuan made history at the NYFW this season with a hijab-only catwalk, that was acclaimed by the public and the public.
Modest fashion does not only interest big brands. A decade ago, finding modest clothes was a struggle for women. Nowadays, nothing is easier. Just google terms like hijab online shops or islamic clothes online and you will see that almost every western country has its own shops. Whether it be big retailers like Modanisa, or little brands in the USA or in Canada as well as Europe, with the UK, France and Germany as leaders. This shows a changing in the society. Women start opening their own free-lance businesses.
It’s no coincidence if modest fashion is emerging now. A new generation of Muslim women emerged. They do not want to choose between modesty and fashion. This is not a matter of clothes. It’s a matter of saying “we are here” and finding their place in the society.
Although women – whether hijabis or not – may fight daily to have this place, they do it, and this goes also by displaying hijab and modesty everywhere, whether it being in the medias or not. Modest fashion inspires by its particular ability to council a personal belief and femininity. Women are not afraid to wear their headscarf anymore. On the contrary, they proudly wear it and are well determined to affirm themselves. Apparently, fashion loves it.
This article was first published on Mvslim.com