Manhattan Exhibits Lively, Modest Muslim Fashion

A new fashion exhibit opened its doors this week in Manhattan, New York, in the first major museum exhibition to explore the rise of the modest fashion industry.

“Contemporary Muslim Fashions” portrays how Muslim women have influenced style both within and beyond their communities.

Featuring clothes from more than 16 countries, the fashion exhibition opened its doors on February 28 and runs through August 23.

Support AboutIslam in 2021

It features at least 80 outfits that are compiled from established and emerging designers with looks ranging from streetwear to couture.

“In the last five years there’s been an uptick of Muslim modest fashion weeks happening all over the world,” Jill d’Alessandro, a co-curator from San Francisco, said, NBC New York reported.

“So, we started to review these fashion weeks and just tried to find great design coming out of these fashion weeks.”

The Manhattan exhibit also portrays how modest fashion can be vibrant and fashionable.

“It was really important for people to understand that there’s a great design and that a big sector of the population wants to be highly fashionable while adhering to their modest dress code,” D’Alessandro said.   

Faiza Bouguessa (b. 1983, France) for Faiza Bouguessa (est. 2014, United Arab Emirates); “Two-Tone Crepe Snood” 70˚ Collection, 2014; Polyester crepe, satin lining; Courtesy of Bouguessa
Faiza Bouguessa (b. 1983, France) for Faiza Bouguessa (est. 2014, United Arab Emirates); “Two-Tone Crepe Snood” 70˚ Collection, 2014; Polyester crepe, satin lining; Courtesy of Bouguessa

Modest Fashion

According to Islamic Fashion Design Council (IFDC), Muslims spent about $322 billion on fashion in 2018. The hijab fashion industry is set to reach $488 billion this year, WHYY reported.

Non-Muslim international fashion lines and retailers have been trying to tap into the niche market for modest clothing.

Manhattan Exhibits Lively, Modest Muslim Fashion - About Islam

For example, high-end label Dolce & Gabbana has lately released a collection of headscarves and coordinated abayas, the loose robes worn by some Muslim women.

Islam emphasizes the concept of decency and modesty. Many authentic Prophetic hadiths quote that “modesty is part of faith”.

And the Islamic dress code is part of that overall teaching. The majority of Islamic scholars agree that modesty is mandatory for both Muslim men and women.