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Muslim Women Designers at the Forefront of Modest Fashion Heat


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Models dressed in Medina Zein, Indonesian designer, posubg in front of camera. Jakarta, Indonesia. #JMFK2018

Modest Fashion. The following two stories were published on Elle online, and Middle East Eye. Both articles argue important issues in the modest fashion industry including the rise of modest fashion lovers who used social median in their best advantage, the rise of chic Muslim millennials who used short and long form stories to blog about their sense of fashion, and the attention that the fashion industry has given to the modest wear segment due to its increased purchase power.

To make it convenient for you, we curated a few of the best paragraphs of those two stories. Yet, we think both of the feature stories are worth your attention.

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Modest fashion designer Dilyara Sadrieva, left, taking picture with modest fashion influencers.

Paragraphs from Middle East Eye: Modest fashion is a loosely defined look derived from the clothing and style worn by Muslim women. It’s a concept with no strict rules, and differs from individual to individual, depending on how they interpret religious guidelines, or their fashion taste for that matter. Predominant modest styles include layering, loose silhouettes, higher necklines and outfits that don’t accentuate the shape of the body.

Two paragraphs from Elle online: In general, when the non-Muslim world thinks of clothing for observant Muslim women, they tend to picture unflattering and loose silhouettes in drab, dark colors. But style options are endless as long as modesty is a component: some women choose to cover their hair with turban styles, others with hijabs wrapped in soft layers to frame the face; and others do not cover their hair at all, choosing to focus on long dress lengths and sleeves.

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Hassna, modest fashion influencer, with Dilbar Ashimvaeva, deigner for Dilbar label, is answering Indonesian reporter’s questions.

These choices are rarely discussed in mainstream fashion publications, but over the last few decades, Muslim women all over the world have collectively decided to take control of their sartorial image, and social media is helping them do it.

And again, main sub-titles in the feature story at Middle East Eye:

The rise of the blogger

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Yasmin Jay, third from the left, is taking picture with the fan.

Among fashion show audiences, the number of journalists, influencers and bloggers with an interest in modest clothing has likewise risen.

From street to fashion runway

Modest fashion first emerged in 2011, when Muslim bloggers and influencers, including Dina Tokio and Amena Khan in the UK and Ascia AKF in Kuwait, countered stereotypes of Muslim women as being oppressed and showed that modest dress need not be boring.

Reclaiming the modest movement

But many bloggers and influencers are wary of the mainstream’s embrace of modest. Instead, they want to reclaim a movement they fear is being monopolised by fashion brands as a way of bolstering politically correct credentials and entering into the Muslim market.

Stories from Arabia: Bridging the gap

Modest and Arabian fashion influence continued through to London Fashion Week in mid-September, where designers from the Middle East showcased their collections.

Jakarta Modest Fashion Week – Modanisa