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Women at the Core of an Online Modest Luxury Fashion Shop

Online Modest Luxury Fashion
photo credit, Harper Bazar. Ghizlan Guenez wears a Dress By Thornton Bregazzi,

One year after its start on Women’s Day, Modist is growing too rapidly. Can they keep up with the demand?

In this story, you will read:

Modist is an e-commerce platform that includes personal shopping and styling

There are more than 150 brands are included in Modist online shopping cart

Modist faces ‘start-up’ challenges

The story originally published at Harper’s Bazzar Arabia

They say timing is everything, in business and in life. Considering the modesty movement has now officially hit the mainstream and dressing demurely is de rigeur for women of all cultures and ethnicities, Ghizlan Guenez’s decision to launch a luxury fashion retailer catering for the conservative dresser seems incredible prescient. On March 8, 2017 – International Women’s Day, no less – launched globally from its HQ in Dubai and spearheaded a revolution in fashion, women’s empowerment and the female gaze.

“The timing of our launch couldn’t have been more perfect,” agrees Ghizlan, 39, CEO and founder. “But when we first started working on The Modist there was no hype yet around modesty. Back in 2016 there was a crescendo of events which started with the ‘burkini story’ in France, followed by the Women’s March movement globally, and then Halima [Aden] walking the runways of Milan and Paris.”

For Sally Matthews, The Modist’s creative director, modesty is about more than a moment in time. “It’s great that modest fashion has become part of the fashion dialogue now and that it’s more understood on a mainstream level, but for our woman, modesty is her way of life.” Lisa Bridgett, chief operating office, agrees, “Women have been choosing to dress modestly, across religions, for epochs and generations but have not had their needs catered to [until now],” she says. “They have had to curate, alter and search for clothing that made sense for their own needs.”

Into this gap stepped The Modist, an e-commerce platform which includes a personal shopping and styling service and a hand-picked selection of the best brands around the world. On the catwalk and the red carpet, hemlines are down, necklines are up and voluminous fabric is now the dominant aesthetic, but before launch date, Sasha Sarokin, fashion buying director, recalls having to explain to designers what the modesty aesthetic was. Not any more. “Modest fashion has gained a natural momentum, both within and outside of fashion,” she explains. “Women are owning their space – whether it’s with the Women’s March, the #metoo movement, or simply by engaging in whatever passion or platform that feels empowering and authentic – the time is now for women. Modesty is part of that fabulous smashing of stereotypes in the most positive and inclusive way.”

The story originally published at Harper’s Bazzar Arabia