Muslim fashion is one of the fastest growing markets and is reportedly worth an annual $96bn. British fashion pales in comparison, which is valued at £21bn, and designers are looking to embrace the Muslim customer by catering to a more conservative look.
Muslim designer Barjis Chohan, a protege of Dame Vivienne Westwood, stated Muslim fashion is going global and bleeding into Western culture for the first time, with more and more women embracing style and modest dressing. Supermodel Kate Moss has endorsed her designs, which will have an enormous impact on sales.
Chohan stated: “Young, fashionable Muslims are also struggling to buy clothes from the Western, high-street shops, because of the unsuitable hemlines and necklines, and they resort to wearing layers, which are very hot and uncomfortable in the summer. My extensive research showed that the market is saturated with low- end designers, making polyester abayas and poor quality clothing, but calling their label ‘couture,’ or over-embellished and decorated abayas that are only suitable for special occasions."
"So that is why I created Barjis, to fill this gap, with practical, high-quality, modest and fashionable day and evening wear for the busy, modern woman."
Chohan's label, Barjis, is riding the crest of the Muslim fashion wave, which is encouraging more and more women to dress conservatively, with celebrities including Nigella Lawson, Felicity Kendall Joanna Lumley and Twiggy embracing the modest, Muslim fashion trend.
Milan Fashion Week and Moda Italia are also embracing the trend, and will feature Malaysia’s Islamic Fashion Festival to show its designers; Dubai Fashion Week has merged tradition with modernity by adding the abaya to their pieces and luxury department store Harrods, who has a very loyal Arab and Muslim customer, has started to stock abayas.
The London College of Fashion has said that modest dressing is a growing phenomenon in Muslim and western culture, which also explains the bleed into the highstreet.
Image: Muslim fashion