Muslim Fashion: where are we on the global stage?
As the world finally seems to awaken to the potential of the Muslim market, a new age in hijab fashion has dawned. Now, after being treated as fashion pariahs we find ourselves spoilt for choice.
“With the growing presence and influence of the young Muslim demographic who are proud to uphold their Faith values in clothing, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we're seeing the proliferation of pashminas, scarves, maxi dresses and even Islamic geometric patterns in designer and high street collections.” Says Shelina Janmahomed, vice president of Islamic branding agency Ogilvy Noor.
“We've already seen the industry welcoming Muslim fashion talent ... Muslim fashion is undoubtedly one of the biggest trends to come, not as a replacement but as an addition to current ranges.”
Reina Lewis, professor of cultural studies at the London college of fashion, has spent a decade researching Muslim Fashion for her book “Muslim Fashion: Contemporary style culture”. She says during that time she frequently noted how the mainstream fashion industry was “missing a trick”
Social media has been a powerful tool in getting mainstream fashion to accept the Muslim market. The hijab fashion blogosphere showcasing the Muslim woman being unapologetically herself, in stark contrast to the oppressed and suppressed image showcased in the western media. Muslimahs being themselves have shattered ceilings and western stereotypes regarding what it is to be a hijabi and what our hijab means to us.
Summer is undoubtedly one of the biggest tests when it comes to hijabis. However, the knowledge that our difficulty and perseverance is appreciated and rewarded greatly by The Almighty makes every drop of perspiration worth it.
There are a variety of lightweight fabrics available for hijabs. We see the soft cotton hijab really taking over this season as women make the change over from the stretch knit scarves that were all the rage for the past three years. These are available in an array of colours and prints from pastels to bohemian inspired prints edged with pom-poms and tassels.
We can also expect to see a lot of attention given to trimmings and accessories, as hijab fashionistas customize their chain store clothing to showcase their unique styles. They are making it their own by adding small personal touches.
Tassels are elsewhere this summer, from sandals to necklaces, from hijabs to handbags - initiated by runway trends around the world.
Since women dominate the Muslim fashion industry, it’s empowering to see them take their place on global financial platforms. These pioneers are role models in terms of their knowledge and achievements, as well as their ability to be at the forefront of the industry without compromising their faith and values.