According to a report from Thomson Reuters, Muslims spent $266 billion on clothing and footwear in 2013 and that figure is expected to balloon to $484 billion by 2019! Acknowledging the massive skyrocket potential that the Muslim market offers, several global fashion brands have tapped this ever growing market this past year.
1. Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger launched a limited edition women’s collection last Ramadan. Floor-sweeping gowns, delicate blouses and flowing skirts made up the majority of the 11-piece collection which came in jewelled colour tones with emerald green, satiny black and creamy whites incorporated throughout.
Following the footsteps of other brands who launched special Ramadan collections, Zara launched one specially made for Muslim women. The Ramadan collection that came totally out of the blue and surprised us as a full collection for women, men and kids was launched online on the first day of Ramadan. The collection consisted of both clothing and accessories in the minimalistic style that Zara is known for.
The Spanish fashion chain also launched a Ramadan collection which consist mainly of evening wear for women that was hailed by many as simple yet sophisticated.
However, a Muslim blogger Haute Muslimah criticised the launch in a blogpost saying:
“I’m honestly not that impressed with Mango’s Ramadan collection. Sure, the dresses are longer, but the sheer sleeves and back of many of them would still make it difficult for many Muslim women to wear to a Masjid/Mosque. The dresses also look like so many others we might find at almost any other store”
4. Oscar de la Renta
Another brand that released a special Ramadan collection is Oscar de la Renta. The luxury American fashion house launched a beautiful range of caftans that were done in the finest fabrics and featured beautifully intricate embroidery. The caftans were also available in a wide colour palette – with black, pastels and bright hues all on offer.
The iconic fashion house designed a colourful capsule collection of elegant mules too exclusively for the the Holy Month. Formed from exquisite satin in vibrant shades of purple, yellow, emerald and magenta, they also had intricate embroidery and embellishments applied to the satin in a beautiful take on traditional Arabic motives.
Japanese retail company Uniqlo teamed up with popular Muslim fashion designer, Hana Tajima, to create a modest ‘lifewear’ collection for women. The collection was launched in July 2015 and included long, flowing skirts, tapered ankle-length pants and traditional wear like kebaya and hijabs, with the company saying the collection ‘fuses contemporary design and comfortable fabrics with traditional values.
Read more about the Uniqlo x Hana Tajima collection here.
6. Juicy Couture
Los Angeles-based clothing brand Juicy Couture, known best for creating comfortable track suits and playful resort wear, launched its first abaya in the Middle East last September.
In true Juicy style, the black velveteen abaya featured the label’s signature logo and crown emblem, filled with more than 1,250 crystal rhinestones and gold domes, emblazoned across the back. It also came with a matching sheila, hemmed with gold piping.
Find out more about the unique Juicy Couture abaya here.
The world’s second largest retailer did not launch any special ‘modest’ collections but it made headlines worldwide when it featured Mariah Idrissi, a 23-year-old Muslim woman who is the first model to wear a hijab in an H&M campaign.
Even though the world celebrated the step toward inclusion taken by H&M, for some Muslim women, it wasn’t enough.
“Thank you for showing us a hijabi model, H&M. It’s a great step for diversity. But you’re still not giving us the clothes — where are the clothes?” asked Stephanie Khalil AlGhani, founder of Covertime, a fashion magazine aimed at Muslim women.
Mariah Idrissi made our list of ‘Muslim Women Who Have Made Us Proud’. Check it out here.
What We Hope For In 2016
Fashion brands have to branch beyond marketing solely centered around Ramadan. We need year-round collections that will target Muslim shoppers beyond the annual holy month.
The other question is whether these Muslim-oriented collections will reach Western stores. Tommy Hilfiger and Oscar de la Renta offered their capsules exclusively in the Middle East. Mango and Zara’s are available online, but only through the Middle Eastern versions of their websites.
“What’s the point of having these Ramadan collections from these huge brands and huge designers if they’re only being made available to people overseas who are already well aware of Ramadan and inclusive of it?” – Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Founding Editor-In-Chief of MuslimGirl.net