Fashion industry has different segments and beyond talking about brands, fashion events, catwalks and related icons, there’s another side to take into account- a little less glamorous- but necessary to understand the development of such a bespoken booming market as Modest fashion.
This thought sprouts from reading the latest state of Global Islamic Economy , issued by Thomson Reuters in collaboration with DinarStandard and supported by Dubai Capital of Islamic Economy.
Considering that Modesty has its roots from Muslim fashion consumers,the report shows that in 2017 Muslim spend in clothing and apparel was for a value of USD 270 billon, considering a Muslim population worldwide of 1,8 billion of people.
In this frame, clothing and apparel count as the second leading voice in the Muslim Global economy, where food holds the 1st rank, followed by fashion, media and entertainment. As reported , the forecast of Muslim spend is bound to grow by 5% in the next 6 years, by reaching USD 361 billion by 2023.
Fashion market opportunity is valued to exceed USD 100 billion.
Muslim market needs conventional and unconventional platforms to promote brands, fashion designers and products. At this point, are the actual social media able to embrace this need? Do the existing channels have the right tools for this promising players? The report clearly states that Muslim native brands do have a high engagement rate among their consumers, while big retailers approaching this industry do not. They need to create a loyalty level as much as their “small” but powerful competitors.
In a recent interview on CNN Style, Reina Lewis, professor at the London College of Fashion and the very first expert in Muslim fashion and Modesty, explained that “As niche modest brands cross over into the mainstream and as mainstream fashion and lifestyle sectors target Muslim consumers, it will be harder to reconcile community with competition. To date, the sector has been notable for an etiquette of respect and of collaboration in supporting others to foster modest fashion and its related values.”
There is a rising appreciation of Modesty among non Muslim women, embracing the philosophy of dressing in a manner that is appropriate to their values and body. In this conversation can be included the waking up call of brands for social diversity and inclusion, that led to a closer attention to Modesty. An example can be traced back to latest summer, when Sephora appointed as ambassador for its ad campaign in Canada the hijabi influencer Imane B, known in the social world as Peace upon Faith.
While at the beginning, Modest lines could be available online only, for example at the Modist, Macy’s and the new upcoming Modest closet by Farfetch , now in Istanbul we can find the 1st hijab shopping center, or in the Gulf where Debenhams opened the first exclusive Modest boutique.
In this picture we need to address a few questions. Beyond the study of Global Islamic Economy, taking the assumption that Muslim and no Muslim women incorporate a Modest philosophy, how much Modest market can be valued? How much room is available ,especially in Europe , for this industry to growth?
How fashion capitals can contribute in the Western booming of a Modest style?