How do you feel about modernizing Muslim religious garb? Does it “normalize” conservative religious clothing, or can it potentially dispel the Western view of Muslim women as isolated and oppressed?
Designers – eager to tap into a relatively underexploited Islamic womenswear sector - are tweaking traditional garments such as the headscarf and abaya, moving common, conservative clothing to high-priced haute couture. Others are spinning iconic Islamic details and motifs into fresh, fun, fashion accessories that appeal to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
According to a 2014-2015 report by Thomson Reuters, Muslims globally spent $266bn on fashion in 2013, with a predicted rise to $484bn by 2019. With potential Islamic consumers numbering in the millions, Western labels are beginning to cater to regional tastes, and exploit well-loved fabrics. Stores that may once have refused to sell hijab are now capitalizing on Muslim fashion.
Is it haram or halal to put a playful interpretation on fashion meant to deflect undue attention? Is sporting shorts made from a Palestinian headscarf fashion-forward, or culturally disrespectful? Drop us a comment!