Did you know a quick google search of Modest Fashion shows around 149m results?
40% of luxury sales comes from modest fashion, and Pinterest reports search for the term 'Modest fashion' have increased over 500% in the last 12 months.
But what is Modest fashion?
One thing we all agree on is that modesty is subjective, which is why the term Modest fashion can be interpreted in a variety of ways. However, it is commonly used to depict clothing that covers rather than flaunt the shape of the silhouette. It's also all about longer sleeves, loose clothing and longer hemlines, without compromising on the latest trends. What makes Modest fashion stand out is that it caters to women of all sizes, body shapes, religious and cultural backgrounds.
Is it limited to only muslims?
The answer is no. Modest fashion isn't only applicable to hijab wearers. Many have associated this type of clothing to religious and cultural beliefs, however some people just appreciate and prefer a more modest aesthetic. Also everyone's interpretation of modest fashion is different. For example, the women in the royal family are known to follow modest fashion - wearing only timeless designs that are conservative in both style and shape. Acknowledging the subjectivity of modesty is so important in our society as embracing the different perceptions on the meaning of modesty is what creates the individuality and variation in society.
For decades, the mainstream fashion trends have often been revealing and designs that emphasise one's body shape. This style of clothing isn't for everyone, and if we want to promote more diversity then it is important that we cater to everyone's preferences which means embracing modest fashion.
Diversifying the fashion world
We are finally seeing the stigma regarding modest fashion being deemed as oppressive slowly changing. As modest fashion is typically known only applicable to muslim women, it has always been quite a struggle for muslims to find clothing that is both modest but trendy due to the underrepresentation of modest muslim women in the fashion world. However, the internet changed the game. After years of compromising and trying to work with the limited clothing options available - Muslim designers and social media influencers noticed the gap in the market and used their platform to reach to the audience that are more drawn towards modest fashion and have created their own clothing lines.
This gained the attention of high street brands such as ASOS, ZARA, H&M - these brands recognised the popularity and demand for modest fashion and have contributed to the emergence of modest fashion in the global fashion market. Luxury brands such as DKNY have also contributed to the diversification in the fashion world - in 2014, they launched a Ramadan collection of their existing pieces that were appropriate for modest wearers.
The influence of muslim influencers and models in the fashion world has played such a crucial role in diversifying the fashion industry. Let's take a look at some of the modest muslim women that have broken barriers in the media:
Halima Aden played a significant role in diversifying the fashion industry - she showed us what's missing! in 2016, Halima was on all news covers and went viral as she was the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she was a semi-finalist. She has become an eminent figure in the fashion world for representing diversity and highlighting the demand for modest fashion.
How many of us have resorted to wearing the basic black Primark leggings and black shirt due to the lack of modest form of swimwear? It was such a powerful moment to see Halima Aden become the first muslim model to wear the Burkini, a covered form of swimwear in the The Sports Illustrated Magazine.
Despite the success and exciting opportunities, Halima did recently disclose her difficult relationship and journey within the fashion industry, and how it affected her ability to wear the hijab confidently. Which has clarified a significant thing - that the fashion industry still has a long way to go to reach authentic inclusivity and diversity.
Who would have ever thought a Muslim woman would feature on Playboy Magazine? Libyan-American Muslim Journalist Noor Tagouri broke this barrier being dubbed one of Playboy's Renegades of 2016 in the October issue. Noor proved to the world that there is a place for Modest women in the Television industry without having to break boundaries and compromise her modesty.
The first-ever hijab-wearing barbie was launched to honour Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad. Did you also grow up with dolls that looked nothing like you? Barbie dolls have been criticised due to their lack of representation and inclusivity for years. Thanks to the rise of modest prominent figures breaking barriers and highlighting the need for diversity - we're also one step closer towards embracing diversity and changing the vision of childhood.
Modest Fashion week
Modest fashion isn't a new trend and has existed since the beginning of time. However, as it has gained momentum - so it makes sense that it is now celebrated separate to mainstream fashion. Fashion entrepreneurs Ozlem Sahin Ertas and Franka Soeria founded the Modest Fashion Weeks giving industry talents and modest fashion enthusiasts a platform to celebrate the diversity of modest fashion. The first ever London Modest Fashion Festival took place in 2017, and is now noted as the most respected and effective platform to showcase ranges of glamorous and modern modest fashion brands.