‘Progressive’ Fashion Industry Cashing In On ‘Regressive’ Muslim Culture

1-exclusive-dolce-gabbana-abaya-line-217x3002-exclusive-dolce-gabbana-abaya-line-217x300Fashion is reflection of the society. The trend forecasting is primarily based on the incidents and happenings across the world. Undoubtedly the year 2015 saw the Muslim world in turmoil. The two factions within the Muslim world – Sunnys and Shias fighting against each other is new. The new monster – ISIS that want non-muslims to be eliminated are fiercer than the Al-Qeada and Taliban in brutally enforcing the medieval Sharia law and pushing the Muslim community to regression, gender discrimination and global isolation. The world criticizes this. More and more muslim women are forced to do ‘purdah’ and not step out without a Burqa and Abaya.

Hilfiger_ramzan6-exclusive-dolce-gabbana-abaya-line-217x300The Fashion fraternity is globally very liberal in thoughts and ideology and are the first ones to criticize the regression of women. France banned Burqa and Turbans. But I find it so hypocritical when i discover that more and more designer labels are creating special collection of Abayas and Hijabs to woo Muslim women. These designers spoke against regression of women who are forced to wear Hijabs but now they are creating special collection of Hijabs to make money. The latest designer label to join the gang is Dolce & Gabbana that has launched its very first abaya and hijab collection and makes its global  here on Style.com/Arabia.

Uniqlo_Hijab

Uniqlo_Hijab

The rush to create special collection for Muslim women was a result of a report released by Thomson Reuters that stated, – “Globally, Muslims spent $266 billion on clothing and footwear in 2013. That’s more than the total fashion spending of Japan and Italy combined.” The report also notes that that figure is expected to balloon to $484 billion by 2019. Several mainstream designers have started producing clothes and collections especially for Muslim women. It’s a trend that recognizes Islam’s rapid growth—Pew Research predicts that the number of Muslims in the world will equal that of Christians by 2050—along with its constituents’ impressive spending power.

5-exclusive-dolce-gabbana-abaya-line-217x300Catering to the Muslim market has also been of interest to luxury brands and retailers in recent years, particularly for Ramadan. Designers like Tommy Hilfiger and DKNY launched dedicated capsule collections; Monique Lhuillier created a line of caftans exclusively for Moda Operandi; and Net-a-Porter created a shopping campaign titled “The Ramadan Edit” for the Islamic holy month. Lower-priced retailers have followed suit, too: H&M hired Mariah Idrissi as its first hijab-wearing model this past fall. Uniqlo tapped British designer Hana Tajima to create a range of hijabs, blouses and dresses, which were sold on the retailer’s website and in Singapore stores last July.

India has one of the highest Muslim population outside the Islamic nations. Should Indian fashion industry too, look at these reports and numbers and woo the Muslim women with hijabs and abayas???

5 thoughts on “‘Progressive’ Fashion Industry Cashing In On ‘Regressive’ Muslim Culture

  1. Haldi

    The title of this article screams racism i.e. “regressive Muslim culture”!
    Believe it or not, our Indian culture isn’t perceived much differently from Muslim culture in terms of the so-called regression that you are referring to. The same way we have regressive Hindus in India, we have regressive Muslims and Christians too. Neither are representative of either culture and do not speak for the majority of their people. If this article with THIS title was published in a Western country, the respected writer would have “at least” been sued for racism and hateful speech. Maybe it is time for us Indians from whichever background to look at our own regression when labeling an entire culture regressive! And we shouldn’t get angry or upset when westerners call us regressive because of gender discrimination, dowry, and countless other issues that we all struggle with.
    Good luck on that!

  2. Purushu

    This one’s bang on! If Dolce & Gabbana existed during Apartheid, they’ll make high end slaves-rug range and call it “inclusive” & entire Western media will tell you how it’s “progressive”.

  3. Real

    So true Purushu! Its like when you tell the fundus (Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jews whoever) not to marry children, and they say it is a violation of their religious rights. So creepy, this issue will come back and bite the fashion industry.

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