Fashion 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.
The 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.
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.
Catering 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???