The Fashion Industry has always been influenced by events that happen around the world. From festivals to political movements, creative directors have always used these historical changes to positively influence their consumers and make the uncommon acceptable and even trendy.
Despite the negativity surrounding the 2016 US presidential campaign, the fashion industry used its voice as it knows best: RESISTANCE! Through statement t-shirts on the catwalks of NY, the use of modest fashion seen on the runways of Milan and an increase of presentations from middle eastern designers in Paris haute couture week, the fashion industry made its voice heard. Modest fashion has now become not only a trend but the norm! Which we firmly believe allowed modest girls to express their fashion senses more freely and it also created the space for a website like The Modist to exist, featuring international designers such as Reem Acra, Alberta Ferretti, Marni, Mary Katrantzou and For Restless Sleepers just to name a few.
Ever since Max Mara allowed its first Middle Eastern model to walk the runway with her hijab last Fall 2017, we’ve seen a rise of inclusiveness on international runways. For their Spring 2018 collection, amidst celebrating Gianni Versace, most models were seen with head covers à la Jackie Kennedy making it appealing to modest women. International designers have been more in tune with what the public has been demanding and whether it be Calvin Klein or Delpozo, head covers have been a must during fashion week seasons. In recent events, during their Alta Moda fashion show couple days ago in NY, Dolce and Gabbana included a hijabi look to their 100 pieces collection. However it wasn’t the first time the Italian house was looking into modest-wear, just last year, Dolce and Gabbana launched their second abaya collection exclusively dedicated to their Middle Eastern customer. Carolina Herrera quickly followed couple months after, with an entirely black & white abaya collection just in time for Ramadan showing that they actually paid attention to the market they wanted to cater to.
In August 2017, Nike announced it would create a new line of products, exclusively for hijabi athletes which were finally available to purchase in December of the same year. Around the same time of Nike’s breaking news, Project Runway season 16 welcomed their first ever hijabi and Muslim contestant, Ayana who celebrated her culture and religion by featuring on the catwalk throughout the entire season modest fashion with most of the looks consisting of covered models.
For the past years, we’ve seen a rise in that particular area of fashion and Halima Aden is the proof. The model continuously broke barriers as the first Muslim model to grace the cover of CR Fashion book all while respecting her traditions. She was also featured with her hijab, in Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty campaign launch in September 2017 and on the runways of New York and Milan. And just as things couldn’t get any better for modest-wear British Vogue featured for the first time in 102 years a Muslim model on their May 2018 cover entitled “New Frontiers, The models changing the face of fashion”.
It’s officially a new era in fashion, ethnicity, shapes, sizes and culture differences are now being put in the forefront, raising awareness, building conversations but most importantly showcasing the different facade of the beauty of this world.
By Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre