Modelling Modesty

Millions of people around the world follow fashion, buy magazines and, if they’re fashion’s elite, attend fashion shows. Trends come and go and anyone with a passion for fashion is in the know of what to wear and how to wear it.

Fashion can however get tricky when you follow a moral path that insists you remain modest. This is the case for Muslim women who wear the hijab. Orthodox women are only able to show their hands, face and feet. This is written in the Muslim holy book of the Quran in chapter 24, verse 31 as listed below.

Fashion retailers are taking note of this restriction. Europe, particularly Paris and Milan, are the centre of the universe for fashion. Designers are realizing there is a wealth of opportunity out there if they cater to the Muslim market.

DKNY Ramadan Collection 2014

Once such designer who has tapped into this market is DKNY. Earlier this year, they launched their Ramadan Collection — a first for any mainstream designer. The models are all wearing modest clothing from the designer’s brand. The following article on popular culture website buzzfeed.com explains the designer’s decision to cater to the Middle Eastern masses.

The pieces however, are only available in the Middle East. As Sandra Cañas denotes regarding the representation of Muslim women, westerners “portray them as traditionalist, religious, and submissive, in contradistinction to their western sisters who are regarded as modern, liberated, and thus capable of liberating their allegedly oppressed sisters.” (Cañas, 196).

DKNY’s line of modest wear is giving these women a voice. They are able to stay en vogue with the latest designs and not feel that they need a paper bag over them to adhere to religious regulations.

Not only is the couture world embracing modesty but even a highschool in Minneapolis, Minnesota has incorporated unique basketball uniforms for their all-girl team.

Comprised of a few Somali Muslim female students, the girls were constantly tripping over their long skirts while playing. So they teamed up with the University of Minnesota to design these modest yet practical basketball uniforms.

Montreal blogger and self-proclaimed selfie queen Amber Rahman feels strongly about not compromising her values while keeping up with designer duds. I had the chance to interview her in her designer Louis Vuitton hijab.

Amber feels strongly about maintaining her sense of style while incorporating her morals and values into her fashion. Modestly in Islam is the new black, especially when labels like DKNY are designing for the Muslim masses. This new trend is taking off and hopefully will continue to provide better, more stylish options for anyone looking to cover up but keep classy.