SHAFAQNA – The Italian luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana started the year 2016 by introducing its new line of garments targeting the Muslim market. Its new hijab and abaya Spring 2016 collection was introduced through Style‘s Arabia section on January 3.
The new designs presented by the brand maintained the modest and conservative requirements of the Islam religion but anyone can notice the infusion of modernity and that unique Dolce & Gabbana style. The hijabs and abayas are tailored from satin weave charmeuse and sheer georgette fabrics with lace accents. They come in luxury black and sandy beige colors and the adorned with the brand’s noticeable Sicilian influence of printed flowers like red roses, daisies, and lemons. Right after the new line is published on the internet, it has already gained a lot of social media attention.
Majority of Muslim women are happy that apparel brands especially the Western luxury names are now starting to make exclusive lines for the Muslim consumers. On the other hand, there are those who think that it’s simply a marketing strategy for Western companies to penetrate and gain a share of that big Muslim market/opportunity. And the commercial value of the Muslim market continues to grow. In the fashion industry alone, analysts project that it will become as big as $484 billion by 2019.
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh of the online fashion magazine MuslimGirl.net is among those that share the same opinion. As she notes “It’s really cool that a major designer is extending its tastes to Muslim clothing items, but are brands finally catering to Muslim women, or are they exploiting them? I think this is an important moment in fashion where we can influence that relationship in the right direction.”
Al-Khatahtbeh has also noticed that the model used by Dolce & Gabbana may not be a Muslim at all. Dolce & Gabbana is not the first major and Western apparel brand to adapt and introduce a Muslim line. DKNY introduced its Ramadan collection in 2014.
Tommy Hilfiger, Mango, Oscar de la Renta, Moda Operandi, Net-a-Porter and Uniqlo all followed suit. And last September H&M made hints of an upcoming Muslim line through a video advertisement featuring model Mariah Idrissi wearing a hijab.