The current mood of the global fashion industry is one of increasing inclusivity. While it would be fair to argue that this has been a long time coming, the time really is now. And that’s something to celebrate. Not only did 2017 begin with IMG Models signing Vogue Arabia cover star Halima Aden, Storm Model Management (Kate Moss’ first agency) has just signed its first hijab-wearing model, Shahira Yusuf. In an exclusive interview with Vogue.me, Yusuf reflected, “It’s up to the fashion industry to create more opportunities for models like me. There is a huge modest fashion market, and more companies are starting to release modest fashion clothing lines.”
Once upon a time it was hard to find a substantial variety of brands offering conservative clothing that ticked all the boxes (quality, function, form, on-trend twists, and variety in-keeping with modest values.) Not so today where we are seeing maisons – including the major houses and niche brands with a cult following – offer up collections that reflect long-line silhouettes, floor-sweeping robes, and covered-up styles that transition readily from wardrobes West to East. Case in point? Zeus + Dione, Gucci, Mother of Pearl, Ellery, Petar Petrov, to name but a few.
Far from isolating style-savvy Muslim women, brands such as Carolina Herrera, Dolce & Gabbana, and Nike have created specific capsule collections targeted solely at this growing demographic. With the landmark launch of the Nike Pro Hijab to the Barbie releasing its first hijabi doll, the wind is changing direction, and we can all look forward to a broader spectrum of choice. No more being hemmed in.
The homegrown talents that have struck a chic chord in abaya design this season include the likes of 2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize ready-to-wear winner Faissal El Malak. From Align to Abeer Al Suwaidi, Bambah to Bouguessa, here Vogue.me rounds up ten of the best abayas to wear when the invite says ‘casual cool.’