Cookie Policy

We use cookies to ensure a more effective use of the Modanisa website and our services. For more information about cookies, visit our Cookie Policy.

MODANISA ON MEDIA
IN PICTURES: London’s Modest Fashion Week designers’ Gulf ambitions

Designers participating at UK’s first modest fashion week said they are eager to cater to the Middle East market, but competition from big brands and lack of regional events they can showcase at, stand in their way.

Empowering and inspiring women in the industry as well as attendees, the two-day long London Modest Fashion Week came to a close this week.

The modest fashion industry made their presence felt with dozens of designers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, UK, Europe and the Middle East gathering at the event.

Runway shows and panel discussions aside, many designers were eager to get advice on pitching to investors and on building their brands.

Bushra Sheikh, director of UK based fashion brand IILA, said: "We definitely have plans of coming to the Middle East, but we need to build our bridges and make it solid.”

She pointed out that only last month, 30 percent of the brand's online clients were from Mecca.

Ms Sheikh said: “This was a turnaround for us. There are people in the gulf who are shopping for brands in the UK and they are happy to pay for postage.”

Making contacts and finding the correct passage to enter the market is a challenge emerging brands unfamiliar with the market face.

Though fashion shows and abaya shows are common, modest fashion weeks catering to global markets aren’t common in the region.

"We haven’t been to any events in the gulf. It’s really difficult. We find it hard to launch that platform. Who do we connect to in those countries? Are there any exhibitors or event organisers who come to UK and look for brands like ours?” she asked.

The entrepreneur believes that with Brexit looming in the future, building ties with other countries is important for young brands.

"This is something that the UK needs to really think about especially with the Brexit. We’re leaving Europe and we need to have a solid partnership with other countries,” said Sheikh.

Many designers believe that people in the Gulf purchase big brands, and may not be keen on new or smaller brands.

Qusairy Mahmood is a designer and brand developer for Blancheur, a Malaysian brand that was showcasing at London Modest Fashion Week.

The fashion label participated in Arab Fashion Week in Dubai and this gave them idea to expand to the region.

“We found that Dubai is an amazing place for us to expand to, with a multicultural ambience that has been created by expatriates. The trend is quite challenging in terms of competing with the big brands from US and Europe.”

"People in Middle East tend to buy bigger labels as they have the power to spend,” opined Mahmood.

Mahmood believes the the biggest challenge when it comes to modest wear is to let people know the function of the hijab.

"We tried the Dubai market but as there are so many expatriates, it was really hard for us to let people in Dubai understand the way we dress our models and the way we put the collections together with hijab," added Mahmood.

Marwa Lamlum, creative designer at Roddiva Couture, a fashion brand from Cyprus, said she wishes to expand her business to the GCC as she has customers in the region.

"Everyone wants to be in the Gulf as they have a high demand for fashion but this also means there is a lot of competition,” opined Lamlum.

The designer is hopeful that many people in the region are coming to know and wear up and coming brands.

London Modest Fashion Week is the first event of its kind in the country and witnessed huge crowds on both days.

Source : http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/fashion-and-beauty/2017/02/22/IN-PICTURES-London-s-Modest-Fashion-week-designers-speak-out-.html

This Superstar Hijabi Model Just Slayed At London’s Modest Fashion Week

Plus, see our top looks from the second-ever Muslim-friendly fashion extravaganza in the British capital…

2017 is most certainly Halima Aden’s year.

First she was signed to IMG Models, then she walked for Kanye West’s New York Fashion Week show, and then she made her Milan Fashion Week debut, sharing the catwalk with supers including Gigi Hadid.

And now, the Somali-American teen has taken London by storm.

The 19-year-old model, who rose to fame last year after donning traditional Muslim dress to compete in a US beauty pageant, opened for three shows during the second-ever London Modest Fashion Week.

The weekend-long event was held in the capital’s Olympia, with 26 designers showcasing their collections.

A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on Apr 15, 2017 at 2:39pm PDT

This edition of LMFW was sponsored by online shopping site Modanisa, while the first incarnation in February was organised by modest fashion e-tailer Haute Elan.

The most recent also saw talks and workshops take part as well as catwalk shows, with Aden speaking at a panel focused around the topic of ‘Do What You Love’.

The teen has previously opened up about her rise to fame, revealing she was “never expecting” to forge a career in the fashion industry.

However she’s using her new role to help inspire women just like her.

“Growing up, I knew what it was like not having representation. When I say representation, I just mean people who resemble you or someone you could relate to, or someone who even dresses like you,” Aden told i-D magazine.

“If I can give that opportunity to a girl, where she can flip through a magazine and see someone dressed like her, or someone who looks like her or has a similar background, I think that’s important.

“Me being out in the public and displaying my religion, my faith, being different to what the stereotype is — I think that has opened a lot of people’s eyes.”

So, what else happened at #LMFW?

With tens of designers taking to the stage, there was plenty of sartorial inspiration.

Here, we’ve gathered up the best of the snaps from the weekend to fuel your next wardrobe overhaul… enjoy!

Source : http://emirateswoman.com/this-superstar-hijabi-model-just-slayed-at-londons-modest-fashion-week/

Industry Pioneers Modanisa Dazzle With Their First London Modest Fashion Week

LONDON, April 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- 26 designers from around the world showcased their new lines at the Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week, which ended on Sunday. Sponsors Modanisa – the world's biggest online modest fashion retailer – brought the glitz and glamour of its concept to the British capital after hosting the hugely successful first-ever Modest Fashion Week in Istanbul last year.

Tickets for all the fashion shows sold out weeks ago. Emerging and established designers presented their new collections on the catwalk at the iconic Olympia, including British labels Pillar and Farrah Naaz, Fllumae (USA), Aidijiuma (Malaysia), Mayovera (Turkey), and Helena Latifi (Norway).

Industry Pioneers Modanisa Dazzle With Their First London Modest Fashion Week

Industry Pioneers Modanisa Dazzle With Their First London Modest Fashion Week

Malaysia's Aidijuma showcasing its globally renowned scarfs and shawls at Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week 2017

Malaysia's Aidijuma showcasing its globally renowned scarfs and shawls at Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week 2017

This dress by American designer Fluame was one of the standout outfits at Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week 2017

This dress by American designer Fluame was one of the standout outfits at Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week 2017

Elegance personified in this outfit by Norwegian headwear designer Helen Latifi at Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week 2017

Elegance personified in this outfit by Norwegian headwear designer Helen Latifi at Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week 2017

This stunning three-quarter jacket by British designer Farrah Naaz caught the eye at Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week

This stunning three-quarter jacket by British designer Farrah Naaz caught the eye at Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week

The world's first hijabi model Halima Aden leads on catwalk for Turkish swimwear designer Mayovera at Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week

The world's first hijabi model Halima Aden leads on catwalk for Turkish swimwear designer Mayovera at Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week

Franka Soeria a co-creator of Modest Fashion Week, said: "The shows illustrated how diverse modest fashion style is. Some were heavily defined by cultural influences, while others fused East-West elements, producing modern daywear and glamorous evening dresses that adhere to Islamic principles, yet appeal far beyond."

Somali-American Halima Aden – the world's first hijab-wearing model – opened MLMFW, stepping on to the runway wearing a peach blush abiye (evening dress) and hijab by Minel Aşk. Halima was mobbed by fans afterwards, eager to talk to and have their pictures taken with the rising star.

British hijabi model Mariah Idrissi also attended, as did globally renowned modest fashion bloggers Leena Asad and Sena Sever, each with half-a-million social media followers, and Nabiilabee, whose new BBC documentary 'New York Hijabis' aired last week.

Complementing the catwalk shows were panel talks featuring big names from the industry, clothes stalls, and networking activities for designers, buyers and the media, all programmed by consultants Özlem Şahin and Franka Soeria of Think Fashion.

Following its first LMFW, Modanisa CEO Kerim Türe said: "London is one of the key fashion capitals of the world, so it was important for us to bring our Modest Fashion Week concept here. The fact that the catwalk shows sold out weeks ago illustrates the demand for them."

Modest fashion is a thriving new sector. A 2015 State of the Global Islamic Economy report valued the industry at $230 bn globally, predicted to rise to $327 bn by 2019.

About Modanisa

Launched in 2011, modanisa.com is the world's first online fashion and shopping website for women embracing a modest dressing style. It stocks 30,000 items from over 300 brands, serving 9 million visitors each month with sales to 103 countries.

SOURCE Modanisa

Related Links

//www.modanisa.com

Source : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/industry-pioneers-modanisa-dazzle-with-their-first-london-modest-fashion-week-300440225.html

Second Modest Fashion Week took place at Olympia in Kensington, west London, this weekend

A 'revolutionary' fashion show aimed at empowering Muslim women returned to London this year as stunning models strutted down the catwalk in carves, hijabs and loose-fitting maxi dresses.

More than 25 designers from around the world showcased their lines during Modest Fashion Week in Olympia, Kensington, today.

The event, which is being hosted by organisers Modanisa, aims to give a platform to brands that cater for religious women and those who prefer to dress modestly.

MFW features shopping, runway shows, talks and workshops, as well as networking and trade discussions.

Franka Soeria of Think Fashion, the co-creators of Modest Fashion Week, said: 'In Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week we saw how diverse style in modest fashion is.

'The clothes of some designers were heavily defined by cultural influences, while others fused East-West elements, producing modern daywear and glamorous evening dresses that adhere to Islamic principles, yet appeal far beyond.'

Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4414886/Revolutionary-Modest-Fashion-Week-returns-London.html

KERIM TURE, A GLOBAL LEADER OF THE ISLAMIC ECONOMY

Kerim Ture, the CEO of Modanisa.com, is one of the 50 leaders that give direction to the Islamic Economy in the world according to ‘Islamica 500,’ a worldwide guide that lists the leading figures from the worlds of industry, finance, science, business, politics, international affairs, law, and media. Ture has been the only figure to be chosen from Turkey.

The successful entrepreneur Ture attracts the attention of the finance world with Turkey’s first online modest shopping and fashion website.

Modanisa.com, founded in 2011, offers more than 30 thousands alternative with 300 brands, and 60% of the sales come from 100 different countries. The brand takes $1 million and $5,5 venture capitals respectively from Aslanoba Capital and STC Ventures & Aslanoba Capital, the joint venture fund of Saudi Telecom. Modanisa continues to pioneer the modest fashion sector with the great successful attempts.

Ture states that there are only few alternatives for the modest women, despite the great demand for novel brands that can address to those women’s needs. Thus, the company sets its future goals in that direction. Ture maintains that Modanisa meets the deficit in the sector.

‘WE EXPECT 2.5 AS MUCH GROWTH WHEN COMPARED TO 2015’

“We work hard to be a leading figure that produces and develops its own brands, opening to the world from Turkey. We rolled up the sleeves with 7 manufacturers and today this figure has reached at 350. We expect 2.5 as much growth of Modanisa.com when compared to 2015.

The capitals we’ve taken so for are the indicator of our fast growth and how advantageous the Islamic clothing market has become so far,” states Kerim Ture.

MODANISA RAISED AWARENESS OF MODEST FASHION

Modanisa.com, the World’s Most Popular Modest Shopping Website according to the World Islamic Economic Forum Report 2015, has been the main sponsor of the first Istanbul Modest Fashion Week (IMFW), organized in the last May to make Istanbul the hub of modest fashion. The event attracted 10 thousands of people and played an important role in raising awareness of the global Islamic fashion. It also took media coverage at such important media giants as The New York Times, The Guardian, US News, Business of Fashion. Modanisa that gives importance to the empowerment of women in life, has also taken part in the first World Muslim Women Summit in the last September as a strategic partner.

Kerim Ture was invited to the 3 rd Global Islamic Economy Summit, organized by Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, and with Thomson Reuters as a strategic partner in Dubai on October 12-13, in the name of Modanisa. Ture spoke at the session called ‘Modest Fashion Influencers: Mastering Social Media to Gain Market Share.’

Source : http://www.turk-internet.com/portal/yazigoster.php?yaziid=54400

‘Modest’ export worth of $200 million

‘Modest’ export worth of $200 million-Kerim Türe

‘Modest’ export worth of $200 million

Addressing to the modest women, Modanisa.com sells items to 100 countries. The company intermediates in $200-million exports, by selling the items of 300 domestic companies. The co-founder of the company Kerim Türe says, “Our goal is to trigger exports of more than $1 billion by 2020.”

Founded in 2011, Modanisa.com has been a giant in the sector in a short time with sales worth of $60 million. The sales to abroad make up 60% of the sales and the company send items to 100 countries, varying from Australia to Pakistan. The he co-founder of Modanisa.com, Kerim Türe states that their goal is to trigger exports worth of $1 billion. Saying that 35 of 40 designers of them are Turkish, Türe maintains “We sell the items produced in Turkey to the whole world. A Pakistani woman living in the USA and a women from Turkey are all our customers. Our website triggers exports worth of $200 million. Our aim is to increase that figure to $1 billion by 2020. For that purpose, we will add much more brands to the website and support them to increase their exports.”

Türe claims the website attracts 7 to 10 million visitors in a month. “We have a wide range of items. One can find an item worth of $4 and an item worth of $140 at the same time. We reach many customers from Algeria to Australia with almost 30 thousands of items. We have 1 million items in our warehouse while we sell 4 million items annually. We would like to be a renowned brand like THY (Turkish Airlines) and contribute to the Turkish economy,” says Türe.

$45-50 billion in the world, $5-7 billion in Turkey

The clothing and accessories market in the world is worth of $300 billion according to Kerim Türe. The Islamic economy has a potential of $45-50 billion in that market. Most effective country is Indonesia. In Turkey, the modest clothing sector is worth of $5-7 billion. The share of Internet is 2% in that sector.

Most orders from abroad placed in Germany

Türe adds that the orders from Germany constitute the second largest order in total after Turkey. “When we first set about there were items only in black, navy blue and stone. Women were sick of that situation. There has been a great progress following us. We showed that the hijabi women could also be elegant. Headscarves, maxi dresses and tunics are sold most on our website. Saudi women opt for animal-print clothes such as leopard. Moroccan women love solid color items while the choices of the Lebanese ones resemble the Turkish women,” maintains Türe.

Source : http://www.gazetevatan.com/200-milyon-dolarlik-muhafazakar-ihracat-1024299-ekonomi/

New Plan of the New World: Lean Startup

MODANİSA SERVES LIKE A BIG SHOPPING MALL

Co-founded by Kerim Türe and Lale Tüzün in 2011, Modanisa specializes in modest fashion. Kerim Türe, the co-founder of Modanisa, states that they export their items more than 100 countries. Türe maintains “There is not only one segment at Modanisa. We resemble a big shopping mall. We have more than 30 thousands of items and more than 300 brands. We give service in 6 languages and attract more than 10 million visitors from all around the world. 40% of our sells comes from Turkey. Orders are shipped within 24 hours in Turkey. We send tons of items to more than 100 countries throughout the world. These parcels are shipped within 48 hours. We took venture capital worth of 7 million dollar in total from Aslanoba Capital, STC Ventures and Wamda Capital. We wish that the brands at Modanisa get renowned throughout the world. We especially have a corner on the Middle East market, as Wamda Capital participated in us. We have different plans to make our presence felt more in that region in 2017, too.”

Source : Platin Magazine, Issue: 2017/1 http://haberci.ajanspress.com.tr/pad/press/NjMxMDQwMTAmMSYzOTg0OCYwJjE=?customer=c8bd8d7f-6f17-e111-ad4d-001a6465f174&sid=786

Istanbul Modest Fashion Week kicks off amid controversy

With spring colors, breezy fabrics, high necklines and long hemlines, the International Modest Fashion Week opened May 13 in Istanbul, as Turkey sought to be seen as a creative hotspot for conservative wear around the world.

Seventy designers were taking part in the two-day event hosted by Modanisa, an online retailer of Muslim fashion, at the historic Haydarpaşa railway station flooded with spotlights for the occasion.

“[We want] to create mainstream fashion out of modest fashion and to energize Islamic communities to produce [clothing] for Muslim women,” Modanisa CEO Kerim Türe said. “They want to have their rules but they also want to look chic.”

Modest fashion represents a growing market in the world and Turkey, with its Muslim traditions and booming textile industry, is uniquely placed to cash in both creatively and commercially. Worldwide spending on Muslim clothing is projected to grow to $327 billion by 2020, according to the latest Global Islamic Economy report.

Designers say it’s a budding industry in which Turkey serves as a natural bridge between European and Asian markets.“In fashion, we have the mainstream fashion line and the modest fashion line,” says Malaysian designer Hazizul Abd Aziz of Aidijuma who favors cool satins and cottons. “The modest fashion line is actually very new.”

The models paraded styles ranging from earthy tunics and floral dresses to grandiose gowns in shimmering pear palettes and dark abayas - all connected by shape-concealing cuts. The looks were set off by dashing turbans, decorative headscarves and prim chignons for the unveiled.

The fashion shows come amid a revived debate over the role of secularism in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim nation where the constitution enshrines secular principles.

Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman sparked controversy last month by suggesting the country should have a constitution based on religion instead. “As a Muslim country, why should we be in a situation where we are retreating from religion? We are a Muslim country. So we must have a religious constitution,” Kahraman said in a conference titled “New Turkey and New Constitution” in Istanbul, stressing that “as a Muslim country” Turkey’s constitution should be religious.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, however, dismissed Kahraman’s suggestion and said there was no “need to especially emphasize Islam,” as the parliament speaker’s remarks led to protest from opposition parties and segments of the society.

Academic Mary Lou O’Neil says the growing visibility of religiously conservative women in public spaces has sparked fear in Turkey’s secular women that this will evolve into restrictions on their dress and conduct.

“In a society that said public space is neutral, religiously neutral, you now have conservative fashion week,” said O’Neil, director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. “[It’s] a visually stunning development for a lot of people and it certainly bothers a lot of people.”

Many studies suggest a growing number of Turkish women self-identify as “conservative” and veiled women are part of the Turkish workforce, appearing at universities and state institutions, she noted. Many younger women have also had the opportunity to travel or study abroad and speak more than one language - opportunities that translate into more economic power.

“They want all the same things, just packaged in a slightly different way,” said O’Neil. Meanwhile, a group of protesters from the Free Thought and Education Rights Association (Özgür-Der) gathered in front of Haydarpaşa train station and chanted slogans against the event.

“It is worth noting that the reference point of the headscarf, which is seen as a simple commodity or advertisement good by some people, is in fact chastity and identity,” a spokesperson for the group, Emine Nur Çakır, told reporters. “The headscarf, which symbolizes a stand, a lifestyle, an Islamic identity, is being sacrificed in the name of fashion – a product of capitalism, a system equivalent to the jahiliyyah [pre-Islamic age of ignorance] lifestyle,” she argued. Stating the headscarf was one of the issues where “social degradation” was felt the most, the group covered fashion week advertisement with placards and chanted “God is great” in Arabic.

Source : http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-modest-fashion-week-kicks-off-amid-controversy.aspx?pageID=238&nID=99180&NewsCatID=376

Startup of the Week: Modanisa

The Muslim fashion market is estimated to be worth $200 billion (£132 billion), yet a fraction of those funds are online. Turkish startup Modanisa jumped at the chance to be part of a movement remedying that, and giving women more fashion-forward choices.

Founded by a serial entrepreneur and a retail consultant, the company wants to provide "choice in style" to 400 million Muslim women globally, with 300 brands and more than 22 designers selling through the platform today, just four years after launch. The UK is Modanisa's fourth largest market, and the company plans on building a "social hijab network in English".

Founders: Kerim Ture and Lale Tuzun

Launched: 2011

What problem do you solve?

Even though there is a huge market, Muslim women's fashion needs were under-addressed for years. The Western fashion industry used to think that Muslim women's fashion was all about black burkas.

Besides that, local producers were repeating what they had been doing for many years. Also, there were up and coming designers who wanted to reach this underserved audience but didn't have a channel.

Who do you view as your competitors?

Modanisa is one of the first (if not the first) multibrand online retailers in the world for this segment. According to the 2015 Reuters and Dinar Standard's Global Islamic Economy Report, modanisa.com is the most popular conservative fashion site in the world. There are online outlets of brick and mortar brands like AkerOnline.com, Armine.com. And there are online fashion retails for men and women like ShukrOnline. There are multibrand and exclusive women fashion stores like Hijup.com.

Why are you better?

Our strategic location: Modanisa is located in Turkey, which is the biggest conservative fashion market in the world today. The biggest Islamic fashion consumer markets Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, France and the UAE are a two-to-three-hour-flight away from us. We have better production quality and speed -- we have the great advantage of superior textile production quality in Turkey; within a 25-mile radius form Modanisa's Istanbul headquarters you can spot more than 400 medium-size textile manufacturers. The homeland advantages above help us scale and provide better prices and better quality. We also provide "Express Delivery" as a standard. We mostly send parcels to European cities in 48 hours.

Why do you think this service was not launched before?

Western companies thought Muslim fashion was about black burkas and some ethnic styles, and somehow they label it as niche and "not worth serving". A few local players were enjoying this big potential and didn't need to launch any new services. They were not even launching new styles every season.

Where did you get the idea for the business? The idea didn't come to us in an instant but through out an observation process. People around us were talking about how hard is to find hijab-friendly clothes in "modern" retail stores and everybody was complaining about the lack of variety and the high prices. Kerim was in Mecca in 2009, and there were millions of people but not a single modern Muslim retail brand for women.

Millions of Muslim women were either shopping from small traditional hijab and abaya shops or from hijab stalls.

We saw that a couple of modern conservative stores that existed were doing better than their "non-conservative" rivals. We decided to built an online store, convince the producers to make hijab-friendly, conservative clothes for us, and serve this market globally.

How would you sum up your company ethos?

To provide the latest fashion in conservative style and help conservative women to look stylish while following the dress codes of Islam -- all with excellent customer service. The Modanisa lady is: modern not marginal, feminine not sexy, conservative not narrow-minded, social not asocial.

How the business has developed?

In May 2011 we started with two full-time employees and an outsource ecommerce platform in a 150m2 office (including the warehouse). Since that time, Modanisa grew 4.2 times, on average, every year. We have 4.5 million Modanisa.com visitors each month, 109 full-time employees, 35 percent of Modanisa's sales are international and our warehouse is now 7,500m2.

What has been the most challenging time for the company?

The most challenging time was the first few months of the business, convincing brands to sell online at modanisa.com and convincing producers to convert some of their styles into hijab-friendly style.

How did you overcome that?

First we paid cash to convince them. We took all of the inventory risks. Then producers and the brands witnessed the potential and started to use modanisa.com as one of their channels.

Do you have any advice for dealing with potential investors?

One of our chances was presenting at the Startup Turkey demo day in 2012. The super angel from Etohum angel investors network, Hasan Aslanoba, offered us the first round of investment right after our presentation. I can clearly say that applying to startup accelerators is a good way to start.

What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

Focus on what you do best.

Which businessperson do you most admire and why?

Richard Branson. Because of his determination, passion and his entrepreneurial courage.

What is your biggest barrier to future success?

Financing to scale becomes a key to sustain continued growth.

Where do you see your industry in ten years?

The Muslim fashion market is a more than $200 billion (£132 billion) consumer market and it will be doubled. There will be global brands with Islam-inspired modesty and a global appeal.

What barriers do you need to overcome to grow even further?

We need $20m (£13m) funding to sustain growth and use the first movers advantage to be the first global Muslim fashion brand of the world. We also need to attract more talent in HR with global experience.

Have problems arisen from selling/operating in different countries?

Payment methods are limited and the delivery costs are quite high in some Middle Eastern and African countries -- that is limiting the ecommerce potential.

Source : http://www.wired.co.uk/article/startup-of-the-week-modanisa

See bold looks from Turkey’s controversial Modest Fashion Week

Who said modest fashion can’t be glam? Seventy designers and a largely Muslim audience gathered at a railway station in Istanbul from May 13 to May 14 for the first International Modest Fashion Week, hosted by Muslim fashion retailer Modanisa. Turkey, a country where an estimated two-thirds of women wear headscarves, was a fitting place to hold the event. Models glided down the runway covered in floral, floor-length dresses, high necklines, and flowing hijabs, proving that at this spring show, skin wasn’t in. “[We want] to create mainstream fashion out of modest fashion and to energize Islamic communities to produce [clothing] for Muslim women,” said Modanisa CEO Kerim Türe. “They want to have their rules but they also want to look chic.”

With worldwide spending on Muslim clothing projected to grow to $327 billion by 2020, modest fashion is about to become a booming market. In the past several months, Uniqlo launched a line of hijabs with designer Hana Tajima, and Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana released a collection of hijabs and abayas. Outside of haute couture, Danish sportswear company Hummel designed new soccer uniforms with built-in hijabs for the Afghan women’s soccer, and Barbie recently received a hijabi makeover.

Despite the popularity of Modest Fashion Week, many were skeptical or disapproving. “In a society that said public space is neutral, religiously neutral, you now have conservative fashion week,” said Mary Lou O’Neil, director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. “[It’s] a visually stunning development for a lot of people and it certainly bothers a lot of people.”

Protesters from the Free Thought and Education Rights Association (Özgür-Der) convened outside the event to voice their concerns and chant “God is great” in Arabic.

“It is worth noting that the reference point of the headscarf, which is seen as a simple commodity or advertisement good by some people, is in fact chastity and identity,” said Emine Nur Çakır, a spokesperson for the group. “The headscarf, which symbolizes a stand, a lifestyle, an Islamic identity, is being sacrificed in the name of fashion — a product of capitalism, a system equivalent to the jahiliyyah [pre-Islamic age of ignorance] lifestyle.” Such an eye-catching event, directed towards a conservative crowd in what is supposed to be a religiously neutral space, was bound to ruffle some feathers.

Source : http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/05/16/see-bold-looks-from-turkeys-controversial-modest-fashion-week/

Stylish cover-up: inside International Modest fashion week

International Modest fashion week opened on Thursday in Istanbul as Turkey sought to make a name for itself as a creative hotspot for conservative wear around the world. Seventy designers are taking part in the two-day event hosted by Modanisa, an online retailer of Muslim fashion, at a railway station flooded with spotlights for the occasion.

“[We want] to create mainstream fashion out of modest fashion and to energise Islamic communities to produce [clothing] for Muslim women,” Modanisa CEO Kerim Ture said. “They want to have their rules but they also want to look chic.”

Modest fashion represents a growing market in the world, and Turkey, with its Muslim traditions and booming textile industry, is uniquely placed to cash in both creatively and commercially. Worldwide spending on Muslim clothing is projected to grow to $327bn by 2020, according to the latest Global Islamic Economy report. In Turkey, an estimated two-thirds of women wear a headscarf, according to industry experts.

Designers talk of a budding industry in which Turkey serves as a natural bridge between European and Asian markets. “In fashion, we have the mainstream fashion line and the modest fashion line,” says Malaysian designer Hazizul Abd Aziz of Aidijuma who favors cool satins and cottons. “The modest fashion line is actually very new.”

On the opening day of the event, the models sported styles ranging from earthy tunics and floral dresses to grandiose gowns in shimmering pear palettes and dark abayas, all connected by shape-concealing cuts. The looks were set off by dashing turbans, decorative headscarves, and prim chignons for the unveiled.

The fashion shows come amid a revived debate over the role of secularism in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim nation where the constitution enshrines secular principles. The speaker of parliament, Ismail Kahraman, sparked controversy last month by suggesting that the country should have a constitution based on religion instead. That triggered fears among the secular segments of society and small protests in Istanbul.

The outgoing prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said the new constitution, which is being drafted by the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party, would feature a freedom-oriented principle of secularism rather than an “authoritarian understanding of secularism”.

Since the Islamist-leaning party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2002, restrictions on the displays of religious symbols in public have been relaxed, allowing conservative women to get a university education and enter the workforce. But it wasn’t until 2013 that the ruling party succeeded in lifting a decades-old ban on the wearing of headscarves by public servants and legislators.

Source : https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2016/may/14/international-modest-fashion-week-coverup

Turkey's first International Modest Fashion Week has opened in Istanbul, gathering designers and models of conservative wear from around the world

ISTANBUL (AP) — Spring colors, breezy fabrics, high necklines and long hemlines: The International Modest Fashion Week opened Friday in Istanbul as Turkey sought to be seen as a creative hotspot for conservative wear around the world.

Seventy designers were taking part in the two-day event hosted by Modanisa, an online retailer of Muslim fashion, at a historic railway station flooded with spotlights for the occasion.

"(We want) to create mainstream fashion out of modest fashion and to energize Islamic communities to produce (clothing) for Muslim women," Modanisa CEO Kerim Ture said. "They want to have their rules but they also want to look chic."

In Turkey, an estimated two-thirds of women wear a headscarf, according to industry experts.

Modest fashion represents a growing market in the world and Turkey, with its Muslim traditions and booming textile industry, is uniquely placed to cash in both creatively and commercially. Worldwide spending on Muslim clothing is projected to grow to $327 billion by 2020, according to the latest Global Islamic Economy report.

Designers say it's a budding industry in which Turkey serves as a natural bridge between European and Asian markets.

"In fashion, we have the mainstream fashion line and the modest fashion line," says Malaysian designer Hazizul Abd Aziz of Aidijuma who favors cool satins and cottons. "The modest fashion line is actually very new."

The models paraded styles ranging from earthy tunics and floral dresses to grandiose gowns in shimmering pear palettes and dark abayas — all connected by shape-concealing cuts. The looks were set off by dashing turbans, decorative headscarves and prim chignons for the unveiled.

The fashion shows come amid a revived debate over the role of secularism in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim nation where the constitution enshrines secular principles.

The speaker of parliament, Ismail Kahraman, sparked controversy last month by suggesting the country should have a constitution based on religion instead. That triggered fears among the secular segments of society and small protests in Istanbul. Outgoing Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the new constitution, which is being drafted by the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party, would feature a freedom-oriented principle of secularism rather than an "authoritarian understanding of secularism." Since the Islamist-leaning party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2002, restrictions on the displays of religious symbols in public have been relaxed, allowing conservative women to get a university education and enter the workforce.

But it wasn't until 2013 that the ruling party succeeded in lifting a decades-old ban on the wearing of headscarves by public servants and legislators. Franka Soeria, a representative of the Islamic Fashion and Design Council, says the divide between religiously conservative and secular environments remains palpable in Turkish society. Soeria, who sports a black hijab — an Islamic-style headscarf — and an ankle-length abaya, told The Associated Press that some secular friends had discouraged her from going to certain Istanbul neighborhoods because her attire is too modest. "Why? I mean, it's just a hijab. I'm still the same person. I'm still stylish. you wear a bikini, I wear my hijab," she said.

Academic Mary Lou O'Neil says the growing visibility of religiously conservative women in public spaces has sparked fear in Turkey's secular women that this will evolve into restrictions on their dress and conduct. "In a society that said public space is neutral, religiously neutral, you now have conservative fashion week," said O'Neil, director of the Gender and Women's Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. "(It's) a visually stunning development for a lot of people and it certainly bothers a lot of people." Many studies suggest a growing number of Turkish women self-identify as "conservative" and veiled women are part of the Turkish workforce, appearing at universities and state institutions, she noted. Many younger women have also had the opportunity to travel or study abroad and speak more than one language — opportunities that translate into more economic power. "They want all the same things, just packaged in a slightly different way," said O'Neil.

Source : http://www.usnews.com/news/entertainment/articles/2016-05-13/international-modest-fashion-week-takes-off-in-turkey

International Modest Fashion Week Takes Off in Turkey

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Turkey's first International Modest Fashion Week has opened in Istanbul, gathering designers and models of conservative wear from around the world.

The two-day event kicked off Friday with models hitting the runway at a historic train station showcasing a bright palette of breezy garments and kaleidoscopic headscarves.

Organisers said 70 designers are taking part in the event hosted by Modanisa, an online retailer of Muslim fashion based in Turkey.

Modanisa chief executive officer Kerim Ture says the aim of the event is "to create mainstream fashion out of modest fashion and to energise Islamic communities to produce for Muslim women."

The event comes at a time of revived debate over the role of secularism in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim nation where the constitution enshrines the principle of secularism.

Source : https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/international-modest-fashion-week-takes-off-in-turkey

International Modest Fashion Week takes off in Turkey

ISTANBUL (AP) — Spring colors, breezy fabrics, high necklines and long hemlines: The International Modest Fashion Week opened Friday in Istanbul as Turkey sought to be seen as a creative hotspot for conservative wear around the world.

Seventy designers were taking part in the two-day event hosted by Modanisa, an online retailer of Muslim fashion, at a historic railway station flooded with spotlights for the occasion.

"(We want) to create mainstream fashion out of modest fashion and to energize Islamic communities to produce (clothing) for Muslim women," Modanisa CEO Kerim Ture said. "They want to have their rules but they also want to look chic."

In Turkey, an estimated two-thirds of women wear a headscarf, according to industry experts. Modest fashion represents a growing market in the world and Turkey, with its Muslim traditions and booming textile industry, is uniquely placed to cash in both creatively and commercially. Worldwide spending on Muslim clothing is projected to grow to $327 billion by 2020, according to the latest Global Islamic Economy report.

Designers say it's a budding industry in which Turkey serves as a natural bridge between European and Asian markets. "In fashion, we have the mainstream fashion line and the modest fashion line," says Malaysian designer Hazizul Abd Aziz of Aidijuma who favors cool satins and cottons. "The modest fashion line is actually very new."

The models paraded styles ranging from earthy tunics and floral dresses to grandiose gowns in shimmering pear palettes and dark abayas — all connected by shape-concealing cuts. The looks were set off by dashing turbans, decorative headscarves and prim chignons for the unveiled.

The fashion shows come amid a revived debate over the role of secularism in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim nation where the constitution enshrines secular principles. The speaker of parliament, Ismail Kahraman, sparked controversy last month by suggesting the country should have a constitution based on religion instead. That triggered fears among the secular segments of society and small protests in Istanbul.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the new constitution, which is being drafted by the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party, would feature a freedom-oriented principle of secularism rather than an "authoritarian understanding of secularism."

Since the Islamist-leaning party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2002, restrictions on the displays of religious symbols in public have been relaxed, allowing conservative women to get a university education and enter the workforce. But it wasn't until 2013 that the ruling party succeeded in lifting a decades-old ban on the wearing of headscarves by public servants and legislators.

Franka Soeria, a representative of the Islamic Fashion and Design Council, says the divide between religiously conservative and secular environments remains palpable in Turkish society. Soeria, who sports a black hijab — an Islamic-style headscarf — and an ankle-length abaya, told The Associated Press that some secular friends had discouraged her from going to certain Istanbul neighborhoods because her attire is too modest. "Why? I mean, it's just a hijab. I'm still the same person. I'm still stylish. you wear a bikini, I wear my hijab," she said.

Academic Mary Lou O'Neil says the growing visibility of religiously conservative women in public spaces has sparked fear in Turkey's secular women that this will evolve into restrictions on their dress and conduct.

"In a society that said public space is neutral, religiously neutral, you now have conservative fashion week," said O'Neil, director of the Gender and Women's Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. "(It's) a visually stunning development for a lot of people and it certainly bothers a lot of people." Many studies suggest a growing number of Turkish women self-identify as "conservative" and veiled women are part of the Turkish workforce, appearing at universities and state institutions, she noted. Many younger women have also had the opportunity to travel or study abroad and speak more than one language — opportunities that translate into more economic power. "They want all the same things, just packaged in a slightly different way," said O'Neil.

Source : https://www.yahoo.com/style/international-modest-fashion-week-takes-off-turkey-103605457.html

Spring colors, breezy fabrics seen in Turkey’s Modest Fashion Week

Spring colors, breezy fabrics, high necklines and long hemlines: The International Modest Fashion Week opened Friday in Istanbul as Turkey sought to be seen as a creative hot spot for conservative wear around the world.

Seventy designers were taking part in the two-day event hosted by Modanisa, an online retailer of Muslim fashion, at a historic railway station flooded with spotlights for the occasion.

“(We want) to create mainstream fashion out of modest fashion and to energize Islamic communities to produce (clothing) for Muslim women,” Modanisa CEO Kerim Ture said. “They want to have their rules but they also want to look chic.”

Modest fashion represents a growing market in the world and Turkey, with its Muslim traditions and booming textile industry, is uniquely placed to cash in both creatively and commercially. Worldwide spending on Muslim clothing is projected to grow to $327 billion by 2020, according to the latest Global Islamic Economy report.

Designers say it’s a budding industry in which Turkey serves as a natural bridge between European and Asian markets.

“In fashion, we have the mainstream fashion line and the modest fashion line,” says Malaysian designer Hazizul Abd Aziz of Aidijuma who favors cool satins and cottons. “The modest fashion line is actually very new.”

The models paraded styles ranging from earthy tunics and floral dresses to grandiose gowns in shimmering pear palettes and dark abayas — all connected by shape-concealing cuts. The looks were set off by dashing turbans, decorative headscarves and prim chignons for the unveiled.

Source : http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/fashion-and-beauty/2016/05/15/Spring-colors-breezy-fabrics-seen-in-Turkey-s-Modest-Fashion-Week.html

Islamic fashion booms in Turkey

The model adjusts her clothing, stares at the camera with a hint of a smile, holds her head high and the photographer starts snapping.

However, at this photoshoot on the Asian side of Istanbul, the models, impeccably made up, sport no body-hugging Western styles.

All wear headscarves and loose fitting outfits in a shoot for one of the industry’s fast growing sectors — modest, but trendy Islamic fashion.

Istanbul is positioning itself to be a hub in this nascent industry, which according to the Dubai-based Islamic Fashion and Design Council could be worth almost US$500 billion within decades.

Modanisa, a Turkish online Muslim clothing retailer, started small in 2011 and today is one of the biggest names in the market. It offers more than 30,000 products — from casual tunics to shiny evening wear to sports gear, shoes and accessories — from 300 brands and ships to 75 countries.

The firm calls itself the “first online fashion and shopping Web site for women who embrace a modest dressing style.” Modanisa chief executive Kerim Ture said that in years past there was so little choice that a religiously conservative young woman had no option but to wear the same clothes as her mother.

“If that was happening in a country [Turkey] where 99 percent of its population is Muslim, we wondered how the situation was around the world,” he added. “That’s how we’ve started our worldwide Web business.”

BURQINI BAN

Ture was surprised by this summer’s furor in strictly secular France over whether Muslim women had the right to wear the Burqini swimsuit, which covers all but the hands, feet and face.

French courts ultimately ruled that a Burqini ban by about 30 towns was “clearly illegal” and a violation of fundamental rights.

For Ture, the Burqini is not a symbol, but a choice. “I barely understand how a country, one of whose main pillars is freedom, can oppose the Muslim swimsuit,” he said.

His firm’s catalogue offers a range of “fully closed swimsuits” starting at 40 euros (US$45), and, ironically, its Burqini sales jumped during the debate by 15 to 20 percent to France and 30 percent to the Netherlands.

In May, Istanbul hosted its first conservative fashion week at the historic Haydarpasa train station to showcase this rapidly growing market. It was organized by Franka Soeria from Indonesia, another center for Islamic clothing.

As a global consultant on modest fashion trends, Soeria decided three-and-a-half years ago to move to Istanbul — whose position straddling Europe and Asia, some say, gives it an edge.

The point of offering stylish modest clothing was not to tell people to cover up, but to show that “we are also the same as you ... we don’t want to be excluded, we don’t want to look different,” she said.

“We are showing that, hey, I am modest, I like to cover. I also like fashion. This is just my style. Just accept,” she said.

Osman Ozdemir, a Turkish designer of modest fashion, is the inhouse designer for Modanisa, but is now also working for several other firms. “I believe Istanbul will be trend-setting on Islamic fashion,” he said. “Even high-profile and luxury brands are getting into the act.”

At the start of the year, legendary Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana launched its first line of hijab and abaya — some extravagantly patterned — for Muslim customers in the Middle East.

Source : http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2016/10/02/2003656327

Show highlights growing Muslim fashion industry

The models, tall and lithe and strutting down the runway to the beat of Moroccan-themed house music, are from Russia and Eastern Europe. They could be displaying the latest designer styles in Paris or New York, but instead, they are in Istanbul, wearing high heels, flowing tunics and colorful headscarves.

The fashion show, part of Istanbul Modest Fashion Week, was held at an Ottoman-era railway station, with old-fashioned train cars and vintage luggage as props.

This is not the Muslim fashion of Riyadh or Kabul, nor is it the dark and dreary dress stereotyped in the West. Muslim fashion here is a colorful, creative and joyful enterprise. It is also a huge business.

“We’re taking over,” said Dina Torkia, a Muslim fashion blogger from London, who wears a headscarf and was mobbed by fans hoping for a photograoh. “There are a lot of us Muslim girls who wear the hijab, and we like fashion.”

As Europe grapples with the Burqini — a full-body swimsuit that some French beach towns have tried to ban as a symbol of the oppression of women — Muslim dress in Turkey has become a symbol of religious freedom from the strictures of secularism.

Istanbul has sought to become a Muslim fashion capital, an ambition that reflects the degree to which Turkish society has been reshaped under the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Under Turkey’s old hardline secular system, the hijab was seen as a symbol of backwardness and banned in government offices and schools.

As France debated the Burqini, Turkey again chipped away at old taboos, allowing female police officers to wear headscarves on the job for the first time.

No longer an object of derision in Turkey — and with the backing of the government — the headscarf has spurred a Muslim fashion revolution, complete with fashion houses, magazines, bloggers and Instagram stars.

Powerful women in the region, like Erdogan’s wife, Emine, and Sheikha Mozah, a wife of a former emir of Qatar, have become fashion icons for young conservative women.

“Everyone was like: ‘Muslim market?’” said Kerim Ture, a former technology industry executive who now runs Muslim fashion house Modanisa, based in Istanbul. “Black burqas. That was the stereotype.”

Ture employs several in-house designers and has partnerships with brands in Dubai and Malaysia. Popular colors these days are yellow and baby blue, as are camouflage and tropical leaf patterns.

“Our main purpose is to make women feel better,” he said. “To feel the glamor and the shine inside, even if they are covered.”

Ture said he did not come from an especially religious family, but he has supported Erdogan, whose policies, arguably, have made his business possible.

“My mother is covered,” he said. “My sister is not covered. It’s a Turkish family.”

Most of the models in the show were not Muslim. Russian and eastern European models tend to be taller than Turkish women, Ture said, and are better able “to carry the stuff, easier to show the glamor.”

One of the designers in the show was Loubna Sadoq, a Muslim woman in her 40s who lives in Amsterdam and began wearing a hijab a few years ago.

Muslim fashion designers are essentially trying to answer a single question: How can a woman be fashionable and true to her religion at the same time?

Sadoq said the rules of Muslim dress are simple.

“There is no difference between modest fashion and mainstream fashion,” she said. “You just have to adjust some things, like the length and width. You shouldn’t see skin, and it shouldn’t be tight. That’s it.”

Source : http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2016/09/19/2003655411/1

Turkey’s Islamic Fashion Revolution

ISTANBUL — The models, tall and lithe and strutting down the runway to the beat of Moroccan-themed house music, are from Russia and Eastern Europe. They could be displaying the latest designer styles in Paris or New York, but instead they are here, in Istanbul, wearing high heels, flowing tunics and colorful head scarves.

The fashion show, part of Istanbul Modest Fashion Week, was held at an Ottoman-era railway station, with old-fashioned train cars and vintage luggage as props.

This is not the Islamic fashion of Riyadh or Kabul, nor is it the dark and dreary dress stereotyped in the West. Islamic fashion here is a colorful, creative and joyful enterprise. It is also a huge business.

“We’re taking over,” said Dina Torkia, a Muslim fashion blogger from London, who wears a head scarf and was mobbed by fans hoping for a photo. “There are a lot of us Muslim girls who wear the hijab, and we like fashion.”

A fashion shoot in Istanbul for Ala, a magazine in Turkey for conservative women. Credit Monique Jaques

As Europe grapples with the burkini — a full-body swimsuit that some French beach towns have tried to ban as a symbol of the oppression of women — Islamic dress in Turkey has become a symbol of religious freedom from the strictures of secularism.

Istanbul has sought to become an Islamic fashion capital, an ambition that reflects the degree to which Turkish society has been reshaped under the Islamist government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Under Turkey’s old hard-line secular system, the head scarf, or hijab, was seen as a symbol of backwardness and banned in government offices and schools. In recent weeks, as France debated the burkini, Turkey again chipped away at old taboos, allowing female police officers, for the first time, to wear head scarves on the job.

No longer an object of derision in Turkey — and with the backing of the Islamist government — the head scarf has spurred an Islamic fashion revolution, complete with fashion houses, magazines, bloggers and Instagram stars. Powerful women in the region, like Mr. Erdogan’s wife, Emine, and Sheikha Mozah, a wife of a former emir of Qatar, have become fashion icons for young conservative women.

“Everyone was like, ‘Muslim market?’” said Kerim Ture, a former technology industry executive who now runs the Islamic fashion house Modanisa, based in Istanbul.“Black burqas. That was the stereotype.”

A fashion show at an Ottoman-era railway station during Istanbul Modest Fashion Week in May. Credit Monique Jaques

Mr. Ture employs several in-house designers, and has partnerships with brands in Dubai and Malaysia. Popular colors these days are yellow and baby blue, as are camouflage and tropical leaf patterns. Saudi Telecom has invested in his company.

“Our main purpose is to make women feel better,” he said. “To feel the glamour and the shine inside, even if they are covered.”

Mr. Ture said he did not come from an especially religious family, but he has supported Mr. Erdogan, whose policies, arguably, have made his business possible.

“My mother is covered,” he said. “My sister is not covered. It’s a Turkish family.”

Mr. Ture organized the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week, the fancy affair held at the train station, in May, the city’s first such event. Designers from around the Islamic world unveiled their collections there. But most of the models in the show were not Muslim. Russian and Eastern European models tend to be taller than Turkish women, Mr. Ture said, and are better able “to carry the stuff, easier to show the glamour.”

One of the designers in the show was Loubna Sadoq, a Muslim woman in her 40s who lives in Amsterdam and began wearing a hijab a few years ago.

Scarves on display at the Armine store in the Fatih District of Istanbul. Credit Monique Jaques

“I was on a religious journey, and I wanted more peace in my life,” she said.

Her new fashion sense, though, did not last long. “I have another lifestyle,” she said, mentioning bikinis and bars. “But I am still religious. I still pray. And I wear a scarf when I go to the mosque.” Now she is an entrepreneur, selling head scarves made from natural fibers, like bamboo.

Muslim fashion designers are essentially trying to answer a single question: How can a woman be fashionable and true to her religion at the same time?

“God doesn’t send in a fax, or email, of how we are going to be wearing things,” Mr. Ture said. “Don’t be a sex object on the street for men. That’s the message. Don’t provoke them.”

Ms. Sadoq said the rules of Islamic dress were simple. “There is no difference between modest fashion and mainstream fashion,” she said. “You just have to adjust some things, like the length and width. You shouldn’t see skin, and it shouldn’t be tight. That’s it.”

But as secular Turks fear religion encroaching on daily life, Turkey’s conservative Muslims fear the opposite — that Islam is becoming watered down by commercialism.

An Islamic fashion show in 2010 in Istanbul, which has sought to become an Islamic fashion capital. Credit Monique Jaques

A small group of conservative Muslims protested outside the fashion show, chanting, “God is great!” One of the protesters, a man, told the gathering that the Quran is clear that women should be veiled, and he lamented that God’s instructions have become “a tool for the immorality called fashion.”

Some of the clothes displayed at the show seemed to push traditional boundaries: slightly form-fitting tops, a little skin here, a plunging neckline there.

“Lengths got shorter, everything got tighter,” said Gamze Ucar, 38, whose family runs a textile business and believes that some items worn by Muslim women nowadays violate Islamic rules. “Trousers are everywhere.”

As the market for couture Islamic clothing has grown in recent years, mainstream designers have sought a piece of the action. DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger have designed Ramadan collections, and Dolce & Gabbana sells abayas, long outer garments, priced at more than $2,000 apiece.

Noor Tagouri, a journalist from the United States who has said she wants to be America’s first hijab-wearing television anchor, said she often receives emails from Christians who say, “We like the clothes, but we are not Muslim.”

Her response: “O.K., you can still wear it. You can still rock it.”

Source : http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/world/europe/turkeys-islamic-fashion-revolution.html?_r=2

International Modest Fashion Week takes off in Turkey

ISTANBUL — Turkey's first International Modest Fashion Week has opened in Istanbul, gathering designers and models of conservative wear from around the world.

The two-day event kicked off Friday with models hitting the runway at a historic train station showcasing a bright palette of breezy garments and kaleidoscopic head scarves.

Organizers said 70 designers are taking part in the event hosted by Modanisa, an online retailer of Muslim fashion based in Turkey.

Modanisa CEO Kerim Ture says the aim of the event is "to create mainstream fashion out of modest fashion and to energize Islamic communities to produce for Muslim women."

The event comes at a time of revived debate over the role of secularism in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim nation where the constitution enshrines the principle of secularism.

Source : http://www.thespec.com/living-story/6553774-international-modest-fashion-week-takes-off-in-turkey/

Move over Gucci: Modest fashion rocks Istanbul

With Muslims poised to spend over $480bn on clothes and footwear by 2019, the trend for high-end conservative fashion continues to grow.

ISTANBUL, Turkey - A train is sitting on a defunct railway track and music is pumping loudly as a predominantly female audience sits opposite a relic of what was once the Ottoman Empire's busiest train hub.

Today, the Istanbul Haydarpasa train station, a spectacular example of neo-classical architecture, is an empty pseudo-castle that hosts events. Many hope its original function will one day resume, but for now it is Istanbul's Modest Fashion Week, the first international fashion event aimed at setting a global trend in modest fashion for the conservative Muslim woman.

Most of the attendees are wearing colourful silk hijabs and are holding the latest smartphones, ready to record what is about to happen. When the lights come on, models from all over the world start walking the makeshift catwalk while dressed in modest outfits.

Sponsored by the Turkish modest fashion online retailer Modanisa, the show, which took place on 13 and 14 May, brought together approximately 100 fashion designers and brands from over 30 different countries to Istanbul. "[This is] a true milestone for Turkey and global modest fashion, an industry that has been consistently ruled by national trends up to now," proudly comments Ozlem Sahin, co-organiser of the event and formerly the promoter of the world's first online hijab fashion show.

According to a report by Thomson Reuters on the global Islamic economy, Muslims around the world spent $266bn on clothing and footwear in 2013. That figure is expected to increase to $484bn by 2019, surpassing the $350bn spent on clothes and shoes in 2012 by Americans – the largest consumerist society in the world.

Models on the catwalk for German based designer Zamzam Zalila at the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week (MEE/Emanuele Satolli)

Former banker, and recently-turned fashion designer, Samar Murad from Bahrain is presenting her sophisticated Sufi-inspired collection. 'We [Muslim women] often have to struggle to find flattering ready-to-wear outfits. It's mostly a case of picking a piece here and there and mixing and matching them at home," she says as she smiles looking at her floor-length black dress.

"My creations are made of several pieces, and if one wants to remove the under-garment from underneath a long, soft, silk dress, she'd be left in a low-necked cocktail dress. I thought of going the other way round."

Samar Murad, a modest fashion designer from Bahrain who just launched her first collection at the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week. She was previously a successful banker (MEE/Emanuele Satolli)

Models from America, Russia, Europe, the Middle-East and South-East Asia are in the spotlight and they are sporting a variety of headwear ranging from creatively tied hijabs, to shawls culminating in a sort of satin baseball cap, or veils worn under straw hats. The combinations are endless and suit many different styles.

Models come out together once again at the end of Zamzam Zalila fashion show during the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week (MEE/Emanuele Satolli)

Original shoewear creations also make their debut. Colours range from black, to bright pink and yellow; some have carved heels which are narrow or wide, but most are generally very high and cause some models shaky ankles as they try to keep their balance on the runway.

A model on the catwalk for German based designer Zamzam Zalila at the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week (MEE/Emanuele Satolli)

Twenty-four-year-old Brazilian model Vania from Sao Paolo has made Istanbul her home. She came to the city a year ago to pursue her career, but this is the first time she walks the catwalk in modest clothes. "It feels a bit weird, it's definitely not what I grew up in," she jokes.

From the left Vania, Monique and Marina, three Brazilian models after a fashion show where they wore clothes for Muslim women at the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week (MEE/Emanuele Satolli)

Hilal Oguzkan, a Turkish fashion designer with three mono-brand retail shops in Istanbul, says her typical clients are women aged 15 to 60. "No matter their age, women generally like to have a second opinion when choosing their clothes in Turkey. Most of my clients come with female friends, just a few with their husbands," she concludes.

Hilal Oguzkan, a prominent Turkish modest fashion designer after a show at the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week (MEE/Emanuele Satolli)

Ainee Suhaidi came all the way from Kuala Lumpur to present her first modest collection. "It was a huge challenge for someone who doesn't consider herself modest in the way she dresses to produce this collection," she smiles as she wears a bright red, long dress. 'While designing it, I kept asking myself if any woman could feel at ease in these clothes. For me, modest boils down to an elegant manner of covering what needs to be covered."

Ainee Suhaidi, a Malaysian fashion designer based in London after her show at the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week (MEE/Emanuele Satolli)

Esra Sezis Kigili was editor of the first modest fashion magazine in Turkey, Ala Dirgi. When it launched in 2011, she was the only employee wearing a hijab and jokes that she was "the one and only perfect candidate to become the public face of the magazine." Since then her popularity has grown and she now boasts a career as a fashion consultant.

Esra Sezis Kigili, a very prominent Turkish modest fashion columnist and consultant, and the editor of the first Turkish modest fashion magazine, after a show at the Istanbul Modest Fashion Week (MEE/Emanuele Satolli)

Within six months, Ala Dirgi was selling very well. "We became a real point of reference, a 'lighthouse' for modest fashion brands and clients who never had a dedicated publication before. We truly gave conservative clothing a chance in this country, a space to express itself," concludes Esra.

Models on the catwalk for Turkish designer Mayovera, one of the hundreds of modest fashion brands in the country (MEE/Emanuele Satolli)

Like many other Turkish women in the audience, she has no issues with a conservative fashion event taking place in a society that constitutionally defines public space as religiously neutral.

Young women taking a selfie at the entrance of Istanbul Modest Fashion Week, the first International fashion event showcasing collections for Muslim women from across the globe (MEE/Emanuele Satolli)

The so-called Modest Fashion Week may have now come to a close, but the global industry for modest fashion is just starting to take off.

Source : http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/trend-high-end-conservative-fashion-continues-grow-turkey-544714579

The Islamic gap in the global fashion sector

Muslims account for over 20 percent of the global population but despite their growing spending power, studies reveal that businesses are failing to tap into one key aspect of the Islamic economy: fashion.

“Alongside a thriving Islamic economy, there is growing demand for Islamic fashion apparel. Unfortunately, offerings have been limited, and there is no single Islamic brand catering to the fashion needs of the Muslim population globally. Thus, there is an opportunity for modern Islamic fashion brands to be showcased,” said Karen Van Diesen, market research analyst at Euromonitor in a recent note.

A report by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Thomson Reuters in September shared Van Diesen’s views, stating that Islamic fashion lacks a global clothing brand capable of addressing the needs of Muslim customers.

Islamic fashion is projected to comprise 11.2 percent of global fashion spending in three years’ time, according to the report, with spending set to hit $322 billion by 2018, versus estimated global expenditure of $2.9 trillion. In 2012, Muslims spent $224 billion on fashion.

The Muslim shopping experience is frustrating, Van Diesen explains, as most runway-inspired creations are not designed to meet Islamic standards. Among the complaints are unsuitable necklines, hemlines and difficulty matching designs with the hijab, she said.

Kerim Ture, founder of Turkish e-tailer Modanisa told CNBC last week how he got inspired to enter Islamic fashion.

“In 2009 when I was in Mecca, there were 3 to 4 million people and I didn’t see any Muslim fashion bands in shopping malls. There were mostly just shops selling headscarves and I asked myself why people were under addressing this community,” he said.

The company has grown rapidly since launching three years ago, with over a million orders per year from 50 countries.

Existing players

Turkey, the U.A.E, Indonesia and Iran are the top Muslim countries with the highest consumer clothing consumption, according to a separate report from the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Thomson Reuters and the Dinar Standard last week.

Local designers and start-ups in these nations are attempting to address the market gap, seen by Hijub in Indonesia and Citra Style in the United Arab Emirates. However, these brands typically cater to local shoppers, Euromonitor said, ensuring priority on their respective home markets instead of pursuing a global focus.

DKNY is one of the few global fashion heavyweights to embrace the Muslim market. Earlier this year, the U.S. label released a ‘Ramadan collection’ in Middle Eastern stores for the Eid holiday.

Online shopping remains the leading means of distribution in the sector, with Dinar Standard estimating fashion e-commerce expenditure at $4.8 billion in 2013. That’s bigger than India’s entire e-commerce market, valued at $3 billion presently.

“For Islamic fashion apparel to really pick up, it needs to become more available in typical bricks and mortar establishments,” Euromonitor said.

Van Diesen recommends interested players to invest in local brands with Islamic roots or that collaborate with Muslim designers, stating that companies who aren’t normally associated with Islamic apparel will likely face challenges if they enter the market alone.

“In particular, the company will need to confirm that the brand supply chain operates in accordance with Islamic values, as well as the concept of ‘halal’ in terms of sourcing.”

Source : https://muslimvillage.com/2014/12/17/60598/islamic-gap-global-fashion-sector/

Modanisa: a startup to notice

The Muslim fashion market is estimated to be worth $200 billion (£132 billion), yet a fraction of those funds are online. Turkish startup Modanisa jumped at the chance to be part of a movement remedying that, and giving women more fashion-forward choices. Founded by a serial entrepreneur and a retail consultant, the company wants to provide “choice in style” to 400 million Muslim women globally, with 300 brands and more than 22 designers selling through the platform today, just four years after launch. The UK is Modanisa’s fourth largest market, and the company plans on building a

“social hijab network in English”.

Founders: Kerim Ture and Lale Tuzun

Launched: 2011

Headquarters: Istanbul

Staff: 109

Funding: Two rounds of investment from Aslanoba Capital

What problem do you solve?

Even though there is a huge market, Muslim women’s fashion needs were under-addressed for years. The Western fashion industry used to think that Muslim women’s fashion was all about black burkas. Besides that, local producers were repeating what they had been doing for many years. Also, there were up and coming designers who wanted to reach this underserved audience but didn’t have a channel.

Who do you view as your competitors?

Modanisa is one of the first (if not the first) multibrand online retailers in the world for this segment. According to the 2015 Reuters and Dinar Standard’s Global Islamic Economy Report, modanisa.com is the most popular conservative fashion site in the world. There are online outlets of brick and mortar brands like AkerOnline.com, Armine.com. And there are online fashion retails for men and women like ShukrOnline. There are multibrand and exclusive women fashion stores like Hijup.com.

Why are you better?

Our strategic location: Modanisa is located in Turkey, which is the biggest conservative fashion market in the world today. The biggest Islamic fashion consumer markets Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, France and the UAE are a two-to-three-hour-flight away from us. We have better production quality and speed — we have the great advantage of superior textile production quality in Turkey; within a 25-mile radius form Modanisa’s Istanbul headquarters you can spot more than 400 medium-size textile manufacturers. The homeland advantages above help us scale and provide better prices and better quality. We also provide “Express Delivery” as a standard. We mostly send parcels to European cities in 48 hours.

Why do you think this service was not launched before?

Western companies thought Muslim fashion was about black burkas and some ethnic styles, and somehow they label it as niche and “not worth serving”. A few local players were enjoying this big potential and didn’t need to launch any new services. They were not even launching new styles every season.

Where did you get the idea for the business?

The idea didn’t come to us in an instant but through out an observation process. People around us were talking about how hard is to find hijab-friendly clothes in “modern” retail stores and everybody was complaining about the lack of variety and the high prices. Kerim was in Mecca in 2009, and there were millions of people but not a single modern Muslim retail brand for women. Millions of Muslim women were either shopping from small traditional hijab and abaya shops or from hijab stalls.

We saw that a couple of modern conservative stores that existed were doing better than their “non-conservative” rivals. We decided to built an online store, convince the producers to make hijab-friendly, conservative clothes for us, and serve this market globally.

How would you sum up your company ethos?

To provide the latest fashion in conservative style and help conservative women to look stylish while following the dress codes of Islam — all with excellent customer service. The Modanisa lady is: modern not marginal, feminine not sexy, conservative not narrow-minded, social not asocial.

How the business has developed?

In May 2011 we started with two full-time employees and an outsource ecommerce platform in a 150m2 office (including the warehouse). Since that time, Modanisa grew 4.2 times, on average, every year. We have 4.5 million Modanisa.com visitors each month, 109 full-time employees, 35 percent of Modanisa’s sales are international and our warehouse is now 7,500m2.

What has been the most challenging time for the company?

The most challenging time was the first few months of the business, convincing brands to sell online at modanisa.com and convincing producers to convert some of their styles into hijab-friendly style.

How did you overcome that?

First we paid cash to convince them. We took all of the inventory risks. Then producers and the brands witnessed the potential and started to use modanisa.com as one of their channels.

Do you have any advice for dealing with potential investors?

One of our chances was presenting at the Startup Turkey demo day in 2012. The super angel from Etohum angel investors network, Hasan Aslanoba, offered us the first round of investment right after our presentation. I can clearly say that applying to startup accelerators is a good way to start.

What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

Focus on what you do best.

Which businessperson do you most admire and why?

Richard Branson. Because of his determination, passion and his entrepreneurial courage.

What is your biggest barrier to future success?

Financing to scale becomes a key to sustain continued growth.

Where do you see your industry in ten years?

The Muslim fashion market is a more than $200 billion (£132 billion) consumer market and it will be doubled. There will be global brands with Islam-inspired modesty and a global appeal.

What barriers do you need to overcome to grow even further?

We need $20m (£13m) funding to sustain growth and use the first movers advantage to be the first global Muslim fashion brand of the world. We also need to attract more talent in HR with global experience.

Have problems arisen from selling/operating in different countries?

Payment methods are limited and the delivery costs are quite high in some Middle Eastern and African countries — that is limiting the eCommerce potential.

Source : https://muslimvillage.com/2015/01/29/62201/modanisa-startup-notice/

Modest fashion will become mainstream 'very soon', says Modanisa founder

DUBAI - France’s recent ban on burkinis significantly boosted business for Modanisa, said the company’s founder Kerim Ture at the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2016 (GIES) yesterday.

“During that week and the following week, our sales went up by 20 to 25 percent. In France, it increased by 30 to 35 percent,” said Ture.

“When people talk about the burkinis, they buy burkinis,” he added.

For more news, research and features on the global Islamic economy click here to visit Salaam Gateway.

Dolce & Gabbana’s launch of their debut abaya and hijab line earlier this year similarly helped drive sales for the Turkey-based modest fashion retailer.

“Any mention of modest fashion, positive or negative, helps us,” said Ture.

SOCIAL MEDIA-DRIVEN

According to Soha Mohamed Taha, founder of SohaMT Collection, a four-month old line comprising hijabs, cardigans and beshts, social media is the ideal launchpad for modest fashion start-ups.

The Egyptian style influencer and former photographer started blogging in 2013 and currently has over 174,000 followers on Instagram.

However, in the ever-evolving world of social media, Snapchat is already taking over. “Right now Snapchat is growing at a rapid pace and people seem to like it very much because it’s spontaneous,” said Taha.

“Unlike Instagram, where you can only post a picture and write a small caption, on Snapchat you can easily share videos, track how many people screenshotted that video; they can ask questions and you can reply them.”

She still recommends Instagram as the “key social media platform” for any new designer who wants to start a business as it can help them create a following.

“When people see what I wear and that it’s easy to wear in different styles, they tend to buy it. Visuals influence people so much,” she said.

Ture concurs, saying that Instagram remains Modanisa’s main channel, even though its Facebook page has around 2 million more followers. The brand has around 509,000 followers on Instagram.

“Instagram is much more effective when you compare it with Facebook, although we’re going to try to Snapchat soon to see the reactions. Social media has really triggered the modest fashion industry.”

In the beginning though, it was Facebook that opened the doors. “We saw the light there; it was a proof of concept for us,” said Ture.

Since then, Facebook ads have become more expensive compared to 2010, when the site first launched.

Today, it costs 10 times more to catch the same audience on Facebook, according to Ture. But this has become irrelevant as Modanisa’s customers need no help in finding the portal.

“Right now, our main audience comes organically, they just type Modanisa. This is what happens when people start knowing you and memorizing your name. So we’re not spending as much money to capture the same audience,” he said.

96 PCT UNTAPPED MARKET FOR ONLINE RETAIL

Modanisa currently stocks about 3,000 apparel pieces and delivers to 75 countries.

The site gets more than 6 million visitors a month and competes head-on with Sefamerve in Turkey.

There is enough room for everyone in the growth industry; Ture estimates that only 4 percent of Muslim buyers globally are shopping online for modest clothing.

“There are still about 96 percent shopping from [physical] shops,” he said.

To reach this market, Modanisa opened two physical stores in Turkey two years ago.

“We’re trying to show them the quality of our clothing, styles and sizes. They can try them on in-store and buy later on online,” he said.

Turkey currently accounts for about 35 percent of Modanisa’s sales, while the rest of the world, including Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States, are the company’s other markets.

The majority of clothes on the retailer’s site, as much as 90 percent, come from modest clothing brands, while just 10 percent are selected from mainstream fashion labels.

For Taha, the GCC region was her initial target market and sales soon spread out to become international.

“I started it with the GCC countries in mind but I was surprised when it went global, now people from all over the world order from my collection.”

Speaking from experience (Modanisa went through a rapid expansion of 420 percent average growth year-on-year between 2011 and 2014), Ture said, “I’m confident that the modest fashion industry will be mainstream very soon.”

(Reporting by Heba Hashem)

© Salaam Gateway 2016

Source : http://www.zawya.com/uae/en/story/Modest_fashion_will_become_mainstream_very_soon_says_Modanisa_founder-ZAWYA20161013060925/

 

You have registered successfully.

Loading...