Fashion, Features

Couture Abayas, Dolce & Gabbana ups the ante in Muslim wear

In a major couture coup, the Italian design house of Dolce & Gabbana recently launched a line of Abayas just for the Arab market. Making its debut on, the collection has been making major news wave for successfully pairing an Arab wardrobe staple with the ultimate in luxury branding. Featuring hijabs (Muslim head covering) and abayas (an all-covering overcoat Arab women in the Middle East wear when outside their homes), this Spring 2016 collection is made of lightweight fabrics most suited to the desert climes of Arabia. Georgettes and charmeuse fabrics with lace trims, and  spring appropriate floral designs are sure to be a hit in the market. Arab women from the Middle East, comprising the oil-rich sheikhdoms of Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia are among the most style savvy and brand conscious women on the planet. Malls in these countries are teeming with Abaya clad women decked out in their best, shopping and socializing. This is not the first time a Western brand has tried to make the most of the deep pockets found in the region, and the Muslim world in general. Earlier design houses like Tommy Hilfiger and DKNY had experimented with capsule collections. Net-a-Porter had showcased ‘The Ramadan Edit” a campaign targeting the Muslim festival of Eid ul Fitr and the holy month of Ramadan when social visits and dinner/iftar parties are a hallmark of the evenings. Globally the modest Muslim wear  market is set to increase  to a whopping $484 by in the next four years. As young Muslim women try to find their own styles and search for brands that can be modest and fashionable at the same time, it is a lucrative market and one that designers and retailers are trying to woo these days. H&M had famously hired a hijabi model Mariah Idrissi in its Fall campaign. Zara and Mango are known to be the most favoured brands in hijabi circles. And while designer abayas and hijabs were once exclusive to designers from the region, Dolce & Gabbana stepping in the ring has simply up the fashion ante.

DG Abaya

DKNY Ramadan collection

DKNY Ramadan collection


Mariah Idrissi for H&M Fall Campaign


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