Islamic fashion aims for turnover worth 484 bln dollars

Modest Fashion in Turin, where western brands advancing

27 July, 16:54

    An Islamic fashion show An Islamic fashion show

    (by Cristiana Missori)

    ROME - Sober clothes hiding the woman's shape, covering the body yet on trend and colorful. This is the essence of ''Modest Fashion'' - simple, sober and respects the values inspiring Muslim women and men - which in 2014 registered a turnover of some 300 billion dollars and should be worth 484 billion by 2019.

    Islamic fashion will be at the center of the Turin Modest Fashion Round table organized at Palazzo civico on July 28 by the Turin municipality, Thomson Reuters and the Dubai Chamber.

    The Muslim market is promising and immense and Western brands cannot ignore it as there are few labels completely dedicated to this sector of consumers. ''Also, there is no certification - as in the sectors of Islamic finance and halal food -able to establish precise criteria for companies who want to invest'', Gianmarco Montanari, the director general for the economic development of the city of Turin and promoter of the event, told ANSAmed.

    This and other issues will be discussed ''at the round table that will be attended by representatives of Italian fashion, international operators of Islamic fashion, entrepreneurs and producers'', he said. After the Turin Islamic Economic Forum last year - the first international meeting, he recalled, promoted by an institution in Europe for an in-depth look at Islamic economy and finance - and the one next week on fashion, ''we will host one dedicated to halal food in October''.

    And numbers show the right direction. ''Among countries with the highest number of Muslim consumers - he stressed - according to the latest data available (2013), there are Turkey (39.3 billion dollars), the United Arab Emirates (22.5 billion dollars), Indonesia (18.8 billion dollars), Iran (17.1 billion dollars), Saudi Arabia (16 billion dollars) and Nigeria (14.4 billion dollars).

    European consumers should also not be underestimated ''with France, Germany and the United Kingdom that exceeded 25 billion dollars of spending'', concluded Montanari.

    The industry of Islamic fashion, explained Alia Khan, president of the Islamic Fashion and Design Council - an organization created for the development of the Islamic fashion industry worldwide - shows a real void of western production.

    ''There is little awareness and ability to attack this market which is still unexplored, also by Italian companies''. Brands like DKNY have launched collections for the holy month of Ramadan, ''the first major brand to do so'', followed by fashion houses that have dedicated part of their lines to Islamic women, including ''Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Victoria Beckham, Yohji Yamamoto and others''. High street brands ''like Zara and Mango have launched a Ramadan collection this year, like H&M''.

    But it is not enough, noted Khan, stressing the necessity of ''more careful consideration of Muslim consumers who don't feel like they are 100% understood''. The certification problem in unquestionable. Its organization is reportedly working on an ''iFash'' (Islamic fashion) label enabling international brands to invest on Islamic fashion, abiding by its requirements and enabling potential clients to know where to make their ''modest'' buys. Contrary to what some claim, 'Islamic' garments are rich, full of style and design and their demand is constantly expanding. Ignoring it would be a mistake.(ANSAmed).

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