HISTORY OF ISLAMIC FASHION
The marketing of Islamic fashionable clothing, however, is older than the sports hijab.
Research, found that it started in the 1980s when ethnic groceries shop owners in Western Europe and the United States began importing modest fashion clothing along with other items for the Muslim population. That proved to be a successful business. However, prior to that, most Muslim women would put together their own style.
These small endeavors ultimately mutated into a competitive and lucrative Muslim fashion industry. Islamic fashion in general is understood as women wearing modest clothing with long sleeves, descending to the ankle and having a high neckline. The outfits are not tight, with some form of head covering that could be draped in a variety of styles. Women who prefer to wear pants combine them with a long sleeved top that covers the buttocks and has a high neckline, along with a head covering.
Over time, national and international designers came to be involved in the sale of chic Islamic fashions. Today, Muslim fashion is a lucrative global industry with countries such as Malaysia and Turkey leading the way outside the Western countries.
THE ISLAMIC BRAND
This growth has had its share disagreement where many designers use the term islamic for their clothing. Religious conservatives and Muslim scholars have raised questions about what types of apparel would fit that category and whether defining clothing as “Islamic” was even permitted by Islamic principles – a concept known as “halal.”
In particular, critics have objected to the fashion catwalk presentations, which actually draw the gaze and attention of spectators to the bodies of models, while the purpose of a hijab is to distract and move the gaze away from the body.
Nonetheless, the Islamic fashion industry has managed to initiate marketing campaign that capitalise on the very core of Islamic precepts: Sharia.
In establishing a nominally Islamic brand, marketers make every effort to align their products with the core value of Islam. So, even when following the trendy fashionable seasonal colors and materials, clothing styles would include some sort of head covering.
WHO ARE THE CONSUMERS
Research shows that Muslims are more brand aware than the general population. However, in the past they were largely ignored by the fashion industry, perhaps, due to misconceptions that being a Muslim restricted people’s lifestyle.
But then now, with agrowing Muslim Population, there is an increased demand for modest but also fashionable clothing for the youth who have significant spending powers. At the same time, traditional elite and wealthy Middle Eastern, European, African, American consumers etc who used to shop for fashionable clothing from other nations now want to shop from homegrown Muslim fashion designers.
Certainly, the halal logo on products in addition to modesty in clothing has proved to be an effective strategy in creating a global Islamic identity.
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