Mainstream Fashion Bets on Modest Clothing


There’s been a lot of buzz about racial, gender, and body diversity in fashion—now religious representation is entering the mix. Although Muslim clients from the Gulf region have long provided support to European couture houses, it’s only now that brands are including modest styles in their repertoire. From Dolce & Gabbana to Nike, both Muslim styles and models are becoming more visible on a global scale. Many retailers are also adding holiday campaigns based on the Islamic calendar; Net-a-Porter was an early adopter in 2015, when it featured an “Eid Edit.” One small worry: With bigger brands targeting the Muslim market, small specialty companies that once had comfortable niches are facing heightened competition that could crush their businesses altogether.   

Further Reading

To find out more about how Muslim women feel about their representation in fashion media, check out this piece from The Cut.  

Discussion Question

While most agree that more visibility of conservative dressing is a positive thing, many are debating the use of the word “modest.” By distinguishing certain styles as “modest,” some argue, we risk labelling women who do not shop in those sections as “immodest.” What do you think—should we swap out “modest” for another word?

Action Item

Start a conversation with someone in your life with specific clothing needs— religious or otherwise— and learn about their experience finding clothes that fit their needs and their personal style.


Read more on CNN | Image: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco