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THE UP-TRENDING OF MODEST FASHION

For those of us who are dedicated followers of fashion, the announcement of London Modest Fashion Week as  a new addition to the London fashion calendar is not a surprise. The first event of its kind in the British capital, the shows are scheduled for the 17th and 18th of February. The successful in the ever-changing fashion industry are those brands that act instead of react to trends; innovate instead of replicate.

                                                                                                                                     

Burberry 2016 .                    Burberry 2018 .                Burberry 2018 RTW Runway

Burberry came out with their first Ramadan collection in 2016. The structured black high necked crepe dress with topstich detailing, introduced in 2016 is still available for sale on their current website. The enchanting gold metallic lamé silk dress, also by Burberry, is not specifically identified as modest fashion. Yet with a high neckline, long sleeves and a below-the knee hemline, many women, regardless of their religious beliefs could consider this a modest garment. The pretty ruffle details and fitted silhouette make this a flattering style as well as modest.  Yesterday, February 17th, (as of this writing), Burberry showed their Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection in London. Irreverent, wild, bursting with color, energy and nostalgia, this was Christopher Bailey’s final show for the brand. Did he have modest fashion in mind when he created this joyful collection? We will never know the answer to that question, but we did spot a number of ensembles which were covered up, yet immensely beautiful. So many top designers have chosen to offer garments which could venture into this category. And for good reason.

“Muslim consumer spending on clothing was estimated at $243 billion in 2015, or 11 percent of the global total on apparel, according to the 2016 State of the Global Islamic Economy,  from Thomson Reuters,” as reported by cbsnews.com.

DKNY first introduced a Ramadan collection in 2014. Simplified and sleek, devotees of all cultures could have applauded the minimalist designs. Remove the hijab head scarf and this modern ensemble could move from the office to a dinner engagement. Add the hijab and women who cover their head for religious reasons could be comfortable as well as stylish. Donna Karan continues to offer modest dresses in 2018.

                                                                                        

DKNY 2014                                                                                 DKNY 2018

Dolce & Gabbana introduced their first collection of hijabs and abayas targeted to Muslim customers in the Middle East in 2016. The offerings were lovely, feminine and iconic D&G. The most recent Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2018 collection also offered long feminine dresses and jumpsuits, flowing florals, long sleeves and high, demure collars. Were they specifically focusing on the Muslim customer? The D&G business plan we don’t know. What we do know is that more and more important designer brands are offering an alternative to being exposed.

Dolce & Gabbana 2016

Dolce & Gabbana 2018

 There is one thing we can all agree on…it’s nice to have a choice.

#FASHION SHOW

Fashion has always been an art form that breaks boundaries. The most successful designers are continually pushing the limits of their art form, asking “Why?” and then swiftly creating clothes before anyone can even answer. It makes sense, then, as we are thick in New York’s heralded Fashion Week, we’re seeing a reexamination of not only trends, but also the format in which those trends are presented. More and more, designers are abandoning the traditional fashion show and ushering in innovative ways to send their collections into the world.

This year, American sportswear designer Derek Lam gracefully bowed out of the traditional tent setting, opting instead for an intimate, invite-only luncheon at The Pool Room of the Four Seasons. While his equestrian-inspired pieces were still the main course, the niche fashion insiders in attendance were treated to a luxurious yet relaxed experience, meant to mimic Lam’s brand and clothes themselves.

Another notable example is fashion powerhouse Diane Von Furstenberg’s recent departure from the traditional girls-all-in-a-row setup. Instead, she opts to open the doors of her meatpacking district headquarters for an immersive fashion show experience, where models mingle as guests come and go as they please. Stacey Bendet, the designer behind Alice and Olivia, has long considered theatrical vignettes a more impactful way of presenting her collections. This year’s intimate, collegiate-inspired installation leaned heavily on the idea of educating the public on equal rights while simultaneously impressing everyone with her designs.

Perhaps the most innovative fashion shows this year happened somewhere completely unexpected – in the hands of everyone with a smartphone. A complete departure from the norm, designers turned the popular app Instagram into their own personal runway. Designer Lela Rose hand selected a group of fashion influencers to “debut” her collection on their personal Instagram pages. Kanye West took a similar approach with his notorious brand Yeezy, revealing his Season 6 Collection via hashtag in a series of posts from starlets, models, and socialites, all clad in his clothing.

The reason behind this departure from the time-worn fashion show is quite simple: the Internet has cut out the middle man between creator and consumer. In an age where anyone with a phone is a model and attention spans are shockingly short, standing out in the world of fashion is more difficult and more necessary than ever before. Whether that’s done through creating a profoundly intimate viewing experience or one that’s as accessible as tapping a hashtag, stale traditions have no place in our viral universe, meaning fashion presentations now have to be as fresh as the fashion itself.

WHAT TO EXPECT FOR FASHION BUSINESS IN 2018

All across the fashion industry, one word keeps popping up when designers, experts, and business owners alike discuss fashion trends in 2018: optimism. 2017 was a year of transformation, especially for the Brazilian market, and while there were growing pains and setbacks, all in all, it ended in healthy, sustainable growth. Now, with 2018 right around the corner, things are looking up, and with all the optimism going around, it’s certain to bring incredible changes.

It’s been said that 2018 is expected to be a watershed for the fashion industry, and the transformation couldn’t come at a better time. It is predicted that Asia will become a huge market in this year, with fifty percent of clothing and accessories purchases coming from places other than North America. That’s just one of the many changes coming fashion’s way. And it doesn’t just mean big things for Asia. This will impact the Latin American and Pacific markets as well. For the first time in a long time, the West won’t be the global stronghold it once was, making room in the industry for other regions to stake their claim.

Fashion business

2018 will also be the year of increasingly-demanding consumers. Customers have no shortage of ways to discriminate between products these days. In this age of digital shopping, buyers can hunt for the best bargains and sales in seconds, without ever leaving their homes. And with the popularity of online reviewing, they can make up their minds about a product before they’ve ever tried it on. It is predicted that the market will continue its trend of becoming a dichotomy between luxury and value items, furthering the divide between consumers.

Online sales will continue to grow at an exponential rate in the upcoming year, which presents unique challenges as customers become increasingly less brand loyal. The competition is fierce, and it’s getting fiercer. Price and quality are no longer the only factors that entice buyers. They also look for convenience, value, integrity, and if a company’s values align with their own. This will be a year where some people win, and some people lose, and the ones who are willing to take risks will undoubtedly win the spoils.