Find out what went down at Dubai’s modest fashion extravaganza

Atlanta-based brand Huda Nagassi also took part. (Photo supplied)
Updated 04 April 2018
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Find out what went down at Dubai’s modest fashion extravaganza

DUBAI: The Islamic Fashion Design Council (IFDC) just wrapped up a successful modest fashion event in Dubai after six days of meet and greets, fashion shows and pop-up shopping opportunities.
Dubbed Pret-A-Cover Buyers Lane, the inaugural showcase of cutting-edge modest fashion took place from March 28 to April 2 in Dubai’s chic City Walk shopping district.
Event organizers put on startling, tech-savvy shows using a high-definition projection system that showcased 90-second videos by each of the participating designers. The multi-platform projections included water curtains for holographic effect and LED screens, which gave designers a powerful platform to bring their brand to life.
“We’re trying to be revolutionary,” Alia Khan, chairwoman of the IFDC, told Arab News before the event.
“We felt that the fashion week model presented a lot of issues for the industry which weren’t being addressed. Designers weren’t getting proper exposure, orders weren’t getting placed, and people weren’t able to connect with their work in a meaningful way. We wanted to create a base for engagement.”
The self-declared “modest fashion and design week” took place between 10.00 a.m. to midnight every day and sought to turn the conventional fashion show format on its head through a program of video shows, interactive pop-ups and social media competitions.
A raft of international designers took part in the event, including Talabaya, a brand that describes itself as the result of a marriage between Middle Eastern elegance and minimalist European style, and Huda Nagassi, an Atlanta-based brand founded by business mogul Andre Amos, marketing guru Jabari Abdullah Huda Salaam and fashion designer Yasmin Hu.
Other notable design houses that took part in the event included The Modist, The Hijab Lee, Astel and Blue Meets Blue.
Pret-A-Cover Buyers Lane took place with the support of the Dubai government’s Islamic Economy Development Center and came at a time when modest fashion is gaining mainstream interest across the board, with several retailers and brands — such as Dolce & Gabbana, Uniqlo and Burberry — entering the field. The estimated $250 billion international industry is projected to grow exponentially to be worth almost $370 billion by 2020, according to a recent Global Islamic Economy report.
Headquartered in New York, the IFDC has offices in 10 countries and is seeking to encourage the success of the modest fashion and design industry by ensuring the major players have access to an international market of style-savvy consumers.


Fashion capital New York considers banning sale of fur

Updated 17 April 2019
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Fashion capital New York considers banning sale of fur

  • Lawmakers are pushing a measure that would ban the sale of all new fur products in the city
  • “Cruelty should not be confused with economic development,” a sponsor of the legislation said

NEW YORK: A burgeoning movement to outlaw fur is seeking to make its biggest statement yet in the fashion mecca of New York City.
Lawmakers are pushing a measure that would ban the sale of all new fur products in the city where such garments were once common and style-setters including Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Joe Namath and Sean “Diddy” Combs have all rocked furs over the years.
A similar measure in the state Capitol in Albany would impose a statewide ban on the sale of any items made with farmed fur and ban the manufacture of products made from trapped fur.
Whether this is good or bad depends on which side of the pelt you’re on. Members of the fur industry say such bans could put 1,100 people out of a job in the city alone. Supporters dismiss that and emphasize that the wearing of fur is barbaric and inhumane.
“Cruelty should not be confused with economic development,” said state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan, who is sponsoring the state legislation. “Fur relies on violence to innocent animals. That should be no one’s business.”
The fate of the proposals could be decided in the coming months, though supporters acknowledge New York City’s measure has a better chance of passage than the state legislation.
The fur trade is considered so important to New York’s development that two beavers adorn the city’s official seal, a reference to early Dutch and English settlers who traded in beaver pelts.
At the height of the fur business in the last century, New York City manufactured 80% of the fur coats made in the U.S, according to FUR NYC, a group representing 130 retailers and manufacturers in the city. The group says New York City remains the largest market for fur products in the country, with real fur still frequently used as trim on coats, jackets and other items.
If passed, New York would become the third major American city with such a ban, following San Francisco, where a ban takes effect this year, and Los Angeles, where a ban passed this year will take effect in 2021.
Elsewhere, Sao Paulo, Brazil, began its ban on the import and sale of fur in 2015. Fur farming was banned in the United Kingdom nearly 20 years ago, and last year London fashion week became the first major fashion event to go entirely fur-free.
Fur industry leaders warn that if the ban passes in New York, emboldened animal rights activists will want more.
“Everyone is watching this,” said Nancy Daigneault, vice president at the International Fur Federation, an industry group based in London. “If it starts here with fur, it’s going to go to wool, to leather, to meat.”
When asked what a fur ban would mean for him, Nick Pologeorgis was blunt: “I’m out of business.”
Pologeorgis’ father, who emigrated from Greece, started the fur design and sales business in the city’s “Fur District” nearly 60 years ago.
“My employees are nervous,” he said. “If you’re 55 or 50 and all you’ve trained to do is be a fur worker, what are you going to do?“
Supporters of the ban contend those employees could find jobs that don’t involve animal fur, noting that an increasing number of fashion designers and retailers now refuse to sell animal fur and that synthetic substitutes are every bit as convincing as the real thing.
They also argue that fur retailers and manufacturers represent just a small fraction of an estimated 180,000 people who work in the city’s fashion industry and that their skills can readily be transferred.
“There is a lot of room for job growth developing ethically and environmentally friendly materials,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who introduced the city measure.
New Yorkers asked about the ban this week came down on both sides, with some questioning if a law was really needed.
“It is a matter of personal choice. I don’t think it’s something that needs to be legislated,” said 44-year-old Janet Thompson. “There are lots of people wearing leather and suede and other animal hides out there. To pick on fur seems a little one-sided.”
Joshua Katcher, a Manhattan designer and author who has taught at the Parsons School of Design, says he believes the proposed bans reflect an increased desire to know where our products come from and for them to be ethical and sustainable.
“Fur is a relic,” he said.