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

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.


British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi has it covered

Updated 17 August 2019

British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi has it covered

  • “Saudi Arabia is a blessed land both physically and spiritually,” Idrissi said
  • “I would love to be a part of changing some of the stereotypes around the country through my work in fashion and film,” Idrissi commented

LONDON: Born in North West London to Moroccan and Pakistani parents, model Mariah Idrissi has made quite a name for herself – starring in campaigns for major high street retailers, hosting TED Talks and sharing snaps of her travels with her 88,000 Instagram followers.
The hijab-wearing model has been vocal about her preference for modest fashion and spoke to Arab News about her style, faith and achievements.
“I wear hijab to represent my faith, my culture, and because I genuinely love the idea of modest dress,” she said. “I think it’s important to feel comfortable in what you wear and also not lose a sense of your personality, hence why there is so much diversity in modest styles.”


Her breakthrough came when she was scouted in a shopping center. She did not think it would lead to anything; however, she was casted for an H&M ad. “The campaign went viral. From that moment I realized how little the media represented Muslims, and if they did it was often negative. That motivated me to continue to pursue a career in fashion and change the narrative around how hijab is viewed in the West,” she explained.
She also gave her first significant public speech in 2016, a TEDxTeen live-streamed to millions, about how modest clothing has now become a trend. Idrissi believes the fashion industry is catering more to women who want modest wear than it did a decade ago.
“I feel it is definitely improving,” she said. “Summertime can still be a little bit of a struggle in comparison to autumn and winter which is cooler, so there is still room for improvement.”


After her breakthrough with H&M, Idrissi went on to participate in projects with leading brands, including MAC Cosmetics and M&S in the Middle East. She also looks forward to working on projects in Saudi Arabia when an opportunity arises.
“Saudi Arabia is a blessed land both physically and spiritually. I feel there is so much potential and opportunity. I would love to be a part of changing some of the stereotypes around the country through my work in fashion and film,” Idrissi said.
She is now working on a few film projects, both features and documentaries, to continue challenging negative stereotypes around Muslims.


Moreover, she aims to inspire other potential modest models and advises them to always ask why before embarking on this path. Asking why has helped her on this career journey because even through difficult times, she was able to push forward.
As her upbringing has taught her, Idrissi is demonstrating that modernity and progression are not in conflict with tradition and customs: They are two sides of the same coin.