The Modist founder and hijabi model Shahira Yusuf discuss the rise of the modest fashion movement
This month, CNN Style Dubai explores the rise of modest fashion. The programme meets some of the women driving the expanding movement in Dubai to understand more about the value modest fashion holds.
The programme interviews Shahira Yusuf, who is fast becoming the face of the modest fashion movement after she was the first hijab wearing model to be signed by Storm Model Management, the London-based agency that famously discovered supermodel Kate Moss.
Also tapping into the emerging modest fashion market is Dubai-based entrepreneur Ghizlan Guenez, whose e-commerce platform, The Modist, stocks and curates fashion from global brands in the luxury space, tailored to the tastes of women who dress modestly. Guenez discusses why modest fashion isn’t simply about religion and the reasons for the movement’s continued growth.
Shahira Yusuf on headscarves being seen as a “trend”:
“Religion has always been around, it’s just now Muslim women are getting more attention. More positive media attention as well. We’re Muslim women; we wear our headscarves because of religious beliefs, at the end of the day. So it might be a trend in terms of mainstream media picking up on these types of things, but it’s something that has always been around.”
Yusuf on being a positive role model:
“It’s important for women to have people that they can look up to. So whatever field that may be is up to them, but modelling can also be that field. It’s just about teaching women to mainly love themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin and also just sharing that positive type of message with others.”
Ghizlan Guenez on the emerging modest fashion movement:
“We don’t necessarily think it’s about modesty or about covering/not covering, it’s about what it is that makes you feel comfortable, confident, strong. I think there needs to be an agreement of co-existence of both sorts of styles and ways that we dress and ways that we want to present ourselves… The reality is that modesty, at least the way we look at it, transcends religion. It transcends age, size, where you come from.”
Guenez on why the modest fashion movement continues to grow:
“I think that is a reaction to that conversation around inclusiveness and diversity and things like the women’s march, #MeToo, things like the first hijabi model walking the runways of Milan and Paris have all really created this platform for modesty to rise and for the conversation to start.”
Guenez on why she’s passionate about supporting local brands:
“One of the things we’re passionate about is the idea of choice. We truly believe that choice and exercising that is the most important thing. We’ve got close to 200 international and regional designers on the site and a few of those are indeed from the region, specifically from Dubai. One of them is Sima Ayad, which I especially love because the story started with the designer herself, catering to curvy women.”
Guenez on why Dubai is a desirable destination for entrepreneurs:
“Dubai has always been very forward and progressive. The reality is it’s becoming a very attractive place for players like us, for international players, and that diversity and that melange of players that come into play in one city is really what creates the style, it’s the opposition of different view points. We talk modesty and other players talk a different style and I think that is what is going to create maybe the DNA of fashion for the city.”
CNN Style Dubai airs on CNN International at the following times:
Wednesday 12th December at 1330 GST
Thursday 20th December at 1330 GST
Source: CNN/CNN Style Dubai