Dolce & Gabbana, one of the most prestigious and luxurious fashion brands in the world, will release a new fashion line this season that will target the handbags of Muslim women. The new line consists of hijabs and abayas, and was released with perfect timing for Ramadan this summer. Some may question if this is an attempt to improve social equality, or if this is a mere attempt at capturing a rising market.
A handful of other fashion powerhouses have previously released their own lines of abayas, which are long, floor-length dresses, and hijabs, a traditional headscarf. DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, and Oscar de la Renta are among those that have already started producing collections aimed for Muslim women. These high-end fashion brands, along with Dolce & Gabbana, have been aware of the Muslim demand for luxury products. It is not uncommon for Muslim women to travel to cities like London, one of the fashion capitals of the world, to shop for high-end brands in apparel. This is mostly common in the months leading up to Ramadan. Dolce & Gabbana’s abaya line will introduce a collection of abayas and hijabs made with floral patterns and neutral colors.
This demographic has suffered through decades without being acknowledged by the fashion industry, although they play a role in fluctuations of sales numbers. It was recorded that Muslim women spent a total of $266 billion on shoes and clothing in 2013. This number will double by 2019 and hit a record of $484 billion, and could possibly also rise depending on if other brands follow this powerful statement.
Many Muslim women wear luxurious fashion brands under their long abayas, whether an expensive top or high-priced pants. They are already purchasing higher-end apparel, so it may follow that brands like Dolce & Gabbana have recognized this and are producing luxury abayas and hijabs as well.
With this market having the potential of doubling in less than a decade, many may question whether producing these new fashion lines is simply a move for social equality, or if it is an attempt to grab a piece of the rising market. There is a financial benefit to Dolce & Gabbana releasing a new fashion line of high-end abayas and hijabs for Muslim women, yet there are also social benefits in this decision as well.
The Muslim community has struggled with social equality for years. Women as a whole, no matter the race or age, often look to beauty products and apparel to raise their spirits. At times, beautiful clothing can lead to beautiful opinions about oneself, but the problem that Muslim women face is their limited ability, due to their religious beliefs, to wear certain types of clothing. Dolce & Gabbana, as well as other brands, are now opening up more opportunities for Muslim women.
Ramadan is just months away, and Dolce & Gabbana, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, and Oscar de la Renta have already produced their abaya and hijab lines just in time for the holiday. Dolce & Gabbana have already showcased their new line on social media accounts like Instagram, and have proven they are on their way to changing the fashion world. They have already been acknowledged by fashion sites like Vogue and Style.com. Dolce & Gabbana currently has numerous retailers worldwide, including locations in Dubai, India, Malaysia, and Kuwait – all cities which contain a high population of the Muslim community and, as it just so happens, a large amount of dollars to spend.
By Tricia Manalansan
NBC News: Dolce & Gabbana Reveal New Luxury Hijab, Abaya Collection
Business Insider: Dolce & Gabbana is catering to a soon-to-be $484 billion market most retailers ignore
Fox News: Dolce & Gabbana introduces new line of hijabs and abayas
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