Alia Khan of the Islamic Fashion Design Council reveals which designers she thinks are the future of modest fashion
1. Minnow Zola
A monochrome palette guides the aesthetic of this Melbournebased brand helmed by Zara Hassan. Pieces are classic and versatile: a white, floor-length shirt dress, for instance, can be worn closed and belted, or loose and open. Timeless striped patterns and chic layering techniques feature in her upcoming autumn/winter 2018 range, however Zara isn’t restricted by basic styles or black-and-white fabrics. A pastel-pink dress splattered with birds, or black eveningwear adorned with sequins, may seem out-of-character, but Minnow Zola’s muse is one that leads a well-balanced lifestyle.
Practical and purposeful, this Parisian label gives an elegant, French flair to thobe-inspired silhouettes. Garments are cosmopolitan but discreet, with shirt-dresses and trapeze skirts designed with utilitarianism in mind. The brand works with denims and linens, and creates dresses crafted from floral mousselines. Blouses featuring quintessential Peter Pan collars or exaggerated pussy-bows, are styled with A-line maxi-skirts and cropped pea-coats. A simple, natural and unfussy appearance is what the label’s self-taught designers, Hélène Agesilas and Malika Maza, strive for with their designs.
Inspired by much-loved millennial brands like Vetements and Yeezy, Under-Rapt makes trend-driven modest athleisure. The London-based label, which has even made an athletic hijab, works with sustainable textiles and ensures high quality, breathable, cooling and sweat-resistant fabrics. The brand’s founder and creative director, Yasmin Sobeih, is a stylist-turned-buyer-turned-designer, and her background in fashion can be accredited for the stylish appeal of Under-Rapt’s sport pieces. Athleisure staples like raincoats, crewnecks, harem pants, tracksuits and T-shirts are designed with relaxed fits that are loose, yet flattering: ideal for the modern, multifaceted and modesty-focused female.
4. Dosougi Designs
‘Millennial Muslims’ are the target audience of this American fashion label. But that’s quickly apparent once you see a few of the brand’s designs, like its metallic knit two-piece sets, and gowns adorned with corset-inspired belts and oversized eyelets. Designer Huda Eldosougi, who debuted her line at New York’s Harlem Fashion Week in 2016, has an eye for easy-to-wear textiles and cool, minimalist adornments, which she pairs together to appeal to mainstream consumers who may not even realise that the brand is one that focuses on modest fashion.
5. Phi Casa
With an emphasis on expert tailoring balanced with feminine allure, designs from this South African fashion label are both playful and practical. Expect to see belted prairie dresses, peplum blouses, drop-waist tunics, trendy trenches and floral dresses galore. The designer, Aneeqah Stellenboom, cites New York City as a key inspiration. She doesn’t focus purely on modestwear, most of her designs are adaptable to a modest lifestyle.
Award-winning Czech designer Mirka Talavašková is the brains behind this Prague-based label. Female empowerment is engrained in the DNA of the brand, and pieces exude confidence and power, sometimes even playing with androgyny. Mirka creates for the contemporary businesswoman, but expect more than your typical power suit from this modestwear label. Necklines are crisp, collars are stark, and shoulders are strong. Tuxedo-inspired jackets feature artful pleating and work shirts are upgraded with balloon-like sleeves. Designs are completed with bold buttons, strips of graphic prints and, occasionally, men’s tie-inspired bows at the neck.