Dedicated to Islamic-appropriate designs, Saatchi Gallery in London hosted the inaugural London Modest Fashion Week event this week. Held to showcase clothing from the growing modest-wear segment around the world, the event followed in the footsteps of Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur with a dedicated show schedule just for Muslim wears. Organiser Romanna Bint-Abubaker, founder of Haute-Elan, told Sky News the Muslim market is currently the fastest growing global consumer, stating: "One in three people – by 2030 – will be a Muslim in the world – that’s a huge population."
Here's what you need to know about the two-day event:
1. Bahraini brand Leenaz showcased their abayas
Created by sisters Leena, Fayqa and Homa Janahi, Leenaz offers a range of styles from casual to high-fashion with an emphasis on embroidery and embellishments. Focused on bringing a modern spin to the traditional silhouette of the abaya, many of their looks include batwing sleeves, ruffled lapels and graphic prints.
2. Over 40 brands gathered from across the globe to exhibit their collections
Hailing from Muslim countries around the world including the likes of Turkey, Somalia and Malaysia, the showcase drew international interest from retailers. Smaller boutique brands who didn't opt to have a runway show were also present with headscarf and beauty companies hosting parallel henna and hijab-tying masterclasses over the course of the event.
3. Hijab-wearing Insta-stars were present on the FROW
Whilst many Muslim bloggers attended the event, one of the most notable guests on the front row was Dina Tokio, a London-based YouTube vlogger and TV presenter who hosted the launch and posed for pictures with fans. Mariah Idrissi, a hijab-wearing Muslim model, who was also in attendance told Middle East Eye that the success of MFW proves modesty "is more than just fashion, it’s a lifestyle."
4. The space included a dedicated prayer room
Ensuring that all attendees had a space to pray, one of the rooms at the Saatchi Gallery was created specifically as a female prayer room that remained open for the duration of the event. The showcase also spotlighted the issues faced by Muslims in the current political climate by dedicating a pop-up stall to Team Kitrinos, a Muslim charity that provides assistance to migrants who have illegally entered Europe.
5. The event was sponsored by Illamasqua - who refuse to sell their products to Trump supporters
Having been vocal about his disapproval of Trump's stance on immigration in the past, Julian Kynaston, founder of Illamasqua, was more than proud to support the movement of modest fashion by sponsoring the entire event. Previously encouraging those who support the U.S President to steer clear of his brand, via the Illamasqua blog and on an email sent to international press, the British entrepreneur commented: “We know we can’t stop anyone buying our products. But we also know that no matter how hard some people work to make themselves beautiful on the outside, make-up can never hide the ugliness inside."