On Sunday, Dolce & Gabbana debuted their new Abaya collection on Style.com’s Arabia site. The lineup of abayas and hijabs were made for their Muslim and Arab audiences, and consists of lightweight fabrics, neutral colors and classic prints. Inspired by the brand’s Spring 2016 collection, sheer georgette and satin charmeuse is decorated with fun little piece of flair like black lace, daisy flowers, red roses, lemons and polka dots. This is their first collection targeted to Middle Eastern customers and the pieces, paired with the Italian label’s sunglasses, bags and costume jewelry, will likely be a new favorite for fashion forward Muslim women.
Of course, Dolce & Gabbana is not the first major label to offer up goods specifically for their Muslim consumers. Monique Lhuillier, Tommy Hilfiger, Oscar de la Renta and DKNY have all released similar capsule collections and even fast fashion brands like Uniqlo, Zara and Mango have offered up dedicated Muslim lines. The majority of these pieces are released near and around the Ramadan holiday, but market stats show that a dedicated line could be profitable year-round.
A recent report from Thomson Reuters noted that in 2013, Muslims spent $266 billion on fashion globally and that number is expected to reach as high as $484 billion by 2019. Currently that’s more than the Italian and Japanese market combined, and the fashion industry breaking into the Muslim market could be the next major fashion boom, similar to the one seen most recently in China. Whether or not this is the first step in a rush to corner the market has yet to be seen, but it is a step in the right direction that could prove profitable for designers and sartorially beneficial to underserved Muslim women.