Amal Sultan graduated with an MBA in Luxury Brand Management from IFA Paris and last year organized the first modest fashion show in Paris.
IFA Paris: What is your own definition of modest fashion?
Amal Sultan: In general, we never define modest fashion, because it is above all a trend, or even a lifestyle, so it is particularly difficult to mention all its’ traits by name. Underneath this umbrella are a wide range of variants where each individual draws a multitude of inspirations to pull out his or her own definition.
This fashion can take the form of a long dress as well as jeans and long-sleeved shirts; because of its’ diversity, everyone can have their own interpretation influenced by their personal beliefs, religion or culture: it is therefore likely to suit the majority!
IFA Paris: In your opinion, is modest fashion regressive for women or, on the contrary, is it not a form of freedom aimed at promoting their identity and asserting who they really are?
Amal Sultan: Modest fashion is above all a matter of personal choice and not a form of oppression. On the contrary, embracing it is a form of freedom, of personal development that gives you the power to control your personality.
Relishing your style is also to be in total harmony with your inner self, no regression in that, simply a well-founded claim to your identity.
IFA Paris: We talk a lot about modest fashion collections for women but what about male trends in this field? Do they exist and if so, how are they defined?
Amal Sultan: I repeat, modest fashion is above all a trend and in this sense can therefore be shared by everyone! Men can of course adopt it and prefer rather loose-fitting clothes, neither too slim nor too tight-fitting…. moreover they already do so without it being seen as such; they simply feel more comfortable with this style than with another, without distinction of religion or faith.
IFA Paris: What do you say to those who criticize modest fashion and think that all clothes are alike and are a blend of shapeless and gloomy clothes?
Amal Sultan: Unlike sustainable fashion, made up of 100% eco-friendly products or green and white colours, it is difficult to overcome stereotypical ideas, regardless of the trends!
Lack of knowledge leads to confusion, such as associating dark clothes, abayas or hijabs with modest fashion, whereas they are more in line with Islamic fashion. Modest fashion is neither Islamic nor secular, but confusion still prevails.
IFA Paris: By gaining ground while moving away from religious roots, the turnover generated by this niche market should reach €404 billion next year. Are we witnessing a social phenomenon where all women are finally taking over their rights?
Amal Sultan: I think so, yes. According to Reuters reports, modest fashion is growing at a very fast pace, reaching $260 billion today compared to an estimated $400 billion by 2020.
This trend is suitable for everyone, regardless of age, religion or culture. It simply deserves to be more clearly identified and closely followed by all brands that want to make more profits because modest fashion has a bright future….
For more information about the program Amal pursued at IFA Paris, please visit MBA in Luxury Brand Management