Flirty, loose cuts, tailored looks, a dash of gold foiling here and there, all stand out in the latest style craze – kaftans. Kaftans are some of the most versatile, timeless and easy-to-wear looks, and fashion lovers alike have no doubt come to love the traditional dress that has been around for thousands of years.
Kaftans and modest fashion have been thriving during the holy month, and what was once a religious uniform, has been largely transformed into a mainstream trend. It’s no surprise that large retailers are capitalizing on this market, that has been ignited by local fashion designers.
While Ramadan might be a slow season for many, fashion designers like Fatima Abdulhussein and Mona Mikati find it to be their time to shine. Fatima started her clothing line, F In Style back in 2013, and mixed both traditional and modern styles together to create her own unique look. According to Fatima, “We have around 10-15 orders per day in Kuwait, and 7-10 from outside Kuwait […] but Ramadan is our peak.”
Ramadan has given way to a multimillion dollar industry, and in the GCC alone, kaftans can sell anywhere from $150 to $2,000, and women spend an average of $900 on kaftans every season.
In recent years, the modest-fashion industry has skyrocketed, and is estimated to reach US$373-billion by 2022, according to Thomson Reuters’s State of the Global Islamic Economy Report. In turn, fashion powerhouses such as DKNY, Harvey Nichols, and ASOS are beginning to target the profitable “Ramadan fashion” market. In 2018, Swedish retailer H&M went a step further and released a limited-edition collection in time for Eid al-Fitr; an indicator that brands are realizing modest fashion is a profitable business, and not just during the Holy month.
“It’s a mutual thing. For them [global fashion brands], they’re getting a product that is wanted locally. And for me, as an emerging brand, it’s a huge image boost to be related to these big names.”Mona Mikati, Founder, MOUNAY
Furthermore, department stores such as Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdale’s are collaborating with local designers on their Ramadan collections. Mona Mikati, Founder of MOUNAY, carefully picks her fabrics, creating beautifully designed pieces for any occasion. “It’s a mutual thing. For them [global fashion brands], they’re getting a product that is wanted locally. And for me, as an emerging brand, it’s a huge image boost to be related to these big names,” says Mikati.
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