Twenty-six designers from around the world showcased their new lines at the Modanisa London Modest Fashion Week, which ended on Sunday. Sponsors Modanisa – the world’s biggest online modest fashion retailer – brought the glitz and glamour of its concept to the British capital after hosting the hugely successful first-ever Modest Fashion Week in Istanbul last year.
Tickets for all the fashion shows, held at the iconic Olympia, West London, sold out weeks ago. Under the tagline “embrace the grace of fashion”, emerging and established designers presented their new collections on the catwalk. They included British labels Pillar, Saiqa Majeed, and Farrah Naaz, Turkey’s Mayovera, Selma Sarı, and Refka, the USA’s Fllumae, Malaysia’s Nourish Kareem and Aidijuma, and Helena Latifi of Norway.
Halima Aden – the world’s first hijab-wearing model – opened MLMFW, stepping on to the runway wearing a peach blush abiye (evening dress) and hijab by Minel Aşk (Turkey). The Somali-American, who recently appeared on the catwalk for Kanye West and Max Mara, was mobbed by fans after her catwalk shows eager to talk to and have their pictures taken with the rising star.
Franka Soeria, a co-creator of Modest Fashion Week, said: “The shows illustrated how diverse modest fashion style is. Some designers were heavily defined by cultural influences, while others fused East-West elements, producing modern daywear and glamorous evening dresses that adhere to Islamic principles, yet appeal far beyond.”
British hijabi model Mariah Idrissi attended the shows, as did globally renowned modest fashion bloggers Leena Asad (USA), Zeruj and Sena Sever (Turkey), each with half-a-million followers on social media. Nabiilabee was also at MLMFW. A top UK influencer, Nabiilabee’s new BBC documentary ‘New York Hijabis’, presented with former Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts, aired last week.
Complementing the catwalk shows were panel talks featuring big names from the industry, stalls selling clothes and accessories to the public, and networking activities for designers, buyers and the media. The event programming was by Modanisa, supported by modest fashion consultants Özlem Şahin and Franka Soeria of Think Fashion and local partners the Muslim Lifestyle Show.
Following its first London Modest Fashion Week, Modanisa CEO Kerim Türe said: “Modanisa exists to give more choice to women who prefer to wear modest fashion, allowing them to look elegant without compromising their beliefs.”
“London is one of the key fashion capitals of the world, so it was important for us to bring our Modest Fashion Week concept here. The fact that the catwalk shows sold out weeks ago illustrates the demand for them. Thank you to everyone who came and took part.”