As Sex Ceases to Sell, Modesty Has Its Fashion Moment

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Jim's picture

In October a forum at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology defined “modest fashion” as generally “loose-­fitting clothing that ­covers as much of the body as the wearer wishes.” Steven Frumkin, dean of the Baker School for Business and Technology at FIT, says the fresh attention is the result of several factors but suggests it was catalyzed primarily by the new influence and buying power of Muslim women. Consumers worldwide spent $254 billion on Muslim attire in 2016, according to the latest State of the Global Islamic Economy Report. Other reports have estimated that the market could be worth more than $350 billion in two years, ranking behind only the U.S.’s and China’s.

This idea that it’s just a very plain, no adornment, humble way of dressing—that was some other person’s definition

“The total population of Muslim women has always been large, but when that number reaches a critical mass, it becomes significant in the marketplace,” Frumkin says. Other groups have seized on modest, chic clothes as well, whether Orthodox Jewish, Catholic, or women of no particular faith who prefer not to expose much skin. Richard Quinn, a British designer whose fall show was attended by the Queen of England, says the modest moniker used to have negative connotations. “It’s like what people think of when you say ‘ethical’ fashion, ” he says. “What these women like are the classic, big volumes that happen to be covered in an elegant way.”

Bert Perry's picture

.....is the question of "beautiful".  No, not trying to judge or intricately evaluate whether the models in the links provided are beautiful, but rather the clothes.  Covering one's arms, legs, and head is not equivalent to making something that is both modest and beautiful.  Lots of room for someone to address that.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.