These days, many ignorant folks in society flat out hate Islam. In the news recently, Muslim women wearing traditional hijabs have been attacked by bigots. However, upscale fashion house Dolce & Gabbana has decided to embrace Muslim culture and incorporate it into the brand. According to Look, Stefano Gabbana previewed “Dolce & Gabbana the Abaya Collection” on his Instagram page. D&G will be selling a range of hijabs and abayas for women soon.
This collection has been in the works for about a year. “I’m really fascinated with the Middle East and we’ve just completed a prêt-a-porter collection of abayas and sheylas,” said Gabbana in an interview with Middle Eastern newspaper The National. “Pieces have some lace, embroidery and some prints – but not too much. They will be available in the UAE this October.”
This move does not appear to be cultural appropriation. Muslim women are the target consumer base for this collection, and with good reason. According to reports, in 2013, Muslim shoppers spent £180 billion on clothes and shoes. That number is supposed to rise to £330 billion by 2019. D&G is catering to fashionable Muslim women, who have felt ignored by the fashion industry for years. Lines such as Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Oscar de la Renta have all previously released apparel to coincide with Ramadan, but only then. In an interview with Forbes, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder of MuslimGirl.net said, “[designers are] cashing in on Ramadan—for the other 11 months of the year, we really don’t hear anything from these companies or brands.”