If you had any doubt that Arab shoppers were a force to be reckoned with, just look to Dolce & Gabbanaâ€™s latest designs: an abaya collectionÂ made exclusively with its Arab shoppers in mind.
The new collection debuted exclusively on Style.com/Arabia on Sunday, making a â€œglobal revealâ€ for the Italian design houseâ€™s â€œvery first abaya collection.â€ The fashion site reports that the collection â€œcelebrates the inimitable dolce vita that is distinct to us in the Arab world.â€
The pieces showcase a surprisingly seamless blend between Dolce & Gabbanaâ€™s sumptuous Italian signatures â€” a colour palette of black, white and contrasting brights; oversized florals; rich lace â€” and modest, religious-friendly silhouettes.
The collection includes both hijabs and abayas, the flowing garments, which â€œcome in sheer georgette and satin weave charmeuse fabrics and include copious lace details along hems,â€ noted Style.com/Arabia, pointing out the overlapping details between this collection and the designersâ€™ main runway collection for Spring 2016.
This isnâ€™t the first mainstream clothing brand to make a concerted effort to reach Muslim customers. In 2015, Mango and DKNY rolled out modest collections timed to coincide with Ramadan, and Uniqlo collaborated with Muslim fashion blogger Hana Tajima, featuring her (and her hijab) in promotional photos for the brand.
â€œGlobally, the Muslim population is a youthful and growing demographic,â€ Reina Lewis, professor of cultural studies at London College of Fashion UAL, told Fortune. â€œThis makes Muslims a very important consumer segment for anything.â€
There are also serious style enthusiasts among young Muslim consumers, both in the Middle East and in the west. Muslim style bloggers like Amirah Aulaqi and Saufeeya Goodson use their web presences to show off their own creative style and help other women see that modesty and trendiness can indeed go together.
Still, even as the fashion world extends deep into the Middle East, with luxury stores littering Dubai, abayas havenâ€™t exactly been flooding the runways. But for a brand like Dolce and Gabbana, which cultivates independent wealthy clients, particularly though its Alta Moda collections, these Middle Eastern buyers â€” many of whom may be Muslim â€” are important. Thatâ€™s why, Stefano Gabbana said this past summer, he and Domenico Dolce were planning a collection aimed at Muslim shoppers.
â€œIâ€™m really fascinated with the Middle East and weâ€™ve just completed a prÃªt-a-porter collection of abayas and sheylas,â€ Gabbana told the National in July. â€œPieces have some lace, embroidery and some prints â€“ but not too much. They will be available in the UAE this October.â€
Mic has reached out to Dolce & Gabbana to confirm whether this new selection of abayas unveiled by Style.com/Arabia is the long-awaited collection. Either way, Dolce and Gabbana may be one of the most high-end, famed luxury
Either way, Dolce and Gabbana may be one of the most high-end, famed luxury brand to foray into hijabs and abayas, which until now have largely been relegated to local Fashion Weeks. Now letâ€™s see how they sell.-Yahoo! Style