Fashion News

The fashion industry takes interest in Ramadan

Written by Souad El Mghari

This year and for the very first time; fashion brands, luxury online shopping websites, and a few retail stores have taken interest in the holy month of Ramadan and their Muslim customers.

Mostly targeted for their Middle Eastern customers in Arab countries, fashion brands; from the “affordable” retail stores as Zara and Mango, to high-end labels as Monique Lhuilier, Tommy Hilfiger, and DKNY have taken the initiative of putting together limited collections for Ramadan, this year. A strategy that some of the most luxurious e-commerce websites; Net-A-Porter and Moda Operandi have adopted as well. “It’s the first time we’re talking to Ramadan so directly,” said Holly Russell, the senior ready-to-wear buyer for Net-a-Porter.

A bold step, some might think, for these movers and shakers of the fashion industry, who are openly taking interest in their Muslim customers and recognizing them as a buying power, even for high-end products; as Moda Operandi’s Ramadan selection shows. And that by featuring designs by the likes of Oscar De La Renta and Monique Lhuilier.

"Like Christmas, a religious context serves as a reason for families and friends to come together. A typical 'Ramadan consumer' is likely to emerge in the same way as the Christmas shopper, as a global phenomenon" explained analyst Ilse Thomele. However, unlike Christmas, Ramadan customers represent a more specific niche, that in terms of fashion is more limited. During their fasting, the women’s attire is generally kept modest and more covered than usual. Something that the designers have understood, and that by having their Ramadan collections mainly made of caftans, maxi dresses, wide pants, tunics, and such.

With the label DKNY being the one that started this “Ramadan collection” trend last year, then now being joined by a few more labels and shopping platforms. Who knows, maybe next year other designers will take the leap.