Dolce & Gabbana is set to launch a range of designer, luxury hijabs. Their target market? Wealthy Middle Eastern Muslim women.
Italian fashion house has given a statement on their Instagram page to describe the collection:
‘The new Dolce & Gabbana Abaya collection is a reverie amidst the desert dunes and skies of the Middle East: an enchanting visual story about the grace and beauty of the marvellous women of Arabia.’
This is the first time a top designer has taken on the task of creating a luxurious line for a religious faction of society. And it could not come at a better time, when there is much confusion about the wearing of the hijab.
The pieces in the collection include the traditional hijab, the headscarf favoured by some Muslim women to cover their hair, and also designer abayas, a full length garment worn on the outside.
The hijabs are made using Dolce & Gabbana’s statement lace detailing, and feature bold floral designs, including roses and daisies, similar to those in their Spring Collection.
The items in the debut line are made using sheer georgette and a satin weave charmeuse fabric, which are said to drape beautifully.
D&G’s co-founder Stefano Gabbana released details of the new collection on his Instagram page, with the hashtag #dgabaya.
Feedback from the general public has been mixed, with some stating that the designer brand has now lost a customer, and others enthusing about the pieces. But has the designer missed the real point of the wearing a hijab by creating a collection that features bright colours and bold patterns?
Typically the hijab is worn in order to protect one’s modesty and to not draw attention to one’s self. It is different to a traditional headscarf that many Europeans would wear, simply because of its religious connotations.
In the UK, the wearing of the hijab has become more common but there is still some fear surrounding it, thanks to media coverage and some extreme ring wing views.
However, in the Middle East, because so many women wear it, you would actually stand out and be noticed if you didn’t.
For those who do not understand the hijab, it can be seen as a symbol of regression for women. For those who wear the hijab however, it is not viewed as such, but as a symbol of freedom and empowerment, to reject society’s modern notions of being judged on appearances only.
In 2013, Muslims enjoyed a global spending power of around a whopping $266bn (£180bn) on clothing products and footwear. This, according to Thomson Reuters, is more than the total amount Italy and Japan spent on fashion in the same year.
By 2019, this same report suggested that this figure would rise to $484 billion.
D&G is a well-known designer in the Middle East, with stores across the United Arab Emirates, and concessions in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.
So far the brand has not released details of the costs to the customer of the hijabs and abayas, but they are expected to be in the higher price range.