JEDDAH — Recognized as a creative celebration of contemporary modest fashion, Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition, embraces the rise of the modest fashion industry around the world and welcomes a range of exciting international exhibitors to present their collections.
Organized by Qatar Tourism Authority, the 11th edition of Heya showcases 17 international exhibitors and hosts four embassies, who have been introducing visitors to designers hailing from Japan, Spain, Portugal and Qatar’s Year of Culture partners, Germany. Featuring at Heya for the first time were Inuñez from Spain, QueenMart from Singapore and Elsa Barreto from Portugal presenting their collections of modern modest fashion which included tunics, embellished gowns, palazzo trousers and accessories.
The industry has flourished traditionally in Muslim countries, however, the trend has seen a surge in popularity in the West as millennial influencers and bloggers have used social media to share their modest, fashion-forward silhouette with the world. Social media has empowered women to show style doesn’t have to be sacrificed when dressing conservatively. Bloggers such as Haneen Al Naqdi and Najwa have gained thousands of followers who want to recreate their on trend looks.
Along with couture designers, Dolce and Gabbana, who released a luxury hijab collection last year, high street retailers such as Mango, Monsoon and DKNY have launched Ramadan edits and collections of modest clothing to attract the Muslim market.
Although Muslims form much of the modest fashion community there are many other women from around the world who wish to empower their strength by wearing loose fitting, fashionable clothing that reflects their values. Celebrities including the design duo, Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen, style icon, Olivia Palermo and The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, are often captured embracing the elegance of modest fashion.
Director of Exhibitions, Qatar Tourism Authority Ahmed Al Obaidli said: “Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition has grown to become so much more than an exciting regional shopping destination. As the industry as evolved, we have embraced the changes happening across the globe to bring exciting international brands together, introducing them to new audiences and expanding their reach, while reflecting the true diversity of the modest fashion industry and its appeal to women all over the world.”
Quick to respond to this cross-cultural revolution are the emerging international modest fashion brands featuring at Heya. Inuñez from Spain offers women elegant trouser suits, fluid tunics and organza trench coats, while Elsa Barreto makes special occasion evening wear showcasing the diversity of modest fashion.
Commenting on their collection and their participation at Heya, Isabel Nuñez of Inuñez said: “Our collections are designed to empower women. The loose fitting, luxurious fabrics are made for strong women who want to feel elegant yet comfortable. Our brand’s luxury pret-a couture timeless feel is a good fit for Heya and its audience. Although we have adapted pieces for the Arabic market, such as adding sleeves to vests and tunics, we haven’t lost our Spanish identity.”
Catering to this growing industry which is projected to be worth $368 billion by 2021 according to the State of the Global Islamic Economy report (2016), Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition brings together over 250 exhibitors presenting 350 brands. The show’s evolvement over the years to introduce more global perspectives via forums, talk and exhibitors has strengthened Qatar’s position as a major regional modest shopping destination and center for fashion innovation.
Hosting daily forums, workshops, talks and fashion shows, Heya is Qatar’s biggest showcase of contemporary modest fashion and has become a must-visit destination for women to showcase, inspire, socialize and motivate others in the industry to reach international recognition for their brands.
Originally published on www.saudigazette.com.sa