Asia Hassan, a Melbourne-based designer, has made a significant impact on the Australian fashion scene by introducing the first modest runway show at Australian Fashion Week held at Sydney’s Carriageworks. This achievement, which she never thought possible growing up, has garnered overwhelming support and marked a milestone for modest fashion in Australia.
Modest fashion, a term coined online, refers to the trend of dressing stylishly while maintaining a level of coverage, often for religious or cultural reasons. It involves wearing clothes that do not reveal too much skin or figure. While some may perceive this style as restrictive or limited, Hassan views it as an opportunity to express her creativity through her designs.
Hassan’s 2023 collection, aptly named “Liberty,” embodies the empowering aspect of modest fashion. She believes in the freedom to wear whatever one wants, regardless of religious affiliation. “The sky’s the limit,” she confidently stated, emphasizing the boundless possibilities of modest fashion.
Born amidst the civil war in Somalia, Hassan started sewing her clothes due to the lack of suitable options in the market. The only available choices were either outdated “granny stores” or tailors. However, the fashion industry has since evolved, with retailers now recognizing the demand for modest clothing and even releasing collections for Ramadan.
Hassan noted that major brands are beginning to cater to this previously overlooked audience. This shift was evident at the showing of her collection, Asiyam, which was attended by fashion entrepreneur Shereen Kassir. Kassir expressed her appreciation for the rise of modest fashion, which allows her to adhere to her values while staying stylish. She also appreciated the representation, which helps dispel misconceptions about modest fashion.
The rise of modest fashion has also been propelled by style influencers who are showcasing that modest clothing can be trendy. Influencer Basra Ajeh, for instance, has been a source of inspiration for many. Despite the challenges she faces in finding suitable clothes, Ajeh has managed to create unique looks using color, print, and texture, paired with striking accessories.
Ajeh’s work is a testament to individuality and diversity in a modest fashion. She believes that modest fashion is far from boring or bland, and her vibrant and stylish outfits certainly prove her point. The growing global movement of modest fashion is not only changing the way people dress but also challenging and reshaping traditional perceptions of style.