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Why Dolce & Gabbana’s Hijab and Abaya Line Is So Important

Photo: Dolce & Gabbana just debuted Dolce & Gabbana’s first-ever collection of hijabs and abayas, which applies the house’s tried-and-true motifs — think black lace and ornate florals — to traditional Muslim garb. Other Western-based brands have dipped their toes into the market via special Ramadan collections that were sold in the Middle East — Oscar de la Renta, DKNY, Mango, and Tommy Hilfiger are among the fashion houses to have done so. H&M featured a hijab-wearing Londoner named Mariah Idrissi in a recent campaign video, marking a first for the retailer. And even labels that don’t offer a separate collection often adapt their looks from the runway template to cater to devout Muslim customers clamoring for chic modest dress. After all, the Muslim market for fashion is an ever-expanding one, estimated to reach $484 billion by 2019. 

What stands out in particular about Dolce & Gabbana’s take is that it gives the lie to the idea that one can’t follow trends and have fun with fashion while also following a religious dress code. “Modest” doesn’t have to equate to dowdy, boring, or head-to-toe neutrals. It’s not just about lowering hemlines and extending sleeves, but preserving the runway aesthetic that got everyone so excited in the first place. Even if Dolce & Gabbana’s dramatic, Sicilian-influenced designs and playful prints aren’t your personal bag, how great would it be to see Moschino’s kidult-oriented prints, Armani’s power suiting, or Versace’s logoriffic wordplay adorning abayas and hijabs? (That said, when it comes to hijab fashion statements, this remains the one to beat.)

Why Dolce & Gabbana’s New Line Is So Important