Dolce & Gabbana launches hijabs and abayas targeting wealthy Muslim Middle East market

Floral prints and lace a feature of Italian fashion house’s debut collection of traditional Muslim dress, whose launch follows similar moves by high-fashion and mass-market clothing retailers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 January, 2016, 10:29am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 January, 2016, 11:26am

Dolce & Gabbana is to launch a collection of hijabs and abayas targeting wealthy Muslim women in the Middle East.

The debut line by the Italian luxury fashion house features headscarves and the loose, full-length outer garment favoured by some Muslim women.

The hijabs come in sheer georgette and satin weave charmeuse fabrics, with D&G signature lace detailing on the hems. The Arabian edition of Style.com, the fashion website where the pieces were revealed, wrote: “They also appear to feature a lightweight and dramatic drape.”

There is also a nod to the D&G spring collection with hijabs printed with daisies, lemons and red roses.

Stefano Gabbana, co-founder of the luxury brand, announced the launch of the collection on his Instagram account using the hashtag #dgabaya.

No information has been released on how much the pieces will cost or in which regions the garments will be available.

The line received a warm reaction from some. Dina Gharbo tweeted: “Beautiful! I think I just found this year’s Eid outfit.”Another woman, Nicole Restrepo, posted on Facebook: “Stunning clothing! I would love to buy them for a economical price … I’m not a Muslim but I love the style.”Others, however, were more sceptical and described the move as a marketing ploy.

In recent years, brands such as DKNY, Oscar de la Renta, Tommy Hilfiger, Mango and Monique Lhuillier have produced one-off collections featuring flowing gowns and wide-leg trousers, often sold around Ramadan.

Muslim style bloggers are also collaborating with brands, with Dina Tokio, a British fashion blogger, launching a scarf collection with Liberty . There has also been an increase in halal beauty products such as water-permeable and wash-off nail polishes.

Globally, Muslims spent US$266 billion on clothing and footwear in 2013 – more than the total fashion spending of Japan and Italy combined, according to a recent report by Thomson Reuters. The report also noted that the figure is expected to reach US$484 billion by 2019 .

A recent report from Bain management consultancy found that sales of personal luxury goods in the Middle East hit US$8.7 billion in 2015, up from US$6.8 billion the year before.

D&G operates 13 stores and boutiques in the United Arab Emirates, with multiple outposts across Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

D&G is one of the first major luxury labels to create a collection with nods to Middle Eastern culture and addressing the specific need for traditional pieces such as the abaya and the sheyla headscarf.

The Japanese clothing company Uniqlo has launched a new collection by Muslim fashion blogger Hana Tajima that includes loose blouses, skirts and dresses along with the more traditional kebaya – a light, loose tunic worn by women in Malaysia, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries and hijab, while last autumn H&M featured its first female Muslim model, Mariah Idrissi, in a promotional campaign.

The Guardian