Think the Muslim market isn’t interested in fashion? Check the numbers: Globally, Muslims spent $266 billion on clothing and footwear in 2013. That’s more than the total fashion spending of Japan and Italy combined, according to a recent report from Thomson Reuters. The report also notes that that figure is expected to balloon to $484 billion by 2019.
And yet industry watchers say the market for Muslim women’s fashion is still relatively untapped—though perhaps not for long.
Several mainstream designers have started producing clothes and collections especially for Muslim women. It’s a trend that recognizes Islam’s rapid growth—Pew Research predicts that the number of Muslims in the world will equal that of Christians by 2050—along with its constituents’ impressive spending power.
DKNY went first, unveiling a women’s capsule collection for Ramadan last year. The emphasis on Ramadan comes from its increasing status as a shopping holiday among Muslim communities.
Uniqlo is one retailer that’s going in that direction. The Japanese clothing company launched a new Hana Tajima LifeWear collection on July 3, available in certain Singapore stores and online.
Women’s rights in Afghanistan and Indonesia have gradually improved in the last decade, thanks to the United States. I always thought this segment would be an attractive, growing market!