The first Istanbul Modest Fashion Week launched last week and the two-day event saw over forty local and international ready-to-wear, couture, and abaya designers unveil their collections on the runway. The all-new fashion platform invited retail vendors, modest fashion influencers, and tastemakers from around the world to take part in the fashion extravaganza.
Among the style influencers in attendance was Dina Torkia, better known as Dina Tokio. Of British and Egyptian descent, the fashion influencer is recognized for her outfit posts, styling tips, and tutorials—all of which she shares across her website, Youtube channel, and Instagram page that boasts 943K followers. She was joined by other UK-based modest influencers including Brazilian-Lebanese influencer Habiba Da Silva of LifeLongPercussion, Sebina Hussain of Sebinaah, and Mariah Idrissi—the first hijab-wearing model to be featured in an H&M campaign. Another recognizable face to make an appearance was Hijarbie, the hijab-wearing barbie doll and social media sensation. The miniature street style star sported a number of looks that will soon be released on Modanisa.
Also at the event were a number women making it their mission to break down the barriers and misconceptions associated with the hijab. Among them was CBS associate journalist Noor Tagouri—the first anchorwoman to wear a headscarf on American television—and Samah Safi Bayazid, a prominent figure in Islamic filmmaking and one of the first women to wear a hijab in the field.
While all the influencers invited to represent the new fashion platform wore hijabs, that isn’t to say that ambassadors for modest style have to wear one. From headscarf-wearing social media personalities such as Ascia Al Faraj of Ascia AKF and Dalal AlDoub of Dalalid, to non-veiled names such as Zahra Layla and Dana Al Khalifa of The Overdressed, the region is home to an array of celebrated influencers that are all considered to be modest dressers. This is a status not necessarily measured by the amount of skin on show, but also via their relatable style—a way of dressing that resonates with women across the region. Next season we hope to see an even more diversified selection of influencers representing all modest styles, which will also be a more apt reflection of the collections showcased at on the catwalk. All of the models took to the runway in loose silhouettes with long hemlines and high necklines, but their hairstyles were not uniform. Some donned decorative headscarves, while others let their tresses cascade down their backs.
The rise of modest influencers is changing the perception of Islamic dressing on a global scale while inspiring women of all faiths to opt for alternative styling options. And that’s not all—some of the world’s most renowned Western brands are keen to be a part of the movement. Labels such as Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, and DKNY are all crafting collections especially for the fashion-forward, modest woman. Will others follow their lead? Only time will tell.