Macy’s is launching a “modest” clothing line targeted at Muslim fashionistas. The U.S. upscale department stores operator’s move comes in at a time when spending in the Islamic “modest fashion” market to increase by more than 7 percent by 2021.

Macy's "modest" fashion line will debut on February 15 on Macy’s website - the company´s spokesperson said the collection will only be sold online, for the time being. The new line, branded the Verona Collection, was founded by Lisa Vogl, a fashion photographer and convert to Islam who graduated from Macy's development program for minority- and women-owned businesses.

Vogl's pieces for Macy's range in price from 13 to 85 dollars and include ruffled high-neck tunics, flowy jumpsuits and bell-sleeve ankle-length cardigans.

Muslim modest clothing, a 230 billion dollars opportunity for retailers

Muslims spend about 230 billion dollars a year on modest clothing, and estimates predict that figure will reach 327 billion dollars by 2019 – the global apparel market is valued at 3 trillion dollars, according to data accessed by the ‘Los Angeles Times’.

Indeed, Muslim consumers are projected to spend more than 368 billion dollars on fashion by 2021, according to the latest State of the Global Islamic Economy Report by Thomson Reuters. The Muslim market for clothing ranks third behind the United States and China.

Wanting to get a piece of the cake, anyone in the industry, from high-end labels such as Dolce & Gabanna or Gucci, to Nike and American Eagle Outfitters, is paying special attention to Muslim fashionistas these days. In 2016 Dolce & Gabbana released a collection of headscarves and coordinated abayas made of their signature fabrics. The collection was a sold-out at London’s Harrods.

Macy's is the latest U.S. brand to tap into the growing Islamic clothing market, following into Nike’s steps, which some months ago debuted a hijab designed for female Muslim athletes. DKNY led the chrge back in 2014 when it debuted its Ramadan collection.

This interest in Muslim fashion is here to stay, point out market experts, calling out recent forays into this niche by fast fashion chains ranging from Uniqlo to H&M. Boutique businesses featuring modest fashion such as Louella, founded by U.S. Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, have also recently emerged in this country, highlights the ‘New York Times’.

Macy's, though, is the first major U.S. retailer to offer a wide variety of modest clothing at a more affordable price point, said Sabiha Ansari, co-founder of the American Muslim Consumer Consortium. "It's about time that this happened in the U.S.," Ansari said, noting that the outreach towards Muslim women is occurring after Macy's stock prices have plummeted for years. "I hope that Macy's sees an influx in its bottom line, and that it encourages other retailers to start paying attention to this demographic."

 

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