02 November, 2014

IFDC Panel Discussion on Islamic Fashion Draws a Full House

Dubai: Moderated by the Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC) in Dubai recently, the panel discussion on Islamic fashion was noted as the most-attended panel discussion of MOCAFest section of the 2014 World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).

Enthusiasm for Islamic Fashion ndash; IFDC Founder and panel moderator, Alia Khan (front row, third from right), with panel participants (front row, from left to right) Asil Attar, Rabia Z, Tasneem Chopra, Haleh Banani and Mohamed Langston Hues, panel discussion on ldquo;Whatrsquo;s Changed:The New Muslim Lookrdquo; at the MOCAFest section of World Islamic Economic Forum in Dubai 2014.

Enthusiasm for Islamic Fashion – IFDC Founder and panel moderator, Alia Khan (front row, third from right), with panel participants (front row, from left to right) Asil Attar, Rabia Z, Tasneem Chopra, Haleh Banani and Mohamed Langston Hues, panel discussion on “What’s Changed:The New Muslim Look” at the MOCAFest section of World Islamic Economic Forum in Dubai 2014.

02 November 2014
Dubai: Moderated by the Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC) in Dubai recently, the panel discussion on Islamic fashion was noted as the most-attended panel discussion of MOCAFest section of the 2014 World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).

Fast paced and exciting, the dialogue between industry leaders and experts discussed a number of topics from the liberation of women through Islamic fashion to the questioning factors of social media.  The panel was moderated by Alia Khan, IFDC Founder and Chairwoman, who was delighted that such intuitive and challenging comments came forth from such a diverse group.

"This discussion looked at many different factors affecting Islamic fashion today, it was good to hear the points of view of our diverse panel of experts. Islamic fashion is a unique industry. Unlike mainstream fashion, iFash has many deeper meanings that factor into the way the whole industry is shaped," said Khan.  "Of course, this market is made from a captive audience. These consumers have commited to a way of life forever and they are getting younger... this is the biggest factor contributing to the growth of this exciting industry. If the industry players can study and understand this, they have a very high likelihood of generating an incredibly loyal following. This is where the expertise and assistance of IFDC comes in."

Titled, What's Changed: The New Muslim Look, Alia Khan preceded the panel discussion with a talk accompanied by visuals that explained the history leading up to current Islamic fashion trends.  

Participants were Tasneem Chopra, a cross-cultural consultant and activist from Australia; Rabia Zargarpur, a renowned fashion designer with her label 'Rabia Z'; Asil Attar, former CEO of Majid Al Futtaim fashions and currently with her own conculting business with a special focus on brand development; Haleh Banani, a member of the IFDC board and cognitive behavioural therapist from the US, who was also the first woman to host a program for Al-Fajr TV called "With Haleh"; and Mohamed Langston Hues, the internationally renowned photographer from Detroit, Michigan (USA) who published 'Modest Street Fashion', a photographic collection of more than 400 style conscious candidates from across the globe.

Probably one of the most discussed points during the dialogue was that of Islamic fashion changing the way in which Muslim women are viewed today.  The question of whether such changes verged on progression of defiance was posed and IFDC supporter and cultural consultant, Tasneem Chopra, had the following to say:

"It is progression because it's something new. And if you look at the high-end fashion in the mainstream, it's almost exclusively dominated by male designers.  But the modest fashion scene is almost exclusively lead by women and I think that, in itself, is progression." IFDC has always maintained that any perceived defiance is also positive; after all, today's consumers of Islamic fashion defy all stereotypes and raise the bar when it comes to achievements and character.

IFDC Board member, Haleh Banani also said "As Muslim women choosing to dress modestly, and choosing to be modestly beautiful, gives a strong message to others saying that you can be elegant; you can be strong; confident; nothing holds you back; and you can feel very liberated.  The fact that I can express myself and show my creativity and individuality {through fashion} is amazing and very liberating. It is definitely a progression. I have seen so many sisters all over the world who took that step because it is beautiful to them  I think for us as women, we want to look beautiful, and now we can look modestly beautiful."

Despite progression made in the Islamic fashion industry, the warning to not rest on its laurels was also highlighted through the discussion.

"I am grateful that we are finally being acknowledged as a fashion segment with our own market," said Rabia Z, who works closely with IFDC.  "We need to be proud of serving this market and make an effort to excel in our art, skill and work. It is a challenge and we are lacking - we need to strive to that excellence so that our work can represent what today's Muslim woman is. We need to be up to par and there, right along all with the big brands. Why should we be any less than Gucci etc?" 

This success of the discussion as well as IFDC's contributions on other days of the forum has prompted organisers of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) and MOCAFest to approach Islamic Fashion and Design Council for future projects.

"The extent to which we will be involved in future projects is being discussed. We are very happy to note that our discussion on Islamic fashion, and the enthusiasm from the audience towards our presentation, is sparking a taste for more. Islamic Fashion and Design Council is honoured to be considered as a representative in taking this to new heights."

Schedule interview opportunities with Alia Khan of IFDC via: Natasha.vanderberg@islamicfashiondesigncouncil.org

Or contact 00971 50 8299b831

About IFDC
The Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC) is the world's leading fashion and design (art, architecture, interiors) council representing the Islamic economy and its stakeholders. The leading advocate for Islamic fashion, art and design professionals and aspiring talent, its platform is designed to ensure the success of Islamic fashion and design in the global marketplace. The Council aligns itself with leading and budding mainstream and Islamic fashion and design brands, government organizations, institutions, corporations, and global conferences to ensure a powerful, sustainable and supportive presence.  Visit www.islamicfashiondesigncouncil.org for more information or contact us at office@islamicfashiondesigncouncil.org for details regarding Council events and/or media opportunities.

© Press Release 2014

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