JAKARTA – Although not a new phenomenon, modest fashion has now become a billion dollar industry, thanks to top designers who have started cater to Muslimah clientele in runway shows in New York, Milan, Paris and London.

The 2016-2017 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report stated that Muslim women purchase an estimated US$44 billion in modest clothing.

Hoping to get a carve out a slice of the highly lucrative pie, a community of Indonesian fashion designers is banking on the country’s huge market to propel their designs on to the international stage.

Models line up on the runway on the third day of Indonesia Modest Fashion Week at the Jakarta Convention Centre. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/ The Scoop

Chairman of Indonesia Modest Fashion Designers, Jeny Tjahyawati, designer behind the brand of the same name, told The Scoop that their vision is to make Indonesia the capital of the modest fashion world by 2020.

Fresh off her participation in Paris and London fashion weeks, Jeny said Indonesia wants to spread a positive image of Islam in the world.

“Modesty is beautiful and we want to showcase that modesty [in Islam] does not represent extremism,” she said.

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Last month, the team wrapped up Indonesia Modest Fashion Week (IMFW) 2018 at the Jakarta Convention Centre — now in its second year — showcasing designs from 60 designers and 200 modest fashion brands across Asia.

Staying true to the theme of the event, “Heritage Along the Coast of Indonesia”, models walked the runway wearing designs cut from traditional fabrics such as tenunan (woven fabric), and songket (brocade), seamlessly paired with more contemporary materials such as satin, lace and organza.

Indonesia has many beautiful fabrics that can be a source of inspiration and innovation for modest fashion, Jeny said.

A model wearing an outfit from Indonesian designer Ernie Kosasih at the Indonesia Modest Fashion Week 2018 held at the Jakarta Convention Centre. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

The fashion shows during IMFW featured collections from designers such as Meeta Fauzan, House of Asyifa Collection, Hennie Noer and Ernie Kokasih, as well as designers from Malaysia and Singapore.

The five-day event also featured a fashion trunk show, where fashionistas could shop the latest trends in modest fashion.

IMFW organisers say they want to be the most influential marketplace for modest fashion in Indonesia, by creating a platform for the designers, retailers, agents, distributors and e-commence partners.

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