Starting from the iconic opening show starring international hijab supermodel Halima Aden, to an unforgettable talk on the evolution of the abaya from Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassemi, the first Dubai Modest Fashion Week (DMFW) drew to an impressive and memorable close on December 9.
The two-day style event saw established and emerging designers from over 20 countries take part in 40 fashion shows, with 50 brand booths, interactive workshops, and talks, fashion and art exhibitions plus 100 celebrities, gather at the city’s famous Burj Park to showcase the latest modest fashion trends. Working towards coining Dubai as a hub for the multi-billion dollar modest retail industry in the Middle East, H H Sheikha Azza Bint Rashid Al Nuaimi, H E Dr Mouza Obaid Ghubash, Diana Haddad, and organisers – Modest Fashion Weeks founders Franka Soeria and Özlem Şahin (founders of Think Fashion) as well as
Arif Ebrahim (founder of Red Connect) officially opened the weekend.
Bangladeshi-origin Youtuber Rumena Begum (@Rumena101)
Halima Aden, the first Hijabi supermodel walked the DMFW catwalk for the Opening Show and Modanisa Fashion Show with Rasit Bagzibagli and Muslima Wear. Set within a mesmerizing open-air catwalk beneath the sites of the Burj Khalifa, Aden fans got to see the international icon in action and get a glimpse of that star quality that has seen her grace the covers of Vogue Arabia and fashion magazines around the world.
Giving style fans a chance to meet their favourite modest influencers and celebrities from all over the world, the red carpet featured some of the biggest names in the industry including - modest social media icon Dina Torkia, the face of modest fashion Mariah Idrissi, and well-known influencers Isra Chaker, Leena Asad, Haifa Beseisso, Melanie Elturk, Rumena Begum, Nabiilabee, Habiba da Silva, Sebinaah, Eslimah, Saufeeya Goodson and Safiyah El of Modestroute, Manal Rostom, Soha MT, Marwa Hassan and many more.
Boasting some of modest fashion’s most prolific names, Friday evening’s Wardah Beauty Fashion Talk discussed the indelible relationship between beauty and style. Led by Safiya Abdallah of the minimalist modest label, Dulce by Safiya, the conversation saw Zaskia Sungkar, Norma Houri, ETU, Ria Miranda and Wardah Beauty’s special representative swap stories, insights and beauty tips.
Day two kicked off with a jam-packed schedule of shows from Selma Sari by Modanisa, Canadian modest teen brand – Yours Truly,
modest brand Huw Roman Tokyo and US favourite’s Fllumae as well as contemporary ready-to-wear Malaysian label, Aere, followed by a stunning show from one of modest fashion’s most established names, Kuwaiti brand Anotah.
As midday approached, judges including Dima Ayad from The Modist, industry specialists and Think Fashion founders gathered to celebrate an outstanding début modest designer for The Emerging Modest Fashion Designer Award (#EMFDA) ceremony including the talented Bahar Acahan (Australia), Ilham A Ismail (Australia) and Araida (Russia) who walked away with the winning prizes.
Later, DMFW welcomed luxury handbag designer Doris Dorothea to the catwalk for an unforgettable parade show of their trademark contemporary reptile leather bags. Modelled by international influencers and modest movers and shakers including UK’s sweetheart Rumena Begum, Egypt’s favourite Marwa Hassan, German’s leading designer Meriem Lebdiri and Bangladeshi Blogger Aydha Mehnaz, the show aimed to shed light on conflict-torn countries such as Burma, Palestine and Syria.
Another day two highlight was the exclusive show by DMFW makeup partners Wardah Beauty with local talent Safiya Abdallah of Dulce by Safiya, and renowned designers Zaskia Sungkar, Norma Hauri, Ria Miranda and ETU.
Music fans got a surprise visit from artist and world-famous musician, Hisham El Hajj performing his most popular hits to a packed audience and bringing Dubai Modest Fashion Week to a magnificent end, Ajmal Perfumes presented Annah Hariri, Miss Ayshe followed by Indonesian brand Sumaya & SSS. The weekend came to a show-stopping close with couture show by Hilal Oguzkan from Turkey, Zeina Ali from Jordan and India’s Murcyleen Peerzada – joined by Bollywood star, Gauhar Khan.
“We are thrilled with the success of Dubai Modest Fashion Week – this weekend we have welcomed some of the modest fashion industries shining stars from the around the world to this truly innovative city. With its position as the centre for modest fashion in the GCC, this is another step in strengthening the movements already burgeoning influence on the mainstream fashion industry,” said Franka Soeria, DMFW co-founder and co-creator of Think Fashion.
Özlem Şahin, DMFW co-founder of Think Fashion said, “Our aim with Modest Fashion Week is to engage international and local ground-breaking fashion talents, to show the world that trendsetting design and modest fashion go hand-in-hand. The past two days have undoubtedly highlighted the diversity and depth of this fast-growing industry and further cemented its influence.”
Arif Ebrahim, founder of Red Connect – the organising partner of DMFW added “
After the success of the first DMFW, we can’t wait to bring back Modest Fashion Week in Dubai and do it all bigger and better for next year. Watch this space as we are currently looking to bring Modest Fashion Week to further dynamic locations around the world.”