There’s another retailer trying to cater to Muslim customers via Ramadan-focused threads — this time, it’s a fast-fashion name. Mango is debuting a collection focused around the Muslim holy month, comprised of chic but covered-up styles. The collection will hit stores on May 30, a week before Ramadan begins. It was designed by the brand’s special collections department, which develops “exclusive designs in line with the cultural and religious norms of countries in different regions, such as the Middle East,” according to a press release. The Spanish brand has focused on designs that would succeed beyond its home turf — in fact, the release explained that approximately 80% of Mango’s sales in 2015 were outside of Spain. The range is comprised of 45 pieces: There’s casual, everyday garb, as well as festive, fancier attire, including kaftans, leggings, tunics, double-layered body wraps in both fitted and looser styles, and midi-skirts. Those silhouettes will be available in faux suede, poplin, lace, Lurex, and satin detailing. Mango first turned out a few looks specifically intended for Ramadan last year, though it was a pretty quiet launch (and not nearly as extensive as this year’s full-fledged collection).
In 2014, DKNY came out with a Ramadan collection, available solely in the Middle East. Beyond the month-long holiday, other retailers have gradually been offering collections or pieces aimed at Muslim customers. Last year, Uniqlo paired up with blogger and fashion designer Hana Tajima on a modest array of head scarves, pleated skirts, pants, and long dresses, followed by another collection this February. British department store Marks & Spencer started selling controversial “burkinis” — bathing suits that cover the entire body as well as the head — at its locations in Libya and Dubai in 2013, before they were distributed at its London stores earlier this year. At a more luxury price point, Dolce & Gabbana launched a line of hijabs (headscarves) plus abayas (loose, full-length, robe-like garments) in January.
Fashion brands are (finally) starting to take note of the sizable, and growing, Muslim consumer base — Al Jazeera projections say that by 2030, nearly a third of the world's population will be Muslim. Besides the religious and cultural choices their customers make, a brand's bottom line is, of course, a key consideration when undertaking modesty-minded offerings. The current spend on clothing by Muslim consumers is roughly $230 billion, and it’s projected to hit $327 billion by 2019, according to the 2015-2016 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report. But it’s certainly progress to see more modest options available at mainstream retailers, whether holiday-specific or for everyday life.