The model of the year starred in a style parade designed to “empower Muslim women”.

With Muslim shoppers predicted to spend an incredible US$484 billion on clothes by 2019, it’s little wonder that the modest fashion industry has seen a boom in recent years.

And the UK offered a prime example of that this week, after the British capital held its first-ever Modest Fashion Festival.

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Designers from around the world brought their demure collections to London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, including many labels from the Middle East, such as Bthaina.


The Omani brand was donned by superstar model Halima Aden for a stunning catwalk show, showing off a collection rich in intricate embroidery, elegant colour palettes and fluid silhouettes.

halima aden

“It was an incredible opportunity to represent our region and display our unique heritage here in London,” said designer Buthaina Anees Al Zadjali.

And that wasn’t the only turn on the catwalk for Aden, the 20-year-old Somali-American who shot to fame last year after competing in a beauty pageant wearing a burkini.

The model also walked for Omani designer Amal Al Raisi (a favourite of HRH Princess Haya), sporting a red velvet gown that we’re keen to add to our eveningwear collection.

halima aden

“It was an honour to represent Oman and celebrate the modest fashion movement that’s finally gaining the attention it deserves,” said Al Raisi after the show, which was attended by hijabi model (and Emirates Woman cover star) Mariah Idrissi.

The one-day event, which also included pop-ups and a charity auction, is the brainchild of doctor Fahreen Mir and human rights barrister Sultana Tafadar.

The pair wanted to showcase how modest fashion brings together style and substance, according to the event’s website, as well as prove the full-coverage pieces “can be enjoyed by all”.

“We often go shopping but as a modest fashionista, it’s hard to find the right and appropriate clothes,” Tafadar told Mvslim.

“We get really excited when we think we find something beautiful until we discover the deep split in the skirt, for example.”

The festival hopes to “break stereotypes and pre-conceived notions of the modest dresser”, Tafadar added, while Aden confirmed that the industry is already changing.

“For the first time, modest fashion is going from high street to luxury, because we want luxury too,” she told HuffPost UK.

English tings ✨

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“Finding something luxurious that also fits my definition of modesty is very difficult. So it’s nice that designers are starting to cater to that.”

According to the festival’s website, an event in Dubai is “coming soon” (don’t worry, we’ll keep you updated).

In the meantime, we’ll leave you with some of our favourite looks from the day…

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Finale @modestfashionfestival #london #fashion

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#backstage Halima Aden @kinglimaa for Vivi Zubedi SS18 runway show, London.

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Alhamdulillah 🙏🏼 @indonesiancreativehub @superstylist_fashionworld @modestfashionfestival

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Backstage at last night’s show in London @modestfashionfestival with the beautiful @kinglimaa

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Images: Supplied