The Modist version two: Inside the modest fashion retailer's relaunch - Upsmag - Magazine News

The Modist version two: Inside the modest fashion retailer’s relaunch

Ouhsine says the marketplace model will allow The Modist to broaden its offer. “One of the main learnings from The Modist 1.0 is that our customers were seeking a wider modest selection across categories rather than a small curation,” she explains. “That is exactly what we are offering them in the new iteration. We have also expanded the price point to range from super brands into accessible contemporary price points through including a selection of beautiful and sought-after up-and-coming designers [such as Dubai-based designer Dima Ayad and German brand Talbot Runhof]while always maintaining the luxury positioning.”

Categories have been reworked to better suit the audience. For example, eveningwear has been updated to give customers an option to filter through modest and regular options, something the previous site did not allow. “We used to have a lot of women from the region say that when it comes to eveningwear, sometimes, among friends she [the customer] would wear any dress,” she says. “So, we want to leave that optionality there.”

The founders were keen to incorporate activewear. UAE’s rising sportswear brand The Giving Movement has been an early champion of The Modist and welcomes its return. “The Modist has a great vision and hopefully they are able to take the business to the next level,” says Layal Akouri, CEO of The Giving Movement. “The Giving Movement fits into modest fashion as well so we found ourselves collaborating with them… These guys have been there before, but were affected big time by Covid-19, and this is us supporting each other as a homegrown brand.”

A ‘double-edged sword’

Modest fashion’s potential remains high. Spending on modest fashion increased by 5.7 per cent in 2021 to $295 billion, according to the 2022 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report. It is expected to grow a further 6 per cent this year reaching $313 billion, with the largest markets for modest fashion including Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The Modist is available across the Middle East and will later extend to the US, followed by other international markets. It expects its two largest markets to remain the same as before: previously, 35 per cent of The Modist’s customers were in the GCC — specifically Saudi Arabia and the UAE — and 35 per cent from the US. However, the modest dressing community is present elsewhere, points out Guenez: “We’ve seen markets everywhere for modest fashion. It’s relevant in Asia just as much as it’s relevant in Europe and other parts of the world.”

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