Alia Khan’s (Co-Founder – IFDC) take on Islamic Fashion Revolution by Jesus Silva
With fashion constantly changing, how has Islamic fashion evolved in recent years, and where do you see it going?
Well, I think Islamic Fashion is a very interesting case study because in some fashion you see changes going in the direction of the vast sort of activity that you’re seeing on social media. The awareness and the speed of this market are due to social media. Before this people were dressing according to what they felt were their own norms.
Now, people want to be more stylish, according to the general norms around them; and that’s where you’re seeing that shift in maybe some taste some styles some fashion. At the end of the day, what’s really amazing about Islamic Fashion, is that they never compromise on their modest parameters nor their values. So, they don’t show their skin, they don’t show their legs, they don’t do revealing necklines and whatnot; that is who they are and that is what they stand by and what they stick to.
So, how does Islamic Fashion Design Council, also known as IFDC, help break barriers among well-established western-design houses?
The reality in what essentially it is. Modest fashion doesn’t take rocket science. I mean, you already have some of the big brands, you know, already adhering to modest fashion. Valentino does it beautifully, Armani’s been doing it for a long time, Chanel has been, you know, classic modest for a very long time.
So I don’t think that we need to help anyone break any barriers. I think what we do need to do is help develop the communication. Not only just to the consumer, but in the fashion house itself, who should say to this audience that we understand you, we respect you, we have studied you, and we’d like to cater to what you feel is compatible with the lifestyle that you’ve adhered too. So that’s a very important message that they should get right.
What recurring challenges does IFDC face in the fashion industry?
I don’t think it’s unlike what normal fashion industry players would face. You know, obviously, sales is a very big one. You know, it’s one thing to come up with an amazing collection; it’s another thing to have it branded and recognised. Now more than ever you have to find ways to stand out.
So I read that IFDC is in conjunction with Milan Fashion Week beginning of September 24. Congratulations on that. Must be very exciting.
Thank you, It’s Very Exciting!
Will you be live streaming the fashion shows in Milan?
Live streaming is so exciting, technology is so exciting. There’s no reason that we have to do anything the mundane way anymore. I could actually make a dress today and live stream the whole process. You’re in my reality show. You know, you’re in my world for a while you’re going through the motions that I’m going through and you’re getting excited and I used that to connect with you and make you a fan of my work. So, same with events, we can captivate you through our events on live streaming and add a little bit of a production element there. You can’t just produce a normal event, live stream it, and expect it to have the same effect. So, you have to have some special component to it.
So, Alia, what encouraging words would you have for a young girl or boy looking to be part of the Islamic Fashion World?
Fashion as an industry impacts culture, it impacts, politics, social responsibility, it impacts communication. There’s, such a huge study of fashion. It doesn’t always have to be about designing. There are so many aspects of it that would render your purpose to be very important. Remember, Fashion or clothing is the essence of life.
And last, as a student myself at CFD and am learning about the industry, do you have any straightforward warnings?
As a student, just remember, to have a vision. Understanding what your vision is, is half the battle.
Thank you so much again Alia Khan for this interview, it was a pleasure meeting you.
Thank you, and nice to meet you!