Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana recently announced a new collection for 2016, targeted toward Muslim women featuring hijabs and abayas. The line features beige and black palettes coupled with signature D&G pops of color and floral patterns. The RTW presentation is rounded out with statements bags, bold eyewear, and jewelry-encumbered finishes from head to toe.
The move is being regarded as a wise financial plan for Dolce & Gabbana, given the emergence of the Middle East as a high-fashion hub amongst saturated European & North American markets. It’s no secret that this subset of women has historically had a taste for high fashion and haute couture brands. In 2011, it was reported that Middle Eastern women are the largest audience for many big brands. With fiercer competition for presence in emerging Asian and South American markets, D&G have embraced a traditionally underserved demographic with what has been lauded as a positive attempt at linking global fashion and localized tastes.
The question still remains whether or not the intended audience for this strategy will positively respond, as well as if this will kick start a luxury brand arms race to best serve this profitable region and subset of global clientele. Connecting the worlds of consumerist fashion, cultural sensitivity, and faith has the potential to succeed in a big way, but only if done tastefully and with good intentions. It remains to be seen how D&G will execute this plan, and if this will help further differentiate them in a sea of luxury brands running out of opportunities to further their presence.
By Amit Kalra
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Photography: Dolce & Gabbana