The Jakarta Post
Eye-catching: 2Madison Avenue features bold colors and presents playfulness in its designs for Jakarta Modest Fashion Week. (JP/Dwita Nurgrahanti)
Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, has undoubtedly become a lucrative market for modest fashion.
In general, modesty means wearing clothes that show less skin. However, it is often narrowly defined as merely wearing a hijab and shapeless clothes that cover everything. In order to move away from this, Jakarta Modest Fashion Week will be displaying non-hijab designs.
Turkish fashion entrepreneur Ozlem Sahin and Indonesian-born fashion consultant Franka Soeria saw the potential of the modest fashion market in Indonesia.
They developed a strong partnership over the years in Turkey, which culminated in the launch of a fashion consulting and branding company called ThinkFashion.
Both observed that the modest fashion niche was still relatively untouched by big brands.
Utilizing their expertise in the fashion industry, they decided to introduce a regular event to cater for this niche market and called it Modest Fashion Week.
After its success in Istanbul, London and Dubai, Franka and Ozlem will be staging the event, branded Jakarta Modest Fashion Week, at Gandaria City in South Jakarta from July 26 to 29.
“Jakarta will become the center of global modest fashion,” Franka said during a recent press conference at Plaza Kuningan in Central Jakarta.
Meanwhile, Ozlem said Jakarta was very unique compared to the other cities where modest fashion events took place. For him, Jakarta offers a chance to showcase the more inclusive concepts of modest fashion.
Ozlem and Franka — through their Dram and Design for Disabled Community Movement — collaborated with the Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) voluntary humanitarian group and the Asian Paralympic Games to empower disabled fashion workers in Indonesia as part of their inclusive concept campaign.
Franka added that Jakarta’s “beautiful mess” characteristic would become the core theme of Jakarta Modest Fashion Week.
The main aim of the event is long-term collaboration with and the promotion of talented Indonesian designers on the modest fashion scene.
Jakarta Modest Fashion Week will connect Indonesian designers to global retailers and buyers, giving them the opportunity to compete and introduce their products to the global modest fashion market.
Some of the Indonesian designers and brands that will feature their products at the event are Sayee, Dhienda Nasrul and 2Madison Avenue.
Sayee’s work will feature a mix of Korean Hanbok and Indonesian modest style, Dhienda Nasrul took inspiration from the refugee issue for her collection and 2Madison Avenue will utilize bright colors and bold designs for their products.
Both Franka and Ozlem said they believed Indonesian designers have what it takes to survive in the global market.
“Indonesia has amazing talent, creativity and quality. As an Indonesian I want to help expose this to the global fashion industry,” Franka added.
The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post.