• Home
  • News
  • Fashion
  • “Modest fashion is one of the boldest fashion trends globally” - Modest Fashion Week CEO

“Modest fashion is one of the boldest fashion trends globally” - Modest Fashion Week CEO

By Simone Preuss


Scroll down to read more

Fashion |Interview

A creation by modest fashion brand Serpil from Turkey. Credits: Istanbul Modest Fashion Week

Regardless of one’s reason for covering up - protection from a harsh environment or unwanted attention, personal or cultural reasons - modest fashion has been around since the beginning of fashion and is in every person’s wardrobe - if they call it ‘modest’ or not.

“Modesty is a way of living more than a fashion statement. Every single individual, organisation and company should take the responsibility of creating a better world for the next generations which is more inclusive, sustainable and equal for every human being,” commented Ozlem Sahin Ertas, CEO of Modest Fashion Weeks by Think Fashion Co, in the fore field of the recent event in Istanbul.

Modest fashion icon Halima Aden walked for the Indonesian brand Buttonscarves, in a unique off-white piece. Credits: Istanbul Modest Fashion Week

The numbers confirm the growing demand for modest fashion - the sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. According to the “Global Islamic Economy Report” published by Thomson Reuters in 2020, global spending on modest fashion amounts to 254 billion US dollars (around 233 billion euros/200 billion British pounds). And the market has not yet been exhausted; it has the potential to grow to USD 473 billion (435 billion euros/372 billion British pounds) at an annual growth rate of 6.6 percent.

Istanbul Modest Fashion Week 2024 (IMFW24) took place from 25th to 27th April and hosted 24 fashion shows, 29 brand booths, 11 talk shows, experience points and a mini art gallery. This year’s theme “A Unique Fashion Call for Solidarity” brought together designers, brands, influencers and modest fashion icons, industry leaders, retailers, media professionals and fashion enthusiasts from all over the world. “The event, once again, served as a platform for dialogue, collaboration and inspiration, fostering connections that transcend borders and boundaries,” was the organisers’ conclusion.

Australian label Akkoia presented their botanical-themed ready-to-wear collection and had influencer Fatma Husam walk the runway (second from right). Credits: Istanbul Modest Fashion Week

After nine successful editions, Modest Fashion Week has come full circle again, being hosted in Istanbul for the second time. FashionUnited spoke to Ozlem Sahin Ertas, CEO of Modest Fashion Weeks by Think Fashion Co, about the challenges and growth of the event over the years.

What are some of the biggest changes observed in those eight years in terms of trends, audiences and response?


After eight long years we are back again in our homeland with the same soul but a wider vision. Over the past eight years, it is easy to say that modest fashion is one of the boldest fashion trends globally and the modest fashion movement only grows day by day. 

Beautifully crafted creations by Benang Jarum from Indonesia. Credits: Istanbul Modest Fashion Week

The audience has a clear idea of what modest fashion is and what they expect from modest styles such as long cuts, oversize and relaxed shapes and the elegance of covering the body with shining inside out. 

There was resistance in people's mindsets initially, especially among mainstream fashion business players. But recently, the inclusivity and diversity of modestys unlocked the doors and showed the latest modest fashion trends, which are confident and cool. 

Most of the modest brands follow sustainability already even though it is becoming a trend, and use natural fabrics. Also functional pieces that suit from day to night are quite popular. Lastly, I can see a big appreciation of the roots and authenticity as inspiration for the collections. In Europe and Australia, minimalist styles are in demand while in Asia and Africa, prints and colours are shaping trends. For the US market, relaxed and oversize cuts are first choice while in the Middle East and Russia markets, elegance and high craftsmanship are very valuable. 

How important is the event for retailers?

The global modest fashion market value is 474 billion US dollars and of course it is very attractive for retailers, distributors and online channels. We had a good number of buyers i attendance in different business scales around the globe. USA, UK, France, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Malaysia, Africa, South Korea are only some countries that show the power and diversity of the modest fashion business. 

The colourful collection by Turkish label Hukka Design with influencer and brand muse Niki Shah in all black. Credits: Istanbul Modest Fashion Week

Modest Fashion Weeks by Think Fashion Co aim to organise sustainable business relations on a global scale. It is key to involve the right stakeholders to the MFWs and create one-stop solutions with Think Fashion Co group companies' services such as sourcing, production, cross countries trade and creative solutions.

Do you foresee modest fashion brands transitioning into mainstream fashion or can you give examples of brands that have done this?

Actually not, because modest fashion experts own the modesty without categorising fashion lovers. All women have modest pieces in their wardrobe and prefer to wear them in their life depending on the different roles they play: We are businesswomen, mothers, spouses and friends and modesty interestingly fits all these roles and occasions. However, mainstream brands target the modesty segment such as luxury, fast fashion and sport category brands. Armani, D&G, Adidas, Nike, H&M and Inditex are only a few examples. 

Serbian designer Sedžda Zukorlić’s collection featured traditional Balkan motifs. Credits: Istanbul Modest Fashion Week

How important is sustainability in modest fashion?

Sustainability is one of the core essences of modest fashion. Since the cuts are more covered, the right fabric choice is very important. Recently, sustainability has become a marketing tool for many brands but for modest brands, sustainability is part of the DNA.

It is also good to see that modest consumers are getting more conscious about sustainable and slow fashion. That encourages designers to offer different sustainable solutions for the market. 

South African label Mishah’s collection featured pops of colors and silvers as well. Credits: Istanbul Modest Fashion Week

What will the future bring for modest fashion and the Modest Fashion Week? 

Modest fashion will grow day by day and the market will accept modesty as just a style; one of the most wanted styles of today's women. Modest fashion has always been there, has been in the foreground for years and will be known by every woman. 

Modest Fashion Weeks by Think Fashion Co will continue to show that fashion is not only for one type of woman. We have different body shapes, different skin colours, different cultural and social backgrounds and all women deserve to show their uniqueness and beauty in their own fashion way. 

The interview was conducted by FashionUnited in written format.

Also read:

Modest Fashion
Modest Fashion Week
Sustainable Fashion