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‘Modest fashion’ is a growing, global multi-billion-dollar market. Its appearance at high-profile fashion shows, on celebrities and in the headlines of fashion publications and major news outlets has shown that the movement is hugely relevant to consumers. American journalist Hafsa Lodi is asking the crucial questions at the heart of truly understanding and appreciating this shift, and what it means for the future of fashion, women and their role in society in Modesty: A Fashion Paradox [June 15, 2020, Neem Tree Press].
Featuring interviews with 40+ high profile models, entrepreneurs and academics including Mariah Idrissi (featured on the cover), Halima Aden, Melanie Elturk, Marwa Atik and Lisa Vogl and more, gorgeous color photography and razor-sharp fashion and social criticism, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in fashion and its impact around the globe.
“When I was younger, modest and fashion were two words hardly used together, as modesty just wasn’t something deemed fashionable,” Hafsa says. “But, the increase of luxury modest attire on runways, the influx of modest fashion bloggers on social media and the emergence of an all-new hijabi supermodel, occurred simultaneously and contributed to catapulting modest fashion into the mainstream.”
Drawing on personal experiences with modest clothing from her childhood in the United States and career as a fashion journalist in the Middle East, Hafsa speaks to the myriad personalities who have helped shape the modest fashion industry into such a significant retail sector and explores the controversies that lie at the heart of the movement, as well as:
• What we mean by modest fashion and who is buying it
• Why major fashion labels like Gucci and high street brands like H&M have embraced this sector
• A moment of modesty: Will this be sustainable long-term or just a trend?
• Why modest fashion is so politically charged and controversial, provoking nationwide bans of the hijab, niqab and burkini
• Does covering up empower women or is it reflective of a repressive culture?
• How women of faith, or none, feel about modest fashion’s foray into the mainstream
• Modesty & mainstream fashion: how the movement is reflected in everything from sustainability to maternity wear, men’s fashion to swimwear, inclusive fashion for women with disabilities and more
From the cancellation of the 2019 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to the rise of sneaker culture in high fashion circles, the reach of the modest fashion trend is wide and fascinating. Discover it all in Modesty: A Fashion Paradox.
HAFSA LODI is an American journalist who has been covering fashion between North America and Dubai. Hafsa was born in New York City, and at the age of 14 relocated to the United Arab Emirates with her family, where she attended Dubai American Academy while interning after school with one of the region’s leading publishing houses, ITP.
After completing her undergraduate studies at the Ryerson School of Journalism in Toronto, Hafsa moved to London for a year, where she earned her master’s degree in Islamic Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies. The relationships between religion, culture and modernity have always fascinated Hafsa, who has covered these topics for The National newspaper, Luxury Magazine, Mojeh Magazine, Grazia Middle East, Cosmopolitan Middle East and more, in addition to working as an online fashion editor for one of the Middle East’s largest luxury retailers, Boutique 1. Connect with Lodi on Instagram.com/HafsaLodi, Twitter.com/HafsaLodi, and Facebook.com/Hafsa.Lodi.
ABOUT NEEM TREE PRESS
Neem Tree Press is a young publishing house producing books that broaden and change perspectives. They are truly global in scope with books under contract from Germany, the Middle East, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom to date. However, the common theme for their books is to provoke both thoughtful discussion on sensitive issues and a thirst in the reader to explore further the ideas or cultures they encounter through their books’ characters and their milieus, whether near or far. Connect with Neem Tree Press at NeemTreePress.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @NeemTreePress.
Modesty: A Fashion Paradox is available for pre-order on Amazon, IndieBound.org and wherever books are sold.
“This thoughtful consideration touches on numerous aspects, ranging from Islamic, Jewish, and Christian scriptural passages enjoining modest clothing, to high fashion modest-wear runway shows, institutionalized subjugation of women, and activists' claims that voluntary covering-up is a form of feminist expression.” — BookList Starred Review American Library Association
"A nuanced and insightful study of the “modest fashion movement” in the Muslim world and beyond….this enthusiastic and wide-ranging account successfully disputes Western stereotypes of Muslim women as "repressed victims of a tyrannical religion."" — Publishers Weekly
“Smart and journalistic, Modesty embraces the heterogeneity of fashion and of modesty to tell a new story about self-expression and freedom.” — Foreword Reviews
“Lodi points out that the Muslim influencers and models she interviews are not alone in their interest. Other women who will choose less revealing styles include Orthodox Jewish women, some Christian women, and those who just feel more comfortable in these kinds of clothing.” — Book Riot
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