France may have recently drawn controversy for attempting to ban the burkini, but one of its most famous fashion houses has shown that it’s got no qualms about Islamic clothing. Last week, Chanel’s Beverly Hills store on Rodeo Drive unveiled a new window display featuring mannequins wearing hijab-like headcoverings.
Chanel isn’t the only brand to have done this – in fact, the last twelve months have been something of a watershed moment for the inclusion of Islamic clothing in mainstream Western fashion. In January, Dolce Gabbana launched a line of hijabs and abayas and in March, Uniqlo released a range of the hijabs and modest wear designed by British-Japanese designer Hana Tajima.
This shift reflects a truly globalised fashion industry – 23 per cent of the world’s population is, after all, Muslim. It also reflects the spending power of those affiliated with the faith, with Muslim shoppers spending $266 billion on clothing and footwear in 2013, an amount which is predicted to rise to $484 billion by 2019.
And, according to the Los Angeles Tourism Convention Board’s most recent report from 2014, visitors from Saudi Arabia had “the highest per-trip spend of any international market in Los Angeles, with an average trip expenditure of $4,550 per person and a collective spend of $259.3 million.”
Chanel isn’t a stranger to the Arab world, in 2014 the house staged its Cruise show in Dubai. While this collection was more of a Chanel take on Middle Eastern fashion than Islamic clothing, it did feature the crescent symbol and outfits that looks inspired by salwar kameezs and thobes. Check out the collection in the gallery below.