Lebanese-Australian fashion designer Yasmin Jay explains why there’s a ‘market gap’ for modest fashion
“It means girls like me can now see themselves reflected in an industry they’ve always loved and admired.”
June 22, 2022 5:00 a.m.
In today’s zeitgeist, the term “modest fashion” has a connotation of being from a decade that has since passed, but that is no longer the case.
Advocating less revealing clothing, modest fashion has seen “layering, loose silhouettes, higher necklines, long sleeves and outfits that don’t accentuate the body shape” reign supreme. Today, the concept has been embraced by many people, religious and otherwise.
Rather than these fashion trends being quickly labeled under an umbrella term like “androgynous,” the true meaning of “modest” fashion is finally making its way to the surface in an effort to diversify fashion and create inclusion for different communities.
“One of my biggest goals as a Middle Eastern/Australian designer is to create a movement to redefine mainstream fashion,” she said exclusively. SHE Australia.
“Niche clothing is always seen as diverse, but we should consider diverse fashion as the norm. With over 12 million beautifully diverse women in Australia, in culture, shape and size, each of us has a its own definition of what we consider the norm, because we are all so diverse, and that’s where the conversation should really start.
“People say fashion is frivolous, but when you see the diversity and inclusiveness, everyone feels connected,” says the Sydney-based designer.
“I have always loved fashion and decided to continue my studies after school. […] What started as a hobby of casual styling turned into a love for design and craftsmanship,” she explained.
“Having been raised by traditional Lebanese parents in Australia gave me the privilege of experiencing a unique upbringing incorporating two very different cultures.”
“It means that I am able to express my creativity through my creations while remaining true to my identity, and it gives me the opportunity to tell my story and break down barriers through the awareness of a fun and trendy way.”
She continued, “There are a lot of misconceptions around modest fashion. [It] doesn’t need to be tied to culture or religion, they are two different entities.”
“Women want to feel beautiful and confident. The goal is to be a voice for my community, to break down prevailing stereotypes, and to inspire young people as they discover their identity.”
One browse through her brand’s product page and it’s easy to see why she’s so successful. The products on offer are not only trend driven, but bring traditional fashion in a new, more inclusive light. And for Yasmin, she hopes to translate that mindset into how the fashion industry views modesty.
“When I first decided to wear the hijab, modest fashion didn’t have the resonance it has now, and I felt there was a gap in the market for practical and modest modest clothing. elegant,” she shares.
“I love taking a simple pattern and adding a luxurious or embellished fabric to make it funky. Yasmin Jay’s vision is to encourage all women who love modest fashion to feel confident, empowered and uplifted when wearing the ‘one of my pieces.’
So when The ICONIC came knocking with the idea of creating an entire shopping subsection for dressing modestly, it was all ears.
“It’s great that we’re moving to an edition dedicated to modest fashion because it means girls like me can now see themselves reflected in an industry they’ve always loved and admired,” she says, adding, “C is a perfect blend of tradition and being at the forefront of fashion.”
ICONIC’s Modest Edition gives customers the ability to mix and match pieces from a specific selection that’s so vast Yasmin can’t even pick a favorite.
“It’s hard to pinpoint a favorite piece […] because when I look at a piece, I have about five different ideas of how I can style a single piece of clothing. That’s the beauty of fashion, it’s a world full of limitless possibilities!”
It’s what she loves most about her eponymous label, each piece of clothing has been created with the hope of inspiring confidence in the wearer.
“At Yasmin Jay the Label, every detail of every garment tells a story,” she says.
She continues, “What I consider to be the ultimate style advice is to wear your outfit with confidence and spread your charm everywhere you go, because that’s where the real beauty lies and I hope that my brand gives people the confidence to do so.”
For modest fashion wearers, or those who aspire to be, there is hope for Australia’s fashion diversity. Thanks to emerging designers and increased freedom of expression, Yasmin believes the best is yet to come.
“With a new generation of such passionate designers from all walks of life, I hope we can learn that there is no right or wrong answer,” she says, adding, “Life is about s ‘freely express and think about what you want to bring into the world and for myself, it’s through my clothes that I do it’.
“We must continue to push boundaries and challenge norms throughout our artistic journey.”
For Australia’s fashion industry, the full potential of diverse inclusion still has some way to go, but modest fashion is a great conversation starter.