Let’s start by saying that the world is governed by ignorance. And I will not indulge in conspiracy theories in which politicians and media trying to subdue the existence for oil, but it’s unfortunately a fact that no less than 50% of Italians have negative views towards Islam or don’t think that it is compatible with the Western world. In France hate crimes have grown dramatically against the Muslim population and not to mention the fear in the eyes of millions of Americans – I’m in the most cosmopolitan city in the world and yet I hear racist comments every day.

Sure 9/11 has definitely increased the negative perception that many could have,it has done nothing but increase hatred towards the second biggest religion in the world and certainly the birth of ISIS and the growing fear of being struck have changed many opinions but too often we forget to remind us that the error of one is not the sin of many, that an entire population should not pay for the madness of a handful of people.

But news of the news guys, there is a whole world of Muslim women and men with a working brain and a mouth that is not afraid to speak. There are men who urge their women in their careers, and men who prefer women housewife and mother, but does it have anything to do with the God who you pray? There are women who like to wear tracksuits and don’t care about their appearence and women who love to buy shoes and makeup, is there any god, somewhere, that prohibits it?

And these magnificent women with their heads covered have perhaps less right than others to buy Chanel or Prada?

No, but these women have to be careful with what they buy, combining that cute t-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt under or turtleneck sweater over because fashion still doesn’t pay them enough attention.

These women are young, they are modern, into fashion and have created a series of channels between blogs, video tutorials etc to keep up with respect for their culture and religion (Take a look @myhijabiworld on IG).

A couple of years ago talking with my friend Dina we wondered the reason of this phenomenon. There are Arab designers who create clothing lines, mostly elegant, especially for Muslim women, but none really known in the Western world. We wondered why, even economically speaking, famous western designers did not seem interested in gaining buyers in the Middle East and we could not give us an answer.

I thought and talked about this subject for so long now that doesn’t seem true, to finally have someone who is dealing with it in a serious way, with a voice that can be heard. Unfortunately my voice is probably just a tiny little aril in a pomegranate not yet mature but one of the most important voices today started talking, without too many words, and maybe this time fashion will succeed to unify what ignorance has divided.

This week two very Italian fashion designers have pointed to the Islamic market releasing their first collection of hijab and abaya D&G style. They are not limited to a long black robe with long sleeves and a headscarf but while remaining sober and elegant their creations recall their unforgettable mark. Lace, polka dots, flowers and lemons. All it accompanied by large sunglasses and fine jewelry, high heels and crocodile bags. 

So let me raise my glass and cheers to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana for giving, hopefully, the official start to the spring of Arab fashion. The two entrepreneurs, exporters of Italian brand in the world, once again have demonstrated that we are not only good at making pizza but we can also open the doors to everyone, always. And we hope to be good also to pave the way for others to follow.

Flowers bloom in the Arab world and we couldn’t wait!

 

Linda

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