In­dia’s fash­ion af­fair with the Gulf

Fash­ion finds its Mecca in the Mid­dle East

Apparel Online - - Content -

In a re­cent ‘Thom­son Reuters State of the Global Is­lamic Econ­omy Re­port’, Mus­lim con­sumers spend­ing on ap­parel topped US $ 243 bil­lion in 2015, with an ex­pected in­crease to over US $ 368 bil­lion by 2021. Also sig­nif­i­cant is the find­ings of the Pew Re­search Cen­ter, ac­cord­ing to which Mus­lims are the fastest grow­ing reli­gious group in the world, es­ti­mated to in­crease the pop­u­la­tion of de­sign­ers by 70 per cent in the next 40 years.

As a re­sult, brands are in­creas­ingly rec­og­niz­ing the huge scale of op­por­tu­nity that could stem from bet­ter con­nect­ing with such a pros­per­ous con­sumer seg­ment. But as is the case, while study­ing any other coun­try or re­gion – na­tion­al­ity, age, eco­nomic struc­ture, cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tional lev­els – all play an essen­tial role in un­der­stand­ing how this mar­ket be­haves.

Age and lo­ca­tion make a big dif­fer­ence when it comes to cloth­ing in the Mid­dle East, the largest re­gion of con­cen­tra­tion for the Mus­lim com­mu­nity. The way a cer­tain set of peo­ple dress re­veal not only their per­son­al­ity, but also the re­gion and social class they be­long to. To­day, in the Mid­dle East, lo­cal tra­di­tions and Western fash­ion mix to­gether to pave way for a new mar­ket which de­sign­ers and brands are now eyeing with in­ter­est.

When com­par­ing the vari­ables of age, eco­nomic class, and ed­u­ca­tion, not all Mus­lim con­sumers have the same spend­ing habits or fash­ion pref­er­ences. Mil­len­ni­als and

Gen Z con­sumers in the re­gion are in­creas­ingly tilt­ing more to­wards west­ern­ized cloth­ing con­cepts, re­serv­ing more tra­di­tional styles for cer­e­mo­nial and reli­gious oc­ca­sions, while the older gen­er­a­tions con­tinue to be em­brac­ing more of tra­di­tional gar­ments.

TO­DAY IN THE MID­DLE EAST LO­CAL TRA­DI­TIONS AND WESTERN FASH­ION MIX TO­GETHER TO PAVE WAY FOR

A NEW MAR­KET.

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