High fashion is all about exclusivity. But one thing it never discriminates against is money. Dolce & Gabbana—the Italian fashion house Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana founded in 1985—has astutely recognized that there are millions to be made by selling more culturally diverse garments. This week, the company announced its inaugural collection of abayas and hijabs, traditional garments worn by Muslim women.
Dolce & Gabanna’s style leans toward the exuberant (some might say garish) and the new line is fairly tame in comparison to its Spring 2016 collection but nods to its floral motif. The hijabs (head scarves) and abayas (long cloak-like dresses) are made from sheer georgette and satin-weave charmeuse with lace detailing.
Sales of luxury goods in the Middle Eastern market were a staggering $8.7 billion dollars in 2015—nearly $2 billion more than in 2014. On the more affordable side of the spectrum, fast fashion brand H&M has also recently introduced hijabs onto its racks.
There’s a long history of (tone deaf) cultural appropriation in fashion. By expanding its apparel offerings, Dolce & Gabbana has created a mutual win for consumers and business and sets an example for other brands to follow suit.