Jakarta. Modest Fashion Week, which has been making waves in the modest-wear industry across the world, is coming to Jakarta next week.
"It's going to be the first ever modest fashion week in Asia," Franka Soeria, co-founder of Think Fashion, the organizer of Modest Fashion Week Global, said at a conference in Jakarta on Wednesday (18/07).
"All these years, [Indonesia] has been wanting to become the center of modest fashion in the world," she said. "I'd say it's not happening in 2020 [as the government planned], but now."
Istanbul, London and Dubai
After getting married in 2013, Franka, an Indonesian writer and fashion stylist, moved to Istanbul where she and her friend Özlem Şahin founded Think Fashion in early 2016.
Their first event, Istanbul Modest Fashion Week, was held in May 2016.
"It was a success," Franka said.
This saw demand for similar events from many different parts of the world, which prompted them to take it to London in April last year and then Dubai in December.
"[Dubai Modest Fashion Week] was a huge success," Franka said. "The news coverage was amazing. We got 12,000 hashtags from this event alone."
After their success in Istanbul, London and Dubai, the two fashion entrepreneurs started thinking of also taking their signature event to Asia.
"We got several offers from local partners in Singapore and Malaysia," Franka said.
"But I was saying that if we wanted to do it in Asia, we'd first have to do it in Indonesia.
"Indonesia has always had great talent in modest fashion.
"[Indonesian] designers' work is fresh, unique and creative. They really deserve the spotlight in the international modest-wear industry."
The inaugural Jakarta Modest Fashion Week will consist of a series of fashion shows, exhibitions, talk shows and workshops.
Around 50 modest-wear brands, half of them are from Indonesia, will participate in the event. One of them is the fun and quirky ready-to-wear label 2Madison Avenue.
"I'm extremely excited about the event," said Maggie Hutauruk Eddy, creative director of 2Madison Avenue. "It's about time we have an event specially dedicated to modest fashion."
The label will present its debut modest-wear collection themed "Secret Strength" on the opening day of the event on July 26.
"It's dedicated to strong women of today," Maggie said. "The collection will combine handwoven fabric from Baduy [in West Java] and colorful patterns I have designed myself."
Resti by Rizka Haristi, an up-and-coming fashion label from Bandung, West Java, will also present a collection targeted at modern independent women during JMFW 2018.
The collection themed "Aqila," which means "strong and intelligent woman" in Arabic, will feature dresses in simple silhouettes and bold colors.
"Women would look strong, yet feminine and elegant, in my dresses," said Rizka Haristi, the label's creative director.
Renowned modest-wear designer Irna Mutiara will also participate in the event by presenting the latest collection in her new modest-wear brand Up2Date Plus, in a fashion show on the first day.
The collection will feature casual dresses made from lightweight cotton and Scottish tartans.
Aspiring young designers and entrepreneurs can also benefit from the event.
On the second day, there will be a talk show themed "The Secrets of Global Buying Process," which will see international e-commerce and boutique buyers share what the decision-making process entails when it comes to the purchase of a fashion collection.
On the same day, there will also be a talk show themed "Entrepreneurs' Way: Top Tips From the Experts," featuring successful entrepreneurs from Indonesia, Malaysia and Belgium.
New South Korean modest-wear brand Sayee will also launch its debut collection on the second day of the event.
"Sayee is designed by a community of [South] Korean fashion designers living in Indonesia," said Saera, head of brand management at Sayee. "Our first collection is inspired by hanbok [a traditional Korean dress] and made from organic cotton and premium linen."
The third day of the event will perhaps be the most exciting, as JMFW, in collaboration with humanitarian group Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) and Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games, will present a unique fashion show themed "Dream & Design for Disabilities."
All the dresses in the fashion show, made by hearing-impaired tailors living in North Jakarta, will be modeled by disabled athletes who will participate in the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta in October.
"When Franka and Özlem came to me with this idea, I welcomed them in a heartbeat," said Mirsya Budiarsi, director marketing look and feel division of the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games.
"It's an opportunity to introduce our gorgeous athletes, Indonesian Para Games gold medalists, to the public. They are going to walk on the catwalk presenting a fashion collection made by Indonesian tailors who are also living with disabilities."
The four-day event will conclude on July 29, with a fashion show sponsored by Wardah Cosmetics, featuring the latest collections by Indonesia's popular modest-wear labels Dian Pelangi, Etu, Khanaan Shamlan and Kami.
You can get an invitation to fashion shows during the event by registering on its website. Entry to the exhibition area is free.
"We hope JMFW will help establish Jakarta as an important capital of the world's modest-wear industry," said Franka of Think Fashion.