Models are showcasing Vivi Zubedi's collection on the catwalk. (Photo courtesy of Vivi Zubedi)

Hijup.com Targets International Markets with Ethnocentric Muslim Attire

BY :SYLVIANA HAMDANI

MARCH 13, 2016

Jakarta. The market for Muslim fashionistas is constantly expanding, with new designers cropping up and the traditional fashion houses expanding into the area.

"According to a recent research, the world's Muslim population has now reached up to 1.7 billion people," said Diajeng Lestari, chief executive of Hijup.com.

Hijup.com is Muslim fashion e-commerce set up in Jakarta in 2011.

And the market's spending power is also getting stronger. According to research by Thomson Reuters, the world's Muslim population spent $266 billion on fashion in 2013. This figure is expected to swell up to $484 billion in 2019.

Therefore, it is no wonder that a number of popular international brands, including Mango, Uniqlo and Zara, are launching their modest wear collections these days.

But the CEO of Hijup.com believes that Indonesian Muslim fashion has a unique competitive advantage in the fast-growing market.

"Our strong point is our cultural DNA," she said. "It's something that's really unique, embedded in our own traditions. We just have to transform [our cultural DNA] into something light, modern and wearable."

Hijup.com invited three top Indonesian Muslim fashion designers, Ria Miranda, Vivi Zubedi and Zaskia Sungkar to create a special spring/summer 2016 collection with the theme "Ethnocentrism."

The collection was showcased at the Jakarta Convention Center on the second day of the Indonesia Fashion Week (IFW), Friday, March 11.

Ria Miranda's mini collection, themed "Takana," or "Remembered" in Minangkabau, boasts the designer's cultural roots in West Sumatera.

Ria's loose tops, pants and dresses feature unique patterns of Minangkabau's Songket (traditional handwoven textile) printed on satin silk. The designer translated the originally strong colors of the traditional Songket into gentle pastel hues for the collection, creating soft and feminine total looks.

Zaskia Sungkar's collection, themed "Hitam Poetih," is made of easy-to-wear pieces that combine scuba fabric, batik from Garut, West Java, and Tenun Rangrang from Bali in monochromatic black and white. Clever color-blocking and boxy silhouettes generate a young, dynamic feel about the collection.

But the highlight of the show was Vivi Zubedi's collection, which is themed "Sulaym Voyage."

"It's a tribute to Banu Sulaym, a nomadic tribe that traveled from Hejaz, Nejd and North Africa in the 11th century," the designer said.

The collection, mainly made of black and denim-hued abayas, looked glamorous, adorned with ornate hand-embroideries in colorful Arabesque, Balinese and Lombok tribal patterns.

"[The abayas] are a symbol of acculturation," Vivi said.

All the collections are now available at Hijup.com. Their prices range from Rp 350,000 ($26) to Rp 1,800,000.

"We've also started doing international shipments since early this year," said Diajeng Lestari, CEO of Hijup.com. "Many of our international customers come from Australia, United States and United Kingdom."

"They say that they adore Indonesian Muslim fashion because of our unique cultural touches and wearability."

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