The Muslim Fashion Festival (MUFFest) held this year in Jakarta, Indonesia drew thousands of women to see and buy the latest clothing and accessories in the Muslim fashion industry. The festival was, however, unlike other fashion shows, and featured modestly dressed models on the runway.
MUFFest is the first event hosted by the Indonesian Fashion Chamber in collaboration with Indonesia's Trade Ministry and reflects the growing demand for Muslim fashion among Indonesian women. It was launched as Indonesia seeks to establish itself as a regional hub for Muslim fashion by the year 2020.
The festival has been scheduled to be an annual affair and this year's debut has already featured as many as two hundred and fifty designers and garment label booths, including several spectacular fashion shows over the five days which it covered. These are all part of the initiatives to place Indonesia as a top Islamic fashion destination.
It seems likely that Indonesia will be able to reach this goal, as they have both the manpower and the creative talent to do it. Indonesia is also the most populous Muslim nation in the world and well-suited as a hub for Muslim fashion. Another of the many initiatives are the mini-roadshows in some of Jakarta's biggest shopping malls, which gives buyers access to clothing and accessories from top designers at pop-up booths.
The event has given Indonesia the much-needed exposure and brought in many customers along with it. Muslim fashion is evolving, and more and more Indonesians are wearing the hijab nowadays which creates a market for fashion designers who focus on Islamic clothing lines.
The government firmly supports all initiatives. However, many of the experts in the fashion industry are a bit skeptical as to whether Indonesia could become a regional fashion hub for Muslims.
Fashion Designer, Itang Yunasz said the government needs to do more and feels that they haven't been behind the initiative one hundred percent. Yunasz also mentioned that the government has not yet introduced them to larger factories which have the capacity to cope with huge product demand to enable them to sell to clients worldwide.
According to the "State of the Global Islamic Economy Report," the Indonesian fashion market is valued at US$12.7 billion. With this current value, it is ranked fifth among the world's largest Muslim fashion markets following Turkey, UAE, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
With statistics like these, the country's dreams of becoming a Muslim fashion hub in their region are highly probable, even though some say authorities could offer more support, they appear to be on track.