Indonesia is home to the largest population of Muslims throughout the world with a large market for halal products. International companies have picked up on this and are now marketing their products in the country even though Indonesia's halal products are gaining increasing popularity among residents.
Former Deputy Minister of Tourism, Sapta Nirwandar mentioned how there had been such rapid growth in Indonesia's halal food market, Shariah banking, and also the Islamic fashion industry over the last five to six years. It reflects the great market potential which Indonesia has to offer.
Due to increasing demands in the market, the Indonesia International Halal Lifestyle Expo and Conference was launched and held at the Ciputra Artpreneur Center in South Jakarta on October 6. The event kicked off with a seminar on "Global Trends and Business Opportunities."
The seminar was an opportunity for guests to hear what the international speakers had to say. Sharing their views on halal products and lifestyles were Dr. James Noh of the Korean Institute of the Halal Industry, Dr. M. Yanis Musdja who represented the Indonesia Halal Products Foundation, and Winai Dahlan of the Halal Science Center at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Dahlan gave a particularly interesting seminar on the health benefits associated with halal foods.
The event's second day saw a number of fashion collections with religious design themes presented by local Indonesian designers. Deden Siswanto was there to showcase his "easy-to-wear hijab looks" from his new label, AD Indonesia.
Other designs were presented on the runway, including Elhijab brand's "Elzatta" and "Dauky" collections. The "Elzatta" collection consists of loose-fitting tunics and abayas in bold colors, and the "Dauky" collection offered slimming pantsuits along with a selection of beautifully cut jackets and coats.
The 'Dauky' collection was inspired by street wear from the fashion capitals of the world. The goal of this collection is to enable women to dress modestly but remain stylish and dynamic.
Fashion designer Dian Pelangi created the "Blue Ocean" women's collection. Inspired by the deep blue sea, the collection featured gorgeous evening gowns made from Palembang songkets in gold and sapphire-blue hues.
After seeing the show, Sapta stated how impressed he was by the Indonesian fashion designers and how they have proven that they can indeed create stunning collections like their French and Italian counterparts.
On the last day of the event, visitors watched "Kalam Kalam Langit" ("Heavenly Verses"), a film directed by Indonesian filmmaker Tarmizi Abka. In the evening they also attended a jazz concert performed by an Indonesian jazz musician, Dwiki Dharmawan.
Sapta plans to organize the expo as an annual event which he hopes will get bigger each year, attracting thousands. He said: "Our big dream is to establish Indonesia as the world's qibla for halal products and services."