Modest fashion is a trending topic not only in the region but everywhere. Today we will speak about modest fashion with Alia Khan, president, and founder of IFDC which stands for Islamic Fashion & Design Council. She is also going to share her journey creating the council and how they are helping designers and other industry players succeed.
Have a listen to the interview here.
Originally from Pakistan, Alia Khan grew up in California. She moved to Dubai in 2005 to be closer to her family. At that time, she had a media company that created content for huge companies like Procter & Gamble. You can tell she knows how to express her thoughts and ideas when listening to her in the interview!
Eventually, she realized there was a huge demand and an even bigger gap in modest fashion and Islamic design. That is how the idea of a starting at fashion and design council came to life.
IFDC is not a religious body so the criterium is not something they will impose on anybody. Alia Khan explains that it is a matter of personal interpretation but there are some general guidelines.
• Clothes that are not too revealing
• Clothes that are loose-fitting
• That have an appropriate neckline and no open backs
• The sleeves should cover their arm up to the wrists
• The length of the dress or skirt should reach the ankles
• And the hijab
Probably the most controversial piece of modest dressing, the hijab is more than just a piece of cloth. Alia shares with us what is behind it. “Not everybody is ready to follow it and they are many different ways to wear a hijab”.
Hijab means partition, veil, something that protects you from something… in this case, evil. But they are many different hijabs.
If you put a hijab in your tongue, you should not say bad things about people. Should you put a hijab in your eyes or in your mind, you should see the positives and not the negatives in people or situations. If you have a hijab in your heart, you wouldn’t harm anyone and try to be good, well-intentioned, and fair. All these hijabs come before the cloth over your head. It is a personal commitment to your beliefs.
I must admit that this romantic way to explain what the hijab is, resonates more with me. Of course, in the podcast, we spoke about how the hijab is seen in other places as something imposed. Not a choice. IFDC is trying to change the narrative. Hijab is a personal choice and it doesn’t necessary correlates with any sort of repression. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but to focus on the exceptions is what is damaging how everyone else wearing a hijab is perceived.
The event that took place at City Walk took Alia and her team good 10 months to put together.
“It took this long because it was the first event we were doing and because we wanted to do something original and never seen before”.
And so, they did! The catwalk didn’t have models, but rather projections of each and every designer showcasing. This way not only the clothes but also the vibe and energy, the story or the inspiration were part of the experience. 15 LED screens, water screens, and around 20-25 projectors did the job. Not sure if it was easier than having the models doing the walk but definitely it was a different and unique concept, we might see more of.
The sponsors seemed to be very happy and IFDC managed to get more sponsors interested in participating in the coming events.
Pret-a- cover displayed the collections of 35 designers. You can read here our review of the event, but we can tell you that there was a lot of talent and enthusias…

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