Muslim Investors showing interest in booming market of Islamic fashion

Sillwood, who put up Shukr LLC in 2000, says that he found a gap in the marketplace for tasteful and modest garments that could appeal to Muslims in the west. Fifteen decades later, his firm designs, manufactures and sells clothes via the net and three shops.

“My goal was not to develop into a fulltime small business man,” Sillwood, that intends to open five to 10 more outlets in the subsequent five decades, explained in a telephone interview from Amman on Tuesday. From 2005 and 2006 our earnings began to grow quite dramatically and it was evident there was quite major potential for the business.”

Dominated for centuries by small family companies, the business is currently attracting attention from Islamic fund centers. Dubai has set up a tax-free design hub for example Islamic fashion. STC Ventures, a venture capital fund supported by the Saudi Telecom Company, stated in February it’s spent in Modanisa, a Turkish Sharia apparel site.

The developing interest comes as Muslims across the globe decide to invest their money and handle their own finances at a Sharia-compliant way.

Brands Yet to Take Leverage

“The Muslim style and lifestyle company is still regarded as a retail section that’s not fully exploited,” explained Abas A. Jalil, the Kuala Lumpur-based chief executive officer in Amanah Capital Group Ltd., a consultancy. “We’ve yet to see many prominent or well-known international Muslim fashion brands which are available in a variety of states,” he explained in an April 3 email interview.

Spending on Islamic clothes and apparel increases 82 percent to $484 billion by 2019 by 2013, according to the condition of the international Islamic Market 2014-2015 report by Thomson Reuters Corp. and Dinar Standard, a New York-based researcher. The climbing spend is underpinned with a Muslim population of 1.6 billion, so that the Pew Research Centre jobs will increase at the fastest rate of any significant faith to 2.9 billion by 2050.

Dubai Design District

The Dubai Design District is a part of a strategy by the emirate to eventually become the international capital of the Islamic market. Businesses based in the heart is going to be awarded tax breaks, according to the district website.

“The absence of a worldwide Islamic clothing manufacturer presents a special opportunity for UAE fashion designers,” Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, a part of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre board, stated in an April 7 email interview.

Sharia-compliant trend sites have mushroomed in the past few decades, and Dinar Standard quotes that Muslims purchased $4.8 billion of clothes and accessories on the internet in 2013.

London-based online Muslim style merchant Aab started a boutique in town last month and intends to expand into the UAE over 1-1/2 decades, Nazmin Alim, Aab’s creative director, stated in a March 31 mobile interview.

Problems in securing Funds

Securing funding might be an issue for smaller fashion businesses, based on Samak Consultants LLP, an Islamic fund advisor in London. Just 17 percent of Middle East and North African lenders who support small businesses provide Sharia loans, Samina Akram, a managing partner at Samak, stated, citing information from Washington-based International Finance Corporation.

“Small- and – midsize businesses are on the upswing and keen to grab a piece and tap into the current market,” she stated in an April 6 email interview. “The challenge for those entrepreneurs is to discover the financing opportunities that are compliant with their own religion, company ethos and requirements.”

Retailers are targeting a wider audience with offerings which aim to dispel the perception which Sharia-compliant clothes is sombre and mostly black. Designers are rolling out long robes and hijabs punctuated with splashes of color, embroidery and tassels for girls and coats with gold trimmings and vibrant vases for men.

“It’s to cross the bounds of just catering to Muslims,” Raja Rezza Shah, founder of the Islamic Fashion Festival, stated in a March 25 meeting in Kuala Lumpur. “The only way would be to make it appear more fashionable instead of religious.”

Promising Industry with good potential

The Muslim style market is a very exciting and rewarding market. Lee Khoon Hooi, a Malaysian programmer who revealed an Islamic collection in the festival three decades back, said the quantity of queries he received subsequently took him by surprise. Muslim clothes, such as flowery hooded kaftans and ankle-length silk skirts, will likely double to approximately 10 percent of the sales this season, he explained at a March 30 meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

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