On April 14th, ASOS dropped a beautifully curated edit put together non-other than Shahd Batal, Vlogger extraordinaire, modest fashion and beauty influencer based out of LA
Let’s face it, Shahd has been blessing us with her keen fashion sense and displaying her go-to picks from the celebrated fashion brand on her Instagram for some time. I am so excited to see how ASOS recognized this untapped reservoir of uber coolness and joining forces with Batal to produce an EPIC edit, one that includes everything from face, accessories, and carefully chosen and styled clothing pieces!
So why now?
A game-changer in the realm of fast fashion, ASOS is not new to doing things differently. Examples range from their augmented reality feature that was added on their site to show how clothes fit on different size models ranging from 4 to 18. Or my personal favorite, collaborating with US-based Verona collection to launch an ASOS modest fashion line showcased by a hijab-wearing model.
Unlike their competitor H&M who attempted to launch a capsule modest collection the year before ASOS, the brand was praised for their debut. In fact, Asha Mahmoud who was signed on to model the Verona collection tweeted “Catch me rocking my hijab on ASOS’s new modest collection, just in time for Eid!” which received over 20,000 retweets! This style edit has become a natural next step for the brand to take and we are personally excited they picked Shahd to create this bomb edit that is a true representation of how versatile modest fashion can really be!
The Modest Fashion – BOX
Modest fashion is a fluid term that means different things to different people. An expression of identity, culture, and religion for some and representation of values for others. Much like any interpretation of fashion, it is seen as an intimate expression of one’s unique personality… and this style edit has Shahd’s written all over it!
In my previous role, I had the pleasure of working with ASOS as part of the Ogilvy Noor team to run a strategic workshop that would help the brand tackle -modest wear.
The brief was to provide ASOS with the right insights that will allow them to step into this space in a way that is a credible, exciting, and authentic way for the “20 something modest dressing” customer. The workshop brought to light the many challenges millennial Muslim women experience when shopping for clothing. Our findings provided the brand with a better understanding of the landscape which led ASOS to announce their collaboration with Verona collection in 2019, bringing modest wear to masses!
The difference with this particular collection is that it celebrates Shahd’s sartorial elegance whilst featuring items that otherwise wouldn’t be labeled modest, yet is deemed modest by the influencer. This is ultimately what it is all about, the individual’s choice to layer, piece, and put together articles of clothing which makes modesty truly in the eye of the beholder.
Why we LOVE Shahd’s collection
The edit, in my opinion, is a nod to the woman who embodies casual, occasion, edgy, and all that is in between. I can see modest and non-modest fashionistas gravitating to any of the pieces Batal’s carefully selected. When asked who she considered when putting together the edit, Shahd said this “I definitely had to ask myself, ‘Do I try and speak to everyone about modest fashion? Or just stick true to myself and my style?’ Eventually, I chose the latter, because, at the end of the day, it’s my edit. I don’t mean that to sound cocky; I just figured it might as well be my style”. And it is Batal’s need to be true to her aesthetics and style that makes this edit stand out in an authentic and refreshing way!
Why we need more edits like Shahd’s and a diverse range of modest fashion ASOS insiders to boot!
Ultimately, if the goal of this collaboration was to curate modest pieces that are accessible and affordable to Muslim women that make them feel seen, and catered to…then that was reached with this style edit. In fact, this is a moment to reconcile and celebrate as brands like ASOS begin the move away from the lazy approach when targeting the young Muslim population with the same brush stroke and expect them to be happy when a “limited time only” collection is launched. Ya’ll need to do better
Aside from being one of the fastest-growing markets, Islamic-Modest fashion is also on track to be the most lucrative, forecasted to grow 5 percent annually. By 2023, Islamic fashion will reach $361 billion, according to Al Jazeera. With that purchasing power and diverse niche preferences, it is time we see modest fashion catered to in all its beautiful forms, from curve, to petite, staple to high couture and more importantly represented by a diverse range of influencers each given the chance to curate and share their own personal and one of a kind modest fashion sense!