Fashion designers and retailers are taking their inspiration from Ramadan, courting Muslim shoppers with Islam-approved designs.
Armani is providing box of chocolates and alcohol-free honey and date-filled pralines online and at its sweets emporiums, Net-A-Porter featured a Ramadan Edit and Tommy Hilfiger released an 11-piece capsule collection full of more conservative designs.
So why the sudden attention on Muslim shoppers? The New York Times analyzed the “trend” and it all has to do with the influx of Middle Eastern shoppers during the holy month, termed discreetly as “Ramadan rush.”
“Ramadan has long been every big store’s unspoken secret,” said Ed Burstell, the managing director of Liberty of London. Referring to the Net-a-Porter edit, he added, “This is the first time I’ve seen the Ramadan shopper so blatantly profiled.”
Ramadan, which is the holiest month on the Islamic calendar, is a time of fasting and contemplation for Muslims. To end the month-long fasting, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, three days of festivities, where Muslim women spend hundreds on fashion from embroidered caftans to gowns.
While this might be deemed insensitive to target a religious group for purely financial gains, there is no denying that stores see a rise in spending during the month.
“According to a study released last year by the American Muslim Consumer Consortium, of two billion Muslims worldwide, about nine million are in North America. Sabiha Ansari, a consortium founder, puts Muslim spending power in the United States at $100 billion.”
From Monique Lhuillier to Moda Operandi, Ramadan is morphing into the latest shopping holiday for retailers and designers.