LCF Class of 2022: Rimsha Hasan discusses Modest Fashion
Next in our series of conversations with London College of Fashion BA graduates, Rimsha Hasan from BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising shares details about her project, her inspirations and her views on modesty in fashion.
Please introduce yourself and say a bit about your creative practice.
My name is Rimsha Hasan. I have recently completed my degree in BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising from London College of Fashion. I am quite passionate about the buying aspect of my degree as I love a more creative approach to things in the fashion industry hence why, I also run a blog on Instagram.
Can you tell us a bit about your project and inspirations?
Modest by Mango started from identifying a gap in the market in relation to modest fashion. The modest fashion industry is a booming market and catering to the modest consumers is a good business opportunity which I wanted to highlight through my project.
My project was catered to SS23 and the main reason behind this is because modest consumers struggle with finding clothes that cover the body, are loose fitting with longer hemlines and longer sleeves. I really wanted to create a collection for modest fashion consumers that would be breathable and modest without having to layer garments, and that's exactly what I did with lighter colours. The inspiration behind this collection is very earthy, rustic. I've also done fabric research to ensure that there is breathable fabric included in this collection, such as linen, cotton, polyester, nylon.
My idea behind this project was to ensure that there is more representation of modest fashion on the high street market.
What impact do you hope this project will have?
Through this project I wanted to raise awareness of the incorporation of modest fashion in mainstream high street brands. My goal was to highlight the effectiveness of incorporating modest fashion into their collection.
Why did you choose to focus on modest fashion?
I am a modest fashion consumer myself. I like to shop in that category and as much as it was a project to highlight inclusivity within high street fashion, it was very personal to me, an opportunity to showcase how modest fashion can be targeted to modest fashion consumers like myself.
I have seen the struggles of finding modest clothing on the high street, therefore I am highly passionate about this topic, and it gave me a chance to showcase my passion in my final project.
What does modesty in fashion mean to you?
Modesty is very subjective to whatever religion or culture that you come from, and for me, modesty means covering up the entire body but still making it look fashionable. In this sense it is longer sleeves, longer hemlines, something that's more loose fitting, oversized. That is my terminology of modest fashion, and that's exactly what I've highlighted in my project as well because that’s something that is very personal to me and more towards my religion and what my religion asks of me.
Do you have any specific modest fashion brands or designers that inspire you?
H&M has been really good with releasing modest fashion during Eid and Ramadan this year especially, so that is something I’ve looked into in terms of seeing modest fashion competition on the high street. Also, ASOS does modest fashion very well. They have a whole modest fashion section and it is quite nice to look at and refreshing that they have catered to such a niche market.
Most of the brands that I look for are small-owned modest fashion businesses, because they are more exclusive and they cater to modest fashion consumers individually, so each piece is very different.
From your research, and experience as a consumer, what do you think are some of the misconceptions about modest fashion?
If women in Islam cover up and are fully clothed, I think one of the common misconceptions is that they are oppressed or they're forced to cover up. But we do it willingly. It's not something that someone has imposed on us or forced us to do. From a very young age it is something that that is instilled in us. It is something that's taught to us and that's what we grew up with. Wearing, for example, shorts or miniskirts or sleeveless t-shirts is not something that's been instilled in us from a very young age. I just want to clear up this misconception - Muslim women choose modesty. I do modest fashion out of passion and love.
What excites you the most about stepping into the fashion industry?
I think one of the biggest reasons why I'm so passionate about the fashion industry is because it is ever changing. There is constant newness, creativity, and innovation which makes it the most exciting industry to step into. It is ever advancing and no one day is the same. I think there are a lot of creative minds in the fashion industry, and that's exactly what we need in in a world where creativity is thriving because of the upcoming generations.
What are you hoping to do next?
Since I've just got my degree, I'm looking to get a job as a buyer’s admin assistant – for the purpose of saving up and investing in my own business, which I am looking to open up in the next two to three years. That's my long-term plan – I want to concentrate on modest fashion because of how niche market it is.