High-end fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, known for its body-hugging designs, has debuted its first collection for Muslim women.
It features hijabs (which cover the head) and abayas (which cover the body). Designer Stefano Gabbana offered a glimpse of the pieces on his Instagram account this week.
The designs were met with mixed reviews — some commenters praised the collection but questioned why models of colour weren’t used; others criticized the pieces for being “oppressive.”
D&G’s foray into the Muslim market comes at a time when Islamophobia has increased. Since the terror attacks in Paris, a number of hijab-wearing Muslim women have been attacked.
But it also comes on the heels of a 2015 report by Thomson Reuters that forecast a growing demand from Muslim shoppers. They’re expected to spend $484 billion on clothing and footwear by 2019, up from $266 billion in 2013.
According to Fortune, Pew Research also predicted that the number of Muslims in the world will equal that of Christians by 2050, and will pack impressive purchasing power.
D&G is not the only one to begin catering to the demand. Last year, H&M made news when its campaign included Muslim model Mariah Idrissi clad in a hijab.
DKNY was reportedly the first major label to spot the demand in the Muslim fashion market, according to Marie Claire. Tommy Hilfiger and Zara are among the others.
The positive publicity D&G’s new pieces have garnered on various fashion sites is in stark contrast to the controversy the label faced last year.
The two D&G designers, who are gay and formerly were a couple, came under fire for their surprisingly conservative comments, which appeared to criticize same-sex parents and the use of in vitro fertilization.
Elton John, whose two children were conceived by in-vitro fertilization, was among those to call for a boycott of the designers.
Here’s a closer look at traditional Muslim garb: