Let’s talk about a timeless industry that has been making big strides quietly: that’s right, *cue drum roll* the modest fashion industry.
Worth over $240 billion globally, modest fashion is one of the fastest-growing industries. According to recent predictions, Muslim consumer clothing spend is expected to reach $368 billion by 2021, which could be a 51% increase since 2015. Yet, sadly, that market is often ignored by mass media and by most of the fashion industry. That’s not to say there isn’t progress. Recently, Vogue Arabia celebrated champions of modest fashion by featuring 3 hijabi models on its cover.
On another celebratory note, major retailer ASOS just bagged a massive win: its partnership with Verona Collection, titled “The Modest Edit,” just went live.
The Tempest spoke with the founders of Verona Collection in an exclusive interview.
Verona Collection was co-founded by Lisa Vogl and Alaa Ammuss, who later hired Hassan Mawji, a UK native, to serve as the company’s director. Alaa and Lisa, both hijabis themselves, found it difficult to find modest, fashionable, and affordable clothing. In addition to filling their own needs, Verona seeks to help make women feel confident and proud of who they are and how they choose to dress.
“When I was working in the corporate world I realized my talents would be better suited for a creative environment. In 2010 I quit my job to move to Florida and pursue photography at Daytona State College. During the early stages of my career in photography, I discovered the modest fashion industry.
“From there, I began working with modest fashion brand, magazines, and bloggers across the globe but found that modest fashion was hard to find and difficult to afford right here at home. So from there Alaa and I partnered up in 2015 to launch Verona Collection in an effort to make modest fashion more accessible,” recalls Vogl.
What has kept Vogl and her team going, even when times get tough? According to Vogl, it’s their passion to make Verona successful. That has kept them going through all the ups and downs of running a business. She elaborates, “At times, we feel defeated, but we have a strong bond within our company to keep each other motivated and persevere. I’ve learned that every time we fail it’s not the end-all, it’s just a learning experience that can help us grow and become better. ”
As with any startup, there are hiccups on the road.
Vogl explains the challenges they faced along the way: “As a business entering a major retailer, we had to really take a hard look at how we operated. It forced us to improve ourselves in order to compete with major brands. We have a long ways to go but we are continuously improving ourselves.”
“Our partnership with ASOS makes a big milestone for Verona and the modest fashion industry – we’ve carefully curated this collection with ASOS and we’re excited about the opportunities this opens up,” says Mawji in a press release.
So what advice does Vogl have for folks who want to take the plunge and pursue their passion?
“It’s important that you first do all your research,” notes Vogl. “You often want to jump in headfirst, but if you don’t create a strong foundation in the beginning, you’ll be cleaning up the mess later. We made plenty of mistakes but thankfully we’ve learned from them and now focusing on growing our brand every day.”
With that in mind, The Modest Edit is one to definitely check out. It carries twenty-five items, including hijabs, tops, dresses, jumpsuits, coats, and trousers in a range of fun prints and cuts.
We’re so excited to see Verona’s next big move – but, for now, we’re copping a few gorgeous pieces.
Interview lightly edited for length and clarity.