Islam is the second-largest religion in Ghana, accounting for about 17% of the total population.
However, the fashion industry has not really thrown light on clothes themed “modesty” as stipulated by the Muslim lifestyle.
The fashion and modelling space most often casts light on all sorts of fashion, without holding priority of the section of the market dabbling in modest wear.
This has created an environment of religious discrimination for models who would like to pursue this path.
That aside, the male Muslim description of clothing is captured in general fashion modelling, making this issue complicated because women were cut out.
Muslim men could model, but the women face challenges and usually will have to go against their religion. The younger Muslim population however is being more experimental with what they wear and how they can break into these spaces.
In a market that is hugely driven by consumer demand, this fresh avenue in modest fashion is an empowering tool for lifestyle and career, as well as a huge chance to create other economic opportunities.
This promising trajectory can develop into a lifelong highlight to the fashion industry and not just a fashion trend.
Shamfiz J Ltd is a company that has taken the forefront at championing this goal in Ghana since 2016. Shamfiz J has been featured in The Mirror (Ghana’s most popular weekly) and the Washington Post and also launched some impressive modelling careers.
In 2019, Shamfiz J brought the first-ever modest fashion show at the prestigious Alisa hotel in Accra, Ghana. The event was titled “Beyond Fashion” to put a spotlight on the demand for conservative fashion and women who have an interest in fashion modelling.
This event gave new opportunities to the Muslims who are in the fashion industry like never before, with modesty going from being associated with religion to being for people’s personal comfort and choice.
The fashion show was heavily subscribed and was featured on BBC Africa, Oroko TV, Nigeria and Africa live CGTN.
Shamfiz J has grown and gained attention from female models and males alike and is grooming kids as well to help them appreciate the beauty of modelling with a lens that includes modest modelling.
With the initiative starting with a personal experience of Hajia Adiza Balal Faila not being able to be a model, she has now been able to create an environment where the youth can have the dream she couldn’t pursue.
This has been able to create interest for people, changing perceptions of others about modelling and creating an avenue where people can earn while embracing their beliefs.
In 2021, Shamfiz J is bringing a modest fashion week culminating with a fashion show and is themed Evolution of Fashion. Shamfiz J is currently operating in Ghana and heavily partnering with businesses in Ghana and beyond to be able to bring their vision of modest fashion closer by grooming models to model confidently in hijabs - on runways and in other capacities which gives designers the opportunities to showcase their talent and works which helps them expand.