The Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC) and I have been hard at work for months developing what we believe is one of the most comprehensive and wide-reaching modest fashion consumer insights surveys of its kind. The survey is now officially launched! I encourage all readers to click the image or this link to take the survey and please forward the link along to your friends, family, and networks.

We all know what incredible growth the modest fashion movement, revolution and industry has seen and will continue to see in the years to come. The focus of my work as a researcher is to keep my finger on the pulse of what the modest fashion consumer is thinking, their evaluation of the industry, its brands and the gaps. What is missing? What is needed? What do you love? What is working?

I've developed a special Style Advisory Committee (SAC) made up of modest fashion consumers just like you. Sign up today to continue to influence and be a voice for modest fashion.

To learn more about IFDC's Pret-A-Cover Buyer's Lane event where findings from the survey will be released, click here.

Email me anytime with questions and your comments.

All my best,
#modesty #iammodest #modestrevolution #simplycovered #chichijab #fashionmuslim #modestclothing #modeststyle #modestwear #modestymatters #modestapparel #modestroute #womensfashion #modestdesign #womensclothing #difineyourself #PreACoverBuyersLane #IFDC

YOU STEPPED UP!  You have vision, tenacity and you are doing it!  You may have launched your business, it's an idea you're still perfecting or you're well on your way.

It's time now for US to step up for you.

In partnership with the International Modest Fashion and Design Festival, difine yourself by Romana Mirza have come together to develop this short survey to understand your needs - the modest fashion entrepreneur.

At around 1:30 pm on Saturday Aug 26 at the IMFDF Romana will be giving a talk titled "She's the Boss" many of the topics in the survey will be covered in this short workshop.

What we are looking for is you, the modest fashion entrepreneur, to provide us with information on what you need.  We can't read your mind so please tell us what is on your mind?

Help us help you.  You've stepped up, let us step up and help you!

We will provide programming and content to support you on your enterpreneurial journey in the areas of marketing/pr/branding, operations, production, business management, finance & accounting, merchandising, distribution and so much more - tell us what you need and let's do this together!

Fill out the survey right here:

Use the links below to share this post widely.

It's just a few weeks away, don't miss Toronto's 4th Annual International Modest Fashion and Design Festival (IMFDF).

I have the great pleasure of heading up media relations for this amazing show.  We have put together a comprehensive digital media kit with all our releases, background info, and photography.  All our media relations work would not be possible without our amazing summer intern from Guelph/Humber's journalism program Ms Haafizah Khaderoo.

Below are some of Haafizah's videos from last year's show - take a sneak peek here:




WSGN recently published a blog posting on sustainable fashion reporting that sales of sustainable fashion has increased by 19% so far in 2017.  It names a few brands that has lauched sustainable collections, among them Mango and Zara.

In the book Generation M, about modern Muslim consumers who live a life that mixes modernity with faith, there is discussion about this growing demographics' demand for tayyab, or ethically-made product.  The question is how intense the demand is for sustainability in modest fashion.  In a survey that the International Fashion and Design Council (IFDC) is releasing in the coming days, we've asked this question.

The survey is the first of its kind targeting modest fashion consumers to understand their needs, frustrations and desires when it comes to dressing modestly.

I'll keep you posted on the results here.

Oh, and by the way, the WSGN posting featured this image which I thought was a great addition to any modest fashion wardrobe.

from: Manog's Committed sustainable collection.

A book about the young influential generation of Muslims worldwide, Generation M, talks about the spread of Gulf culture in

"the latter part of the twentieth century...signs include the proliferation among Muslim women around the world of the Gulf style of dressing, such as abayas and black clothing."  

It's true, I've seen women from many Muslim-majority countries abandon their own cultural dressing norms to adopt the flowing long coat, abaya, and wear black, when in their own lifetime wearing black was seen to be outright dreadful.

Sies Markjan F/W 16
WSGN recently posted a great piece on fashion brands at the forefront of incorporating colour into their collections. Among them Sies Marjan, Finery and Rejina Pyo. All these collections featured silhouettes suitable for the modest fashion customer. In particular I loved this Sies Marjan blue and lilac combination.

Modesty and colour, do you think they mix well together?

#modestfashion #modesty #fashionandcolor #modestrevolution #fashionista #modeststyle #modestwear #modestdesign #modestapparel #modestyroute #stylish #colour #color #fashiondiaries #fashionstyle #style #trend #fashionpost #designer #fashionable #trendy #chic #modestchic #design #greatdesign

The Islamic Fashion & Design Council (IFDC) is pleased to announce its recently recruited Senior Researcher, Romana Mirza. On behalf of IFDC, Ms. Mirza will lead, speak on, and present modest fashion research findings on a global scale. IFDC Chairwoman, Alia Khan, states, “We are very excited to welcome Romana. We are always seeking talented individuals to help us in our quest to advance the industry. I believe she will make a wonderful asset to our mission.”

Ms. Mirza has been in the marketing and branding business for thirty years. Her background entails running a brand strategy firm, developing proprietary products, conceiving innovative events and launching international brands in design-related industries such as architecture, interior design and furniture. A researcher and brand strategist, her work involves conducting research and providing insights to support entrepreneurs, consumers and media within the modest fashion industry. She also manages a blog, providing insightful content discussing trends, brands and marketing topics.

According to Ms. Mirza, “The modest fashion industry is burgeoning with no slow-down in sight. Objective research, analysis and reporting is needed to understand and support this industry and its growth. There is limited information and understanding about the modest fashion market's scope and potential. My plan is to optimize this work through my role at IFDC.”

Furthermore, starting in September, Ms. Mirza will be joining a select group of students in Ryerson University’s, Faculty of Communication and Design, School of Fashion as she has been awarded the highly competitive Ryerson Graduate Fellowship to pursue her Master of Arts in Fashion. Surprisingly, Ryerson University is the only university in Canada to provide a Masters in a fashion discipline, making this a very unique opportunity for Ms. Mirza. Here, she will be able to conduct research for various courses, academic pursuits, and her graduating thesis: Fashion, Feminism, Modesty and a Woman's Right to Choose. Her research topic not only sparked the interest of the program’s director, affirming its relevance to today’s cultural climate, but it also further compelled IFDC Chairwoman, Alia Khan to offer Ms. Mirza her senior appointment at IFDC.

Ms. Mirza’s first point of focus for IFDC will be the upcoming release of the first consumer insights survey regarding modest fashion. To learn more about the market, Ms. Mirza has assembled the first survey of its kind addressing much needed answers surrounding modest brands, shopping habits, and demands. The modest fashion industry is undergoing a steep growth, yet industry players are still lacking the information they need to pursue consumer objectives. This survey will significantly help IFDC and its industry players understand the modest fashion market and solve the many mysteries surrounding it.
Also follow Romana Mirza on Instagram @rbmirza and Twitter @romana_mirza

About IFDC
Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC) is the world’s leading modest fashion and design council representing the Islamic economy and its stakeholders. IFDC, a leading advocate for Islamic fashion, art and design professionals and aspiring talent, has an array of products, services, and effective training programs for all levels. Our platform is designed to ensure the success of Islamic fashion and design in the global marketplace as we facilitate the industry players in accessing the vast growth potential. IFDC aligns itself with leading and budding mainstream and Islamic fashion and design brands, government organizations, institutions, corporations, media, global conferences, events, and fashion weeks to ensure a powerful, sustainable and supportive presence. With our headquarters in NYC, IFDC currently has offices in 10 countries and continuously growing. For more information please visit, or contact us at for details regarding IFDC events and/or media opportunities.

I am in Pasadena, CA this week and lectured at the Art Center School of Design yesterday to a Brand Strategies class that is taught by Sherry Hoffman of M)Arch, a firm that specializes in branded architecture.

Over lunch we were talking about our experiences with the creative process when developing visual identities and how different graphic designers' approaches can be. Some designers have an incredibly strong intuitive sense for what will work, their experience and this design sense launches them to a solution immediately. On the other hand there are designers who, even though their intuition is guiding them, work more collaboratively and allow their client to be integrated into the design thinking process.

In my work I engage in a creative process that leads to a brand strategy. After doing all my research and interviews I have a strong idea of what an organization's IDEAL strategy and positioning should be for its brand. I can present this and feel very confident of its success, if executed in the spirit of the strategic approach. Or, I can bring the client along with me on the journey. Sure we will hit crossroads along the way, have heated debates...and the end result will not be what my intuition and deep experience would have lead us...but there is a difference, a few big differences in the two approaches. I have lived 20 years as a client and experienced both the intuitive-design approach and the collaborative approach. This is how it felt to me as a client.Perhaps that collaborative process won't get the absolutely ideal result. What it will deliver is a collaborative team effort that everyone is bought into. Everyone is on board and that momentum will drive even greater success in the execution. After all a great design or a great strategy is nothing without the execution.

There is a lot of discussion about brand authenticity. A lot of money being spent on trying to figure out the most authentic message. What I feel is happening in much of this discussion is losing sight of where authenticity begins. It begins with the core values of an organization, its culture and the principles it was founded on. When what you are saying on the outside doesn't match what you are on the inside, well, that's not authentic.

What is wrong with these pictures?







What are you feeling after seeing these pictures and words? Do you trust the message? The words used to communicate to the outside don’t match we clearly see is on the inside. Now let's see what happens when you have that inside/outside match established.



You trusted the words this time, right? It's because now you can feel that inside/outside match. When that match exists it makes sense.

This is what it feels like to a client, consumer or customer when what you are saying to the outside matches who are on the inside. That's authenticity.

Authentic is who you are on the inside.

Authentic is your values, your dreams and the principles upon which your company operates.

A brand should not be about the most hip, cool or sexy campaign because that's the latest trend in advertising. If you're company and your culture is meaningful, skilled and approachable, a hip, cool and sexy campaign will not build trust with anyone. A campaign that authentically reflects what you are on the inside will build trust and trust breeds success.

Revealing your authentic self is critical to brand success. It is that simple. The hard part is knowing who you are.

Finding Creativity: Clive PiercyFinding Creativity is a guest posting series where I invite people to explore how they find creativity in the world. In November 2008 we hear from creative professionals: industrial design, fashion design, writing and graphic design.

I'm pleased to introduce Clive Piercy who is based in Santa Monica, California. Please tell us, what is your design profession and the major focus of your work?
I am primarily a graphic designer and creative director. After 20 years running a medium-sized design office, I came to the conclusion that small is good and opened Air Conditioned, with a view to working with the kind of clients that I feel best suited to: creative companies, on projects large and small, with people I get on well with and respect. That last point is very important to me.

When you look for inspiration where do you go to find it?
This is a bit like the question I get asked by students more than any other..."where do you get your ideas from...?" My life and work are inextricably linked, there is no distinction between the two, and I am interested in all of the pure and applied arts: architecture, film, fashion, painting, photography, writing and music. I say all, but to be honest I'm not big on poetry and I struggle with modern dance. I have difficulty taking it seriously. It's the tights! I think it important to give yourself the best chance to be creative or productive, by engineering the right kind of work environment, surrounding yourself with beautiful objects, listening to stimulating music, eating great food and generally not getting too uptight about things. After 30 years I'm beginning to believe that I can actually do this for a living. Funnily enough, I don't look at a lot of other graphic design, I prefer the influence to come from a more distanced perspective... that's why I read a lot. Words force you to make up your own pictures.
When you think of venturing out to find creativity in the world where do you think of going?
I love lateral thinking. Something that you are familiar with represented in a new way. I work unashamedly in the mainstream, but I try not resort to mainstream solutions. Wit and humor feed my soul, and I love things that look effortless. Of all the artists and designers that I look up to, Paul Smith, Tibor Kalman, Tim Hawkinson, Underworld, Philippe Starck, Bruce Weber for example, the vast majority of them can be characterized by the fact that even though they produce profound work, it is clear that the element of play is never forgotten, and is often close to the surface in their work. I try to do that too.
What have you always wanted to redesign or recreate, and why?
I love product design, but I don't have the patience for it. Making a change to a design and then having to wait for months to see the results drives me nuts, and I cannot do it. I also love football (soccer to you...) and I think I could make improvements in the team outfits that they wear, along with the graphics and insignia. My dream job would be to redesign the identity for a major cultural institution that I have a deep affection for... perhaps the BBC or the National Trust in England, and over here maybe the.... can't think of any over here in the U.S., maybe NPR... though they don't appear to have much regard for good design.

Name something we can do to expose ourselves to something outside of our worlds, outside of the bubbles and environments we inhabit?
Well, "exposing ourselves to.... " is easy. But I don't think that's the point at all. It's much more important to know the difference between looking and seeing. And to love what you do. To conduct a dialogue with yourself, and to indulge in the act of introspection. To act with grace and consideration, and try to look on the bright side. I always say that doing all that miserable-looking, angst-ridden work is easy... try doing work that brings joy to peoples' lives. That's MUCH harder. Laughing helps, too.

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