Miami Modest Fashion Week (MMFW) is indeed the FIRST Modest Fashion Week in the United States. It is a unique and innovative Modest Fashion week built on ethics, culture, education, and innovation, focusing on fashion, art, and trade. The architect and founder of MMFW is Norsham Mohamed-Garcia, a Malaysian-born and American immigrant for more than 30 years.
Founded in 2019, Miami Modest Fashion Week is based in Miami, a gateway to Latin America, located a few miles from the Caribbean Islands. It is lined with white sandy beaches and has been called the American Riviera, also known as America's Healthiest City.
Miami is a premier world-class business location, the address to 1,300 multinational businesses, where residents speak up to 128 languages, and with the fastest-growing number of women entrepreneurs in the USA. It boasts luxury boutiques, fashion hotels, and designer stores galore as an international center of commerce.
Despite being known as the "city of skin and beach" for Halal travel lovers, Miami is the city to experience during Miami Modest Fashion Week because there are many attractions to enjoy, including the beautiful sandy beaches. Miami is a tourism-friendly place with a built-in scene for every lifestyle, from the rich culinary offerings, the historic Art Deco architecture, the vibrant arts, and the sports and culture scene.
Miami is flourishing in fashion and is the world's cultural capital. Miami's appeal to international retailers has joined the ranks of New York and Los Angeles, especially for European and Latin brands entering the USA market. Miami has become a 24-hour city and is internationally significant, increasingly becoming a must-visit global destination for travelers worldwide.
Norsham stated, "My vision is to create Miami as the Destination Hub for Global Modest Fashion Weeks." At first glance, the concept of a global modest fashion week being forged in Miami seems ironic yet quite amusing. The hallmarks of Miami branding are contrary to the allure and aesthetic of modest fashion.
For both consumers and observers of modest fashion, it has been a long-held assumption that "modest fashion" as an industry is localized to a cultural and social landscape far and outside the mainstream and high fashion. It has been socially synonymous with "Muslim fashion" and, as such, considered to be "dark" and, well, quite boring. Despite the vibrancy of dominant Muslim cultures with the various colorful array and use of layers and materials to adhere to modest customs, the religious connotations with modest fashion stem from orientalist misconceptions. These ideas are without merit if one is immersed within the modest fashion industry.
At the inaugural Miami Modest Fashion Week, international and national designers from Indonesia, Malaysia, France, Morocco, Russia, and the USA, exhibited their collections and showcased the cultural nuances and bold vibrancy of patterns and colors. For instance, Indonesian designer, Jeny Tjahyawati, featured her collection with a street couture x parasol island look. She utilized Miami's natural landscapes for her design inspirations.
The very fact that this intellectual thought process can occur within modest fashion demonstrates how powerful the discourse of how global modest fashion really is. This ongoing education of culture and communal respect lies at the essence of why Norsham decided to transform Miami Modest Fashion Week into a creation beyond just the catwalk. As the MMFW creative director, she always says with strong conviction, "Modest Fashion has a lot of substance. It has a soul."
As written by Stephan Rabimov for Forbes recently, "The thriving $227 billion-dollar market [modest fashion] has cemented its place in the American retail landscape with the inaugural Miami Modest Fashion Week in 2019. Fast forward to 2021. You know a fashion trend has arrived when it is being promoted by the United States diplomatic mission in Italy!"