Cultural collision: The branded abaya | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2050-0726
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0734



Conservative Muslim women from the Arabian Gulf region typically wear an all-covering black robe and headscarf, the abaya and shayla. These garments adhere to the Qura-’nic directive to dress modestly and to avoid attracting attention from male strangers. With the enormous profits from oil and natural gas, many Muslim women have engaged in personal expressions of wealth and status through dress for decades, wearing haute couture beneath their abayas. As the region modernizes with education and careers for women, the desire for self-expression has spread to their outer garments and these opportunities have been seized by both regional designers and international couturiers. This article discusses the rise of the branded abaya.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): abaya; couture; covering; designer; hijab; Middle Eastern dress; Muslim; veil
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