Monday, April 23, 2012

'Replica' Designer Abayas

Everyone likes having nice things or at least to look at nice things but the truth is that not everyone can afford expensive designer brands, for those that cant afford the top names but still feel the need to have them for whatever reason they make 'replicas' which are made to resemble the original top dollar product but at a fraction of the price.

But wait... why do replica abayas even exist? Its because there are designer and luxury abayas that can cost up to thousands of dollars. Where is the modesty in that? 

We all know the story of Hind Beljafla one of the creators of Das Collection Abayas and her public statements about Kim Kardashian during her trip to Dubai last year in which she gave Kim a Das Collection Abaya to wear during her stay but when Kim did not show up at any of her scheduled appearances wearing the gift, Hind got so upset she wrote a post on her blog slamming Kim and saying she should never have been welcomed to Dubai! You can read more about it here in Front Row Mode Dubai's great article on the subject. My point for including this story in my post is that Hind's actions were done for self promotion and although she does create some very beautiful abayas this is not how anyone who is creating any type of religious garment to be used for the sake of modesty should act in public.  I am not a Kardashian fan myself and I do not believe she should be seen as a role model, especially by young girls in any part of the world, but this proves the point that some things are only done for the sake of fashion and not for covering your body in a proper way. 

Das is not the only high priced designer of abayas they are just the most well known since their collections can be bought at the Harrod's department store in London and Saks Fifth Avenue Dubai. There are numerous brands adding their own twists and styles to the garment. Some designs look more like evening gowns and some are even inspired by Lady Gaga and have big spiky shoulder pads. Although Das and the other expensive abaya brands design and create beautiful abayas and dresses out of luxury fabrics I would not spend my money on an abaya that is that expensive! Some may argue that it is because I do not have taste in fashion, that I do not understand the prestige of wearing such a garment or that I'm being too closed minded but the truth is I for me I would not feel comfortable wearing things like this because of how much they cost. 

You see, with the luxury abayas comes a social prestige and therefore it creates divides within the women and they start to judge each other by what brands they wear, where they bought it and how much the abaya costs. Branded abayas usually have a symbol sewn somewhere onto the garment to let others know which designer you are wearing. A public display of vanity! 

I love half of this abaya! I love the big sleeve and drapery on and matching trim around the sleeve and shayla but what I do not love is the tight belt on the opposite side that i believe is too form showing, no one needs to now how tiny your waist is! Also around her knee area you can see the designers brand label on display on the *outside* of the garment so everyone and their mama can know what brand you are wearing.

I do not know if replica abayas have the brand logos on them of the designer they are mimicking but they are created to look just like the brand name ones but with using cheaper materials  and the patterns are made from studying photos of the original designs. I see the replicas selling online for hundreds of dollars each abaya. The replicas are reinforcing the community divides by showing that people will pay good money to have something thats a copy of a luxury item, and they in turn will look down on girl who cant afford or don't want a replica of a designer abaya and label the cheaper abayas these girls wear as souq abayas because souqs always sell affordable abayas that anyone could buy that start at around $14 and go up.

Besides making replicas of abayas made by luxury brands they also make abayas that have the logos of well known fashion designers such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. I believe that these types are also a public display of vanity, these brand names have no business being printed or sewn onto a garment that is supposed to be used for modesty. 

So what do you think? Do you believe these things contradict the point of having a modest over garment such as the abaya are or these things jus a way for ladies to express themselves regardless of price tags? 

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