Mango began catering to Muslim customers with a Ramadan-focused collection last month, Uniqlo teamed up with Muslim fashion designer and blogger Hana Tajima on a chic yet appropriately conservative collection around this time last year, and in January Dolce and Gabbana made headlines unveiling a collection of hijabs. So yes, it’s safe to say brands are looking to capitalize on the fact that not every woman who sweats it out at the gym wants to do so in a tiny Ivy Park sports bra and skin-tight bike shorts—despite what Instagram might have you believe.
Now, there’s Veil, a stylish, modest activewear collection that appeals directly to what founder Ahmad Ghanem thinks is a “huge” market of women who are conservative or religious—and fit. “It’s a huge market. You’ll notice a lot of big fashion brands moving into the modest world and some even releasing exclusive collections that cater to modest consumers. Athletic brands haven’t really got the gist of it yet so we’re proud to put our foot forward first.” The startup clothing company has raised nearly $16,000 of its $26,000 goal on Kickstarter, and the line is available to preorder right now with prices ranging from $49 to $59.
As you could probably imagine, there aren’t a ton of options available to fit women who are both conservative and fashion-minded, which is why Veil’s 23-year-old founder decided to fill the gap. “We noticed the scarcity of options available for women, especially with sportswear,” Ghanem told us, adding that while there are existing sportswear options for women who are conservative or religious, the existing choices usually involve buying two or three sizes too large, or shopping in the men’s section. “Anybody can make modest attire, but we wanted to differentiate ourselves by giving that athletic, flashy, stylish vibe to complement the coverage. Nobody should have to sacrifice one for the other,” Ghanem added.
So far, the company has designed a zip-up sweater and a hoodie, and while your regular Lululemon or Adidas line might focus just on style or function, Veil also has to consider whether the garment is conservative enough for modest women. This means including coverage panels in the front and back, and designing a scuba hood that will replace a headscarf and won’t fall off. “When it came down to sizing, we had to work with a middle-ground mentality and create something that isn’t so tight, yet isn’t so loose,” Ghanem said, adding that the tops will be available in sizes ranging from XS to 3XL.
Next up, Veil’s looking at designing a swimwear collection in the same vein, but for now the focus is on raising the final $10,000 of its Kickstarter goal.