Islamic Boutique: A Trend-Setter in Modest Clothing

A relatively new shopping outlet is quietly revolutionizing the idea and practice of Islamic clothing for women. Commencing operations nearly six years ago, the Islamic Boutique has fast caught on the imagination of Muslim women opting for Islamic clothing in Bangalore and beyond, writes AMATUL HAKIM who recently visited the Boutique showrooms in the city.



ith consumerism on the rise, and fashion trends being set day in and day out, the Islamic clothing too have kept up with the race. Be it the shops dotting the narrow crowded allies of the cities or that in the posh high end malls, of an oil-rich country, Islamic clothing has always attracted the Muslim women all over the world. One such upscale Islamic boutique located amidst hustle bustle of Frazer town, in Bangalore city is the ‘Islamic Boutique.’

Since the time it started in 2007, it has been catering to the needs of Muslim and non-Muslim women alike. While Muslim women shop for Abayas, jilbabs, hijabs, khimars, stoles and shawls, the non-Muslim women throng the shop for rare Arabian incense, costume jewelry and fashion accessories.

After having a chance to correspond with the design coordinator of the boutique, I learnt that Arabian style kaftans are in vogue with colorful hijabs. These Abaya kaftans require a lot of fabric which gives it elegance. However, the shop has a vast collection of Abayas, jilbabs, khimars and hijabs to choose from, they have Arab Abayas, simple straight cut conventional Abayas, Iranian coats, three-fourth knee length dress Abayas, light weight shalalas, regular kaftans etc. Islamic clothing has evolved with time.

What makes this boutique different is its influx of contemporary and ethnic (Indian) hand work with traditional Arabian patterns. The hand work comprises of thread work and fancy gem studded designs. They have a complete in house production with a team of designers and artisans who make the apparels as per the modern styles. This production unit imports the fabric from countries like Egypt, Malaysia, and Dubai to name a few.

Customers come from every corner of Bangalore, as many Muslim women prefer investing more on the external outfits like Abayas and jilbabs, than on their regular suites. These designer Abayas are also a good attraction, and an encouragement for the young Muslim women, who are fashion conscious, to wear and adapt themselves to the Islamic way of modest clothing.

The cost of these Abayas and jilbabs ranges from Rs.1500/- for simple ones, and Rs.6000/- to Rs.7000/- for Arabian patterns with thread work on it. The extravagant Abayas cost about Rs.15,000/- each. The boutique also carries other fashion accessories like hijab pins, brooches and hand bags to match with the Abayas.

The owner of this boutique, Junaiz Kizhakkayil, is also the proprietor of a group of hotels in India and abroad. Venturing into garment business was a different experience for Junaiz; he was inspired by the Middle Eastern Islamic Clothing shops initially. He envisioned linking the Middle Eastern traditions with the Indian Muslims, thus came into existence the ‘Islamic Boutique’ showrooms. He chose Bangalore to start with, the city being a cosmopolitan hub. Now the boutique has quite a few branches in Bangalore and Erode, in Tamil Nadu. He, however, intends to expand this business of his further, by having franchise all over India.

Revolutionizing the modest clothing, but well within the Islamic norms, is precisely the purpose of Islamic Boutique.

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