When Gwendolyn Dawan converted to Islam in 1973, she wore a long skirt, a long top and wrapped her hair.

Today, she designs pinstriped suits and ankle-length denim skirts for Muslim women that are modest, yet follow current fashion trends.

“I get a lot of requests from business women for suits with skirts,” said Dawan, who also offers sage green and paisleys in her collection. “Nothing in the Koran says we can’t wear color.

Many Muslim women have always worn designer labels underneath their outer garments.

But now more Muslim women – mostly those who are African American and live in larger cities – are jazzing up their outerwear, too, shattering perceptions that devout means drab. As a result, more designers are catering to them in specialized stores and in runway presentations as sophisticated as the ones held for non-Islamic customers.


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