A model poses for a photographer during a fashion photo session on September 6, 2016, in Istanbul.
/ AFP / GURCAN OZTURK
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Istanbul is positioning itself to be a hub in this nascent industry, which according to the Dubai-based Islamic Fashion and Design Council could be worth almost $500 billion within decades.It offers more than 30,000 products – from casual tunics to shiny evening wear to sports gear, shoes and accessories – from 300 brands and ships to 75 countries.In May, Istanbul hosted its first conservative fashion week at the historic Haydarpasa train station to showcase a rapidly growing market.It was organized by Franka Soeria from Indonesia, another center for Islamic clothing. As a global consultant on modest fashion trends, she decided three and a half years ago to move to Istanbul – whose position straddling Europe and Asia, some say, gives it an edge. At the start of the year, legendary Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana launched their first line of hijabs and abayas – some extravagantly patterned – for Muslim customers in the Middle East.In the conservative Fatih quarter of Istanbul, Islamic fashion stores line the streets, which are awash with billboards advertising modest styles.Not all Turkish Muslims like the trend, and see fashion as a Western tool aimed at turning Muslim women into consumer-oriented spenders.Hakan Yildiz, professor of political science at Istanbul's Bosphorus University, said Islamic fashion stores were clearly proliferating in Turkey.
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