One of the most influential Muslims in the world, Muna AbuSulayman is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and media personality, along with being the first Saudi woman to be appointed a UN Goodwill Ambassador.
Muna recently became a lifetime partner of Haute Elan – the leading destination for luxury modest fashion, which aims to make fashion-forward demure clothing more accessible to women across the world.
Positive Luxury caught up with Muna ahead of London Modest Fashion Week to find out more about this growing industry.
Can you tell us a bit about your involvement with the modest fashion industry?
Personally, I prefer the word demure, but I understand why the word “modest” has become more fashionable to use for the style we offer.
I have been dabbling in making demure clothing choices more easily available for women all over the world for the past 11 years, which is what led me to becoming a partner for Haute Elan.
How does Haute Elan curate its brands?
We are very diverse and work with brands from all over the world. Our clients’ tastes are a key consideration.
We continue to search for beautiful items that people will fall in love with and know they can’t easily get anywhere else.
Our clients are mostly from Europe, Middle East and South East Asia, and so each region yearns for different products and items that not easily available to them.
Can you tell us a bit about London Modest Fashion Week?
This is a gorgeous concept that was the brainchild of the Haute Elan team and CEO Romanna Bint-Abubaker. They were looking for ways to help bring demure clothing to the forefront of fashion.
However, we are also adding workshops on incubation and empowerment to help designers understand their business models better, and for them to meet clients and retailers.
London Modest Fashion Week is about giving clients and our designers the chance to gain more information and access to more choices.
How do you think the modest/demure fashion industry will develop in the future?
Recently Debenhams has closed a deal with a demure fashion design house Aab to sell its creations in its stores.
Every single item is a separate fashion piece that can appeal to very diverse and non-Muslim cliental. It is the way you put the items together that can make it a modest fashion or demure fashion statement.
What is your favourite Positive Luxury brand to trust?
I have so many as I love the commitment to finding brands that have great craftsmanship and care about sustainability.
For example, I love how you have Sergio Rossi but also Po-Zu shoes. And you do a 360 approach, so from lifestyle, to fashion, to hotels. A trusted place to find items and brands you will fall in love with.
What luxury indulgence could you not live without?
I love beautifully made objects. And I am very particular about my things. For example, I only use one type of bath loofah, one brand of Dead Sea Salt body gel. So, basically, I can’t live without a lot of things.
Yet when push comes to shove. The only item I can’t live without is my new obsession – replaceable paper Filofax notebooks. You can write notes, and reposition the pages, or take pages out and put new pages in. It’s so versatile and useful. I used to change notebooks every 2 months, now I can go a year. And there’s no need to rewrite important notes from previous notebooks. Pure Genius!