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‘Modesty has become a macro-trend’: Modist's own-brand fashion

As the market for modest fashion grows, luxury etailer The Modist has launched its own-brand modesty-focused line to meet its customers’ needs.

Layeur by the modist campaign (2)

Luxury fashion etailer The Modist launched in March 2017, aiming to offer fashion-forward modest clothing to an under-served market. Last month, it debuted its first own brand, Layeur, which offers wardrobe staples and seasonal pieces that caters to its modesty-focused customer base. Key pieces include a block-print red and pink silk midi-dress, kimonos and metallic wide-legged trousers. Prices range from £68 for a tank top to £1,190 for a full-length coat and dress co-ordinated set.

The Modist’s fashion and buying director, Sasha Sarokin, talks to Drapers about how to build an own brand and the changing market for modern fashion.

Why now for the launch of Layeur?

There is no time like the present. We had done several years of research [before launching the Modist] around the modest dresser’s appetite for both fashion and function in her wardrobe. We knew that there weren’t many brands speaking specifically to her from a fashion point of view, and we believed The Modist would be a great platform to bring this to her.

Layeur by the modist campaign (17)

What are the challenges in creating an own brand?

The challenge was to strike the right balance between the volume of production and the fashion perspective. Often, it is basics that have a lot of volume, but we wanted to include colours, prints and interesting shapes to create a broader selection for our customers. The launch of Layeur is a significant commitment, so we’ve had to go into it with a healthy amount of confidence.

What will Layeur bring to customers that they can’t find elsewhere in the market?

Our focus is all around fit and fabric to take into consideration the modest dresser’s needs. Fit involves having the right length of hems, necklines and sleeves, not being too fitted in certain places and even ensuring the lengths of tops are the correct proportion, to allow our customer to feel confident wearing it tucked or untucked.

As for fabric, the opacity and the feel is important for a modest dresser, who wants luxurious fabrics that still feel like we’ve got her covered. The designs provide a point of view and make a statement, while still being opaque.

How has the market for modest fashion change since The Modist launched?

Modesty has become a macro trend in fashion. Layering turtlenecks under camisole dresses, maximalist dresses and wearing head-to-toe matching pieces are trends in their own right and they align perfectly with our point of view.

Beyond this, we’ve seen diversity become a hot topic. Inclusivity incorporates modest dressing as well, so there has been a significant momentum behind celebrating modesty as the expression of a woman’s choice and how she wants to dress.

What trends is The Modist expecting for autumn 18?

A key trend for autumn is the 1980s [influence] across all categories. High shine is key – the metallic trend is here to stay. And it’s all about sartorial style and power suiting.

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