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Macy’s joins Islamic fashion with Verona Collection

Last year, fashion photographer Lisa Vogl joined department-store chain Macy's development programme, The Workshop, which helps businesses owned by women and minorities. Macy’s has now launched the Verona Collection, making it the latest company to try to capture a piece of the lucrative Muslim clothing market.

The Verona collection is now available in stores and online, along with the option of international shipping. Maxi dresses, long tops, hand-dyed hijabs, cardigans and pants are priced from US$12.95 (S$17) to US$84.95.

The collection could help Macy's sales target which has, for years, battled sluggish sales largely due to exponential rise in online discount retailers. In November, Macy revealed that sales had fallen for the 11th consecutive quarter. In 2016, it announced plans to shut around 100 stores.

Data from the latest Global Islamic Economy report states internationally consumers spent US$254 billion in 2016 on Muslim attire and estimates that the market could be valued at US$373 billion by 2022.

Luxury retailers, including Dolce & Gabbana and Burberry as well as companies that specialise in trendy casual wear, like Uniqlo, H&M and Zara have seen the writing on the wall. Last year, Nike released Pro Hijab for Muslim athletes, which is also available on Macy's website; and American Eagle offered customers a limited-edition denim hijab, which sold like hot cakes. Some of these retailers have launched collections targeted at Muslim customers who live in the Middle East and in the US.

Data from a 2014 study by the American Muslim Consumer Consortium report that of two billion Muslims worldwide, about nine million are in North America.

According to the Global Islamic Economy report, Muslim millennials are a powerful and growing economic force that will continue to transform the retail space using digital spending.