Women Undercover – FDSC
The Centre for Fashion Diversity & Social Change (FDSC) at Ryerson University draws on creative fashion mediums to collect, extend, analyze and share research to fuel diversity & social change.
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Women Undercover

Exploring the Intersectional Identities of Muslim Women through Modest Fashion.


The inaugural Modest Fashion Digital Storytelling Workshop was held in The Catalyst at the FCAD Centre for Fashion Diversity and Social Change, January 25-27, 2019. A summary of the workshop and photographs are available here.

Modest Fashion 2 “Revolution or Revival” was held on Tuesday March 12, 2019. A lecture by Romana Mirza was followed by a panel discussion with visionary entrepreneurs immersed in Modest Fashion to discuss the industry’s rapid evolution and its future: Dr. Umar Dar of Tuesday in Love, a cosmetics company offering halal product to the Muslim consumer; Ms. Nadia Ibrahim, founder of modest fashion design label The Wifey Collection; and Ms. Tahira Munir, designer and founder of modest fashion design label Nur by Tahira and The Nur Shop a modest fashion retail store in Ajax. This lecture was brought to you by the Centre for Fashion Diversity and Social Change and the Ryerson School of Fashion in the Faculty of Communication and Design.


Two inaugural Modest Fashion 1 lectures “Is it just a Muslim thing?” and “Modest Fashion – Tradition, Innovation, Subversion” were held and recognized as a step toward expanding Ryerson’s School of Fashion focus on diversity in fashion. The lectures exposed students to the vast influence pop culture has on Modest Fashion and began to explore the intersectional identities of Muslims who choose to dress modestly as prescribed by their faith tradition.

As part of her internship in the graduate MA Fashion program, Romana Mirza completed the analysis and findings report for “the first, most comprehensive study giving voice to modest fashion consumers” (IFDC, 2018). In October 2018 she was quoted in British Vogue on the behavioural habits of modest fashion consumers.

In the fall of 2018, sixteen wardrobe interviews with Muslim women ranging in age from 23 to 73 were conducted. All research participants wear the headscarf and dress modestly and come from a range of cultural backgrounds. The findings from this research will be published in Romana Mirza’s final MRP thesis submission in 2019.

Digital Stories


FCAD Centre for Fashion Diversity & Social Change
Ryerson School of Fashion

Research Team

Romana B. Mirza (romana.mirza@ryerson.ca)
Romana’s graduate research in the School of Fashion at Ryerson is about breaking down growing resentment toward Muslims and the resurgence of society’s need to legislate women’s bodies through the use of arts-based research methods that present new ways of understanding women who choose to dress modestly.