Mall of Abayas -Dubai’ – A Story behind the Luxury modest clothing brand by ‘Afra Shabeeb’

The arrival of modest fashion on runways around the world appeared to be a focal event amidst the flourishing fashion industry. Eventually, many brands are starting to accept modest-dressing customers, and a growing trend in this regard is without question. With 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, it includes consumers who dress virtuously for religious and cultural reasons as well as those who dress modestly for aesthetic reasons. Luxury brands have ample opportunities in the modest fashion market, and ‘Mall of Abayas’ by Afra Shabeeb is one such brand on the buzz since 2016 as one of the trending Muslim modest clothing brands in Dubai.

Modesty, as promoted by a lot of fashion gurus, became something that appealed to a broad audience of women, prompting Afra Shabeeb to start her journey as an entrepreneur on social media platforms and through a WhatsApp group. It’s difficult to believe how The Mall of Abayas began with humble beginnings six years ago and have since expanded their wings to nations such as India, Sri Lanka, the GCC countries, African countries, and Europe through internet retailing. No doubt, every business has to start from the scratch, and the success of Mall of Abayas goes with an old proverb “started from the bottom, now we are here!”.

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Afra shared her journey in a crux. “Initially we started taking orders via WhatsApp and the response came out to be overwhelming that instilled confidence in us to proceed ahead. Realizing the demand for the product of Mall of Abayas, we achieved greater heights from our first shipment from UAE which paved the path to international shipping in the US, UK, Canada, GCC and other African countries. My husband Shabeeb Muhammed as a brainchild who helped me with Digital marketing strategies to create an online presence of our brand ‘Mall of Abayas’ globally through social media marketing, events, exhibitions, and sponsorships that eventually turned out to be a triumph. As the inquiry for a physical store/outlet started pouring in we took another step ahead by setting up our store at Perinthalmanna, a fast growing city in Kerala. We resorted to ramp shows and musical events as a means of promotion and the response was immensely phenomenal. Now we have two more stores in two evolving cities like Kannur and Manjeri” says Afra.

Covid 19 Pandemic, like other enterprises, had a significant impact on the growth of Mall of Abayas during its heyday. For Mall of Abayas, it was initially smooth for two months, but as time passed, the virus had no signs of fading away anytime soon, and fear began to rise, just as it had impacted other businesses. However, it’s online presence was a key factor in aiding them to overcome this difficult period, as they embraced social media marketing and online store delivery, which helped them catapult sales of new designs in luxury, everyday wear and modest collections at budget-friendly pricing.

“By implementing online selling, we were able to add online delivery for the products already available at all the stores as well,” Afra continues, “which had finally helped sustain the business without much loss even when many others in the field were severely impacted.” The pandemic’s first year has come and gone but the people had begun to cope up and live within the pandemic limits by that time. Indeed, the market was severely impacted, and many enterprises were forced to close. Fortunately, we were able to successfully navigate this critical phase by employing the appropriate measures and tactics while keeping current market trends and client needs in mind. We can now properly execute both online and offline operations at the same time.”

Needless to say, the Covid 19 outbreak appears to be continuing in India, and as the instances in UAE began to decline, Mall of Abayas concentrated on marketing in UAE. It was the icing on the cake when they received overwhelming feedback from influencers when they promoted the brand as one of their personal favourites. Afra and her staff take delight in sharing their motivation to give top-notch products and services to their customers, and this has reportedly proven to be their greatest strength.

Businesses struggled to make ends meet during the Covid 19 Crisis, as was the case for Mall of Abayas which struggled to offer shipment on time during the initial period of the lockdown. Business strived to overcome this difficulty owing to constant flight cancellations, which eventually delayed product delivery for months. Even during this difficult phase, Afra is very proud to express her clients’ incredible support and immense affection for being so kind and understanding, as if they were family, in helping her conquer this enormous challenge.

“Our dear clients’ ongoing support and continued trust in us as individuals and as a business, drives our ever-growing limits to toil harder and serve them in the best way forever,” Afra Shabeeb concludes.