Grazia's love letter to The Modist

The fashion world mourns as the first modest luxury online retailer makes an elegant exit
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Grazia's love letter to The Modist

The Modist launched on International Women's Day on 8 March 2017

All of us at Grazia Middle East are devastated to learn that The Modist has become the latest victim of COVID-19. In an emotional post on Instagram, its formidable founder Ghizlan Guenez revealed, "I am sad to share that the brand and business that we built with so much passion, hard work and perseverance is closing its virtual doors. Unfortunately, while our plans and position were quite different only weeks ago, the global pandemic crisis that hit the world shifted our position entirely and rendered our young business very vulnerable, which left us with no choice but to cease operating and close down." 

Ghizlan Guenez, Founder of The Modist

She admitted, "As an entrepreneur, you start a business with explosive optimism, passion, excitement and a clear vision of where you want to go with your idea. You don’t however truly plan for a day when you see the 'lights switch off'. But when you start a business with a purpose like The Modist, which was built on values of celebrating women’s choices, diversity and inclusion, breaking stereotypes and putting a stick in the ground in the space of modesty, you find solice in the fact that while the business no longer exists, its impact is everlasting and the conversations that it created will have played a role in changing mindsets."

Among those expressing their sadness included Libyan American journalist and activist Noor Tagouri who commented, "Thank you for seeing us in a way no business ever has." And The Modist muse Maha Gorton remarked, "It was truly such a pleasure to work with The Modist and the incredible team that made it all happen. Ghizlan Guenez created something that was not just a retail platform. The Modist celebrated diversity, female empowerment and broke stereotypes for modest fashion. The virtual doors may have closed but the legacy will certainly live on."

Grazia Middle East Editor-in-Chief Alison Tay adds, "The Modist didn't invent modest fashion, however what it did was position it in the luxury space, demystify it, and allow it to speak to the world in a language it could understand. With designers such as Mary Katrantzou and Roland Mouret carefully adapting pieces exclusively for the discerning modest dresser, The Modist became a global ambassador for the modesty movement in the mainstream fashion landscape. An international fashion magazine is only as relevant as the scene that surrounds it. The Modist helped put us all on the map. Thank you to Ghizlan Guenez and your incredible team for such a meaningful contribution to the fashion conversation. Your impact rocked the world. And your light will never go out." 

Photos: Courtesy of The Modist