September 29, 2020

Saying Goodbye to the Modist

“It was life changing,” Ms. Tagouri said. “I actually really mean that.”

For Ms. Tagouri, who wears hijab, the Modist’s “effortlessly chic” styling ideas were just as important as its inventory of Valentino, Burberry and more. The images inspired her and made her feel proud.

“I had never known of a marketplace or a store where I could wear every single thing, and I didn’t have to think about layering,” she said. “I don’t think anybody will understand that unless they’ve gone through the experience of seeing themselves fully represented for the first time.”

While the Modist was one of the first companies to sell modest options from multiple luxury brands, major e-commerce retailers began adopting the same strategy around the same time, adding full-coverage categories to their websites.

There was a boom in competition for luxury modest shoppers, and the Modist raised millions in funding from investors, including Farfetch. But platforms like Net-a-Porter had more money, name recognition and brands in stock. (Today Net-a-Porter’s Modest Edit, formerly known as its Ramadan Edit, is offered beside the Summer Shop and Kidswear.)

In early April, Ms. Guenez announced the end of the Modist, writing that the economic crisis catalyzed by the coronavirus “has left our young business vulnerable with no option but to cease operating.” Customers were crushed, and so were other Muslim female business owners, who were already feeling anxious about their futures.

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