Festive seasons are periods that have a great impact on businesses in Ghana. It could be a positive or negative impact depending on the state of the economy. But in most cases, a festive season means an increase in sales. Businesses boom mostly within this time specifically weeks before the exact day of celebration. The sales of goods, especially clothes and other fashion accessories, cannot be overlooked. With few days to end Ramadan, the festival for fast breaking, Eid Ul Fitr, celebrated by Muslims is approaching and the question of what to wear on the special occasion may still be running in the minds of many. Muslims on the day of Eid are supposed to be in the best of their clothing as they meet and pray in congregation. Prophet Mohammed was known to have worn his best cloak for both Eidul Adha and Eid Ul Fitr. Many Muslims therefore celebrate by dressing their best on Eid. most especially ladies.
Every culture has it style of what is best in terms of clothing but Eid celebrations include different cultural groups in the same gathering, so people wear outfits that are generally considered a Muslim culture. Over the years the trend in Eid dresses worn by ladies have not remained the same. African prints used to be the trend. Most ladies wore traditional African prints exhibiting proudly their roots and religion. The competition lay within the style of the dress. Questions of whose style is nicer and who “rocked” the style better were what mattered most. With time, brocade (shada) and lace fabrics joined the trend. These materials came in different qualities and the ones with the most quality cost the highest. Of course no lady wanted to wear a brocade or a lace fabric worth less than what most people wore and no lady wanted to also wear anything different from the trending materials worn by everyone. Later, cloaks (Abaaya) which had already been in the system, became the fashion trend for Eid celebrations. Different Abaayas with various designs took over and more people were purchasing it as well for Eid celebrations. All the three fabrics and the Abaaya have been used and are still being used simultaneously on Eid days.
The trends have created a fashion competition among some ladies in Muslim communities. Every lady wants to wear the best of Abaaya, the best lace or the best brocade or African print fabric. Despite the fact that these trends create a fashion challenge among ladies, It is also more of a benefit to traders who are into fabrics. Sales usually go up for most of these traders and more people go into the sale of fabrics as a result, especially within a few weeks or months to eid celebrations. The selling of these fabrics have therefore become very common in Muslin communities. In the Zongos for instance, there are countless shops that are into the sale of lace, brocades and African print fabrics as well as Abaayas.
It however seem like Abaaya is taking over the market lately especially in the upcoming Eid-Ul-Fitr. Memes and posts on social media regarding Eid dresses are focused on Abaayas. Aside that the number of people going into the sale of Abaaya keep increasing day in day out. The Abaayas are mostly imported from Turkey, Egypt and Dubai making their prices very high. There have been instances where Muslim ladies have complained about how expensive Abaayas are but that has not changed the rate at which it is being purchased especially for Eid. It is not just a competition between those who buy the Abaayas, but it is also a competition among the sellers as well. Every Abaaya seller has to make an extra effort to show some uniqueness in what they sell since most people are into the same business. New Abaaya styles and designs are introduced often because the designs are time bound. When a new style comes into the system people rush in for it but after trending for a short while, it becomes outdated. So Abaaya sellers are always looking out for new designs to also stay on top of the trend. People on social media have already started talking about how they are going to “slay” in Abaayas this Eid. There are those who also want to look exceptional and would not want to see anyone on the Eid grounds with the same Abaaya style or design as theirs. People want to stand out since everyone is likely to be in Abaaya this Eid. The sales of Abaaya in this Eid is therefore likely to be higher compared to that of brocades, laces and African print. This also means a boom in business for Abaya sellers this festive season.
By: Saeed Fridaus
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