Fashion and business responding to clients, reminding us that the choice of hijab can signal the degree of religiosity and the balance between faith and the desire to be stylish:

Given these high stakes, it’s perhaps no surprise that designers and retailers at both the high and low end of the fashion spectrum have been quietly courting customers there for years. DKNY, Oscar de la Renta, Tommy Hilfiger, Mango, and Monique Lhuillier have produced capsule collections sold only in the Middle East, generally around Ramadan. The e-tailers Moda Operandi and Net-A-Porteroffer carefully curated “Ramadan Edits,” including Badgley Mischka caftans, Etro tunics, and Diane von Furstenberg maxi dresses. The fast-fashion purveyors Uniqlo and H&M have featured hijab-wearing models in their ads. And, around 2009 or so, savvy retailers and fashion bloggers devised a category of “modest” fashion, with the euphemism neatly encompassing the sartorial needs of Muslims, Mormons, Orthodox Jews, and fundamentalist Christians alike.

The fashion industry has always catered to lucrative emerging markets, whether in China, Japan, or Brazil, enlisting local celebrity spokespeople, creating exclusive new products, and even revamping sizing to fit new customers. Last year, Dolce & Gabbana designed a capsule collection for the Mexican market, inspired by native tiles and embroideries. But Muslims are more diverse, geographically and culturally—what sells in Kuwait won’t necessarily sell in Kuala Lumpur, or Kalamazoo, for that matter.

Dolce & Gabbana’s new collection prompts many questions about the practical relationship between Western fashion and religion. After all, the very things the industry celebrates—materialism, vanity, sensuality—are anathema to many faiths. Add capitalism to the mix, and inclusiveness can risk looking like crass exploitation (just remember the cash-strapped couturiers scrambling for petrodollars in the 1970s).

The link between Western fashion and Islam has been particularly vexed. Look no further than 2008, when the preppy chain store Abercrombie & Fitch denied employment to a hijab-wearing job applicant in California because she didn’t fit their “Look Policy.” (The Supreme Court ruled against Abercrombie last year in a discrimination suit.) Or consider how hijab wearers have suffered not only prejudice but also a series of violent physical attacks, in the U.S. and abroad. Long a symbol of style and personal expression as much as religious devotion, the hijab is increasingly being cast off in favor of “safer” hats and turbans—or taken up as a political weapon by non-Muslims. Dolce & Gabbana’s announcement comes at a critical time, making the statement that Western fashion and Islam can make for an aesthetically compatible and socially productive union: yielding beautiful garments and helping in some small way to chip away at the marginalization of Islam in countries like the U.S.the U.K.and France.

In her 2015 book Muslim Fashion: Contemporary Style Cultures, the London College of Fashion professor Reina Lewis argues that Muslim fashion has been “underrepresented in the style media” while being “overrepresented in the news media” because of two related presumptions: “that fashion is a Western experience and that Muslims are not part of the West.” That’s no longer the case. Far from being the mark of the anti-fashion outsider, hijabs and abayas have become part of the Western fashion mainstream, virtually overnight. From here on in, they’ll be vulnerable to the same trends, knockoffs, and inflated price tags as any other article of Western clothing, but on the plus side, perhaps a new generation of Muslim fashionistas can now see themselves better reflected in an industry they admire.