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tv   Asia Insight  PBS  March 18, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT

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♪ this is a fashion show in jakarta. in recent years, islamic fashion
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has gained a lot of attention. diverse ranges of designs and colors allow muslim women toen joy fashion while adhering to their religion's teaching. one of the leading islamic fashion designers is ria miranda. her pastels and premium fabrics are very feminine. >> translator: i want to bring out the beauty of muslim women. >> translator: i say that's my inspiration. >> this is an indonesian online store specializing in islamic fashion, with more than 150 brands, it receives orders not
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only from indonesia, but from the middle east, europe and the u.s. indonesia's government is excited about islamic fashion's potential as a major export. >> translator: by 2018 we intend to become the center of islamic fashion in asia. by 2020, we want to be the global center of islamic fashion. >> more and more muslim women are enjoying indonesia's glamorous, islamic fashion. today we'll look at the front leans of this rapidly growing trend. jakar jakarta, the capital of indonesia. over the past few years, a growing number of islamic fashion boutiques have opened in
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prominent shopping centers. what is islamic fashion? it's a common practice in islam for women, when in public to cover their bodies with the exception of the face and hands and hide their hair. islamic fashion designe cree chic garments that adhere to these rules. elegant designs and soft pastels are the trademark of ria miranda whose clothing is hugely popular among muslim women who want to look beautiful while preserving their modesty. debuting in 2009, ria breathed new life into the islamic fashion ene. >> translator: usually when you think of muslim women you think of the dressed in black. but i decided to go with soft
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colors and pretty designs and am happy that many people appreciated this. >> ria designs clothes that she herself would want to wear. any necessary changes to conform to islamic custom are made after finishing the basic design. this has always been her approach, and she has used it to build up a successful brand. her main office and boutique is in jakarta. she also has stores in ten other cities across indonesia, plus one in malaysia. a grand total of 15. considering the average indonesian earns $250 a month, that's quite expensive. nevertheless, 2014 sales amounted to $600,000, up 70%
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from the previous year. at the same time ria launched her design career, she founded the hijab community, a circle of women interested in islamic fashion. the only rule is that all members must wear a hijab which covers the head. they meet once or twice a month and discuss topics, such as islamic tradition and muslim female etiquette over lunch. 13 people have come today. they include doctors, shop owners, the wives of wealthy business men. it's a well-heeled crowd. and they're all fans of the ria miranda brand.
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after lunch, ria introduced a novel fashionable way to wear the hijab. the participants take photos and videos with their cell phones so they can practice at home later. during the 30 year presidency
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which began in 1968, steps were taken to make indonesia more secular and eliminate ethnic and religious differences. many became relaxed about showing their bodies in public. many women wore western clothing, not the hijab. however, since democratic reforms in 1998, islam has experienced a resurgence, setting the stage for the rise of islamic fashion. thanks to steady economic growth, indonesia is getting richer, and thisas led to rising interest in fashion among the younger generation. in addition to high-end products like those of ria miranda, many stores have started to offer more affordable items that cater to fashion-conscious young
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people. a group of young women is enjoying shopping. these women are family. two sisters and a cousin. the sisters agree to show us their collection of islamic fashion.
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they showed us how to mix and match outfits. their beds are soon covered with clothes. together they have over 100 items. >> translator: we'll trade things. like, if we don't want to be seen wearing the same thing twice. or we want to try different colors. so we'll borrow things from each other's wardrobe. >> for these young women, studying the koran is part of every day life. [ singing in foreign language ] >> if they come across a passage they don't understand, they ask
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their mother what it means. they have come to understand what is expected of them as muslims. >> translator: more and more people that i know, friends and acquaintances have shown an interest in furthering their understanding of islam. one important part is studying the koran. studying the koran will deepen your understanding of islam, of course, so will the hijab. wearing the hijab also helps you to understand the teachings of islam. >> translator: i feel like i'm at peace when i read the koran.
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>> translator: sometimes i feel tired or i'm worried about something. whenever that happens it helps to when i think about god, it brings me comfort. >> islam is playing an increasingly important role in the lives of young indonesians. [ singing in foreign language ] >> ria miranda lives in an exclusive area it 25 miles south of central jakarta. she has a husband and a daughter.
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katia is 2 years old. pandu, her 30-year old husband serves as president of the ria miranda brand. ria was born in 1985 in a large city in sumatra. her father owned a chemical fertilizer plant. their family was quite wealthy. she began dreaming of becoming a fashion designer in high school. >> translator: at first it was just a hobby. i liked to draw, and i was really into fashion. i'd copy the clothes in magazines. then i'd make sketches based on my own ideas. i thought how great it would be to make my own clothes. then one day a friend of mine offered to buy one of my
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sketchbooks for a couple of dollars. that's when i realized that people would actually pay money for my designs. >> in 2005, when she was a university student, ria went on a pilgrimage to mecca with her parents. of the journey prompted her to begin wearing the hijab. >> translator: i realized that women were meant to wear the hijab. i felt like i was under the protection of god. my family has always been devoutly muslim. and visiting mecca was the decisive moment. i started wearing the hijab. >> at university, ria majored in economics, but her dream was to become a fashion designer. she begged her parents to allow her to attend a fashion school in jakarta, but their answer was
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always no. >> translator: jakarta was so far away from home. but the main reason why they were against my becoming a fashion designer was that it was still an unknown field. there was no guarantee i could have a future in it, none at all. but then my aunt came to my rescue. she promised my parents that she would be responsible for me. i could live with her while attending fashion school. >> ria's aunt who ran a small apparel company in jakarta convinced ria's parents of their daughter's talent. >> translator: i learned so much from my aunt. she taught me not just about designing and sewing and things like that. she also taught me about what life in jakarta was like.
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>> in 2009, right after finishing fashion school, ria launched her own brand at age 23. soon enough, she was featured in an islamic fashion magazine. feedback from the readership was very positive. >> translator: my items caught the attention of a famous actress, who began wearing them on tv shows. she introduced me to other actresses. gradually, orders started pouring in from all sorts of people. in the past, islamic fashion was mostly about formal and party wear. i suppose people thought my work was new and different. i received a very warm welcome.
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>> in february 2012, ria made a big splash at a major fashion show in jakarta. just three years after launching her own brand, she had become a leading islamic fashion designer. she now has a staff of 55 and enjoys annual sales of some $600,000. the popularity of they are brand is spreading to the middle east, europe and beyond. a lot of people buy her products online. 40% of sales in 2014 came via
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the internet. a majority of online stores were through a store that specializes in islamic fashion. ria has come to the company that manages this online store. it's called hijab. she has been invited to a launch party for the company's new office in central jakarta. there's a large turnout of islamic fashion designers. dism isis isism -- this woman i of the company. they won't reveal their sales figures, but they're one of the fastest growing online store
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fronts in indonesia. a major factor in the company's success is that almost all the islands in indonesia have access to the internet. >> translator: i hope that the company will benefit not just our employees but society in general. my goal is to follow the example of japanese companies that have been around for 100 years or more. they contribute to society. i want my online store to help develop indonesia's potential. i want indonesia to be seen not just as a market but as a maker of great products that are popular domestically and around the world.
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♪ >> the most popular feature on their website is a set of tutorials on how to put on a hijab. upbeat music flows in the background as a model shows how it's done. the videos are updated weekly. they get over 150,000 views a month. ria miranda's head office. ria offers one-year contracts to young designers. she currently has five working for her.
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ria listens to their opinions and offers advice. she's hoping to produce designs that fit her brand image. >> translator: do you think i'm pushing them too hard? it's not like that at all. actually, i've already provided them with concrete emages of what i have in mind. basically, they know what to do. they understand the distinctive qualities of my brand, the ria miranda brand. what they have to do is work within that framework. within that basic framework, it's generally pretty easy for them to come up with ideas. in the end, i want to help them feel inspired. >> the young employees are given a new theme every two or three days and are then required to produce eight to ten designs on that theme. it's demanding work, but they
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understand that if they win ria's approval, their future as a designer is looking bright. the company building is equipped with a prayer room which staff members are free to use. how do the new employees spend their time after work? we accompanied one of them back to her home.
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this 22-year-old hails from sumatra. she started her contract with ria's company where she earns more than the average office worker. but her contract is only for a year. if she can't prove herself, she won't get it renewed. it takes her about ten mens by bus to return to her lodgings. she pays about $30 a month to rent this room. she eats out most of the time, usually something simple.
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as soon as she gets home, she starts working on an assignment that ria has given her. she landed her contract after taking part in a design contest sponsored by ria. although she had never received any formal training, she managed to wen tin the contest and a one-year contract. >> translator: ria gave me the chance of a lifetime. even though i'd never attended fashion school. she urged me to pursue my dreams. i want to design islamic fashion. i'd love to see muslims wearing my designs, but i'd also love it if non-muslims wore them too.
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>> her dream is to use the experience she gains at ria miranda's company to start her own brand. there are currently over 100 islamic fashion designers in indonesia with their own brands. this 34-year-old is the mother of four children. she was a bit of a latecomer to fashion. five years ago she attended fashion school while pregnant with her youngest. since graduation she has balanced the raising of her children with designing. she combines bold pinks and blacks with traditional indonesian patterns.
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>> translator: i don't think i started out late. i'm not that old. one thing i can say is that i believe in god's will. at one point, one of my children became very ill. i basically stopped designing for a year. in the end, my family will always come first. but i'm confident there's a market for my work. >> as her children grow older, she will be able to focus more and more effort on her career. the indonesian government estimates that the global islamic fashion market will soon be worth over $320 billion
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annually. >> translator: by 2018 we intend to become the center of islamic fashion in asia. by 2020, we want to be the global center of islamic fashion. we have so many talented designers, and we're confident that we will achieve our goal. indonesia will become the center of islamic fashion by 2020. >> ria miranda, one of the leaders of the islamic fashion boom is currently porki lly wor new concept. she wants to incorporate indonesian fabrics into her designs. she's aiming to present this in a year's time. >> translator: i want to bring out the beauty of muslim women. to do that, i think it's
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important to think outside the box. as part of that, i want to make accessories and scarves. also, i don't want to just make items meant for women. maybe i can start making mens wear and kids aware. i'd like to expand my horizons. i'd also like to take part in the big fashion weeks. tokyo, london, paris. >> a resurgence of islam has led to a flourishing fashion scene in indonesia. can the country succeed in becoming the globalislamic fash? it's up to talented designers like ria miranda.
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♪ steves: the dramatic rock of cashel
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is one of ireland's most evocative sites. this was the seat of ancient irish kings for seven centuries. st. patrick baptized king aengus here in about 450 a.d. in around 1100, an irish king gave cashel to the church, and it grew to become the ecclesiastical capital of all ireland. 800 years ago, this monastic community was just a chapel and a round tower standing high on this bluff. it looked out then, as it does today, over the plain of tipperary, called the golden vale because its rich soil makes it ireland's best farmland. on this historic rock, you stroll among these ruins in the footsteps of st. patrick, and wandering through my favorite celtic cross graveyard, i feel the soul of ireland.
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welcome to "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. japan's foreign minister fumio kishida has confirmed japanese people are among the victims in a deadly shooting at a museum in tunisia. he says one national has been killed and three others are wounded. gunmen fired at tourists and took several people hostage in the capital tunis. the country's prime minister habib essid says at least 19 are dead and about 40 others wounded. the attack happened in front of the


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