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Nike to Introduce Hijabs For Muslim Female Athletes

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Nike to Introduce Hijabs For Muslim Female Athletes

The lightweight head covering will be available for Spring 2018

BY HILARY SHEPHERD

NEWS  -  MARCH 08

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Photo: Courtesy of Nike

Like any season, Fall 2017 has provided us with various trends (emergency hues), standouts (political undertones), and takeaways (diverse model casts). But one of the biggest talking points from the season was Muslim model Halima Aden, who sported a hijab walking at Yeezy Season 5, Alberta Ferretti, and Max Mara. When we spoke with the 19-year-old backstage in Milan last month, she explained that she wants what she’s doing to be normalized, and that seeing a woman in a hijab on a high fashion runway “shouldn’t be shocking.” Indeed, it shouldn’t—and that goes for the red carpet, too. Now, on the heels of a viral (and unnecessarily controversial) commercial that aired in the Middle East featuring five Muslim female athletes in hijabs, Nike has announced that it will begin selling a performance hijab for Muslim women athletes, slated for released next spring.

Called the “Nike Pro Hijab,” the head covering will feature a single layer pull-on design with tiny holes for breathability, and will come in dark, opaque colors. (It also has an elongated back so as not to become untucked.) In a statement, the athletic giant said it began development of the hijab after Muslim athletes expressed frustration at having to wear a traditional head scarf during competitions. The brand also said the hijab, which will be part of its Nike Pro line, is already being worn by Muslim figure skater Zahra Lari. 




“By providing Muslim athletes with the most groundbreaking products, like the Nike Pro Hijab, Nike aims to serve today’s pioneers, as well as inspire even more women and girls in the region who still face barriers and limited access to sport," Nike said in a statement.

Nike’s move is relevant, smart, and timely—and also echoes a similar move by Dolce & Gabanna, who at the beginning of last year debuted a (bejeweled) collection of hijabs and abayas for Muslim women in the Middle East. Though Nike’s are obviously designed with athletes in mind (and not Dolce’s luxury shopper), it’s nice to see fashion—which often has a bad rap for being exclusive—embracing Muslim women. That said, it’s about damn time.

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