Nike Release Their First Pro Hijab Line

Wednesday 8th March 2017 | Annoush

With the ‘modest’ fashion industry currently worth $484billion, a growing number of high street and designer brands are already using this to their advantage. Nike are by no means the first brand to produce a modest range, Uniqlo, H&M and Dolce & Gabbana, are already creating modest clothing lines and using hijabi models.

Nike's new hijab range comes after their controversial advert went viral. The “What Will They Say About You” video by Nike was a campaign aimed at the Middle Eastern market, and featured hijabi women on skateboards, and jogging, as well as non-covered women participating in free running and boxing.

Whilst the advert received praise for its ‘empowerment’ of Muslim women, it also received plenty of negative backlash as some people said that it wasn’t an accurate representation of Islamic countries or Muslim women.

The Pro Hijab represents a major step forward into hijabi and modest athletic wear at a time when wearing a hijab during certain sports is still banned. The international Basketball Federation (FIBA), which vets professional players has prohibited the wearing of a hijab during games, stating; “equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players.” This ridiculous ruling comes just after the Olympics, where hijabi fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad won a bronze medal for the USA, the ban also includes the wearing of turbans and yarmulkes.

Proffesional basketball players Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and Indira Kaljo have been campaigning to overturn the FIBA ruling which they say is making women, "choose between faith and sport."

Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad

Prototypes of Nikes Pro Hijab were tested by Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari, who, in a statement described what the hijab felt like to use; “"I was thrilled and a bit emotional to see Nike prototyping a Hijab, I've tried so many different hijabs for performance, and ... so few of them actually work for me. But once I put it on and took it for a spin on the ice, I was blown away by the fit and the light weight."

Some have commented that Nike is purely doing it to tap into the lucrative Middle Eastern market, which is currently worth $7.7bn. But others think that this new Pro Hijab is a step in the right direction for inclusivity in sports.

The hijab itself is stretchy, with small holes, providing excellent breathability for intense workouts. It drops in Spring 2018, and comes in three colours, black, grey and obsidian.