Fashion Inclusivity: Is Hijab In The Fashion Industry Still Ostracised?
They speak of inclusivity, but how inclusive is it?
Globally, hijab has become more mainstream in the fashion industry. After all, a hijab is not just a piece of clothing, it is a statement of a Muslim woman’s modesty and faith. But, just because a woman chooses to cover her head for religion doesn’t mean she is limited to feel confident and bold about herself.
However, most fashion brands and individuals alike feel like hijab can be limiting as when one wears the hijab, clothes such as off-shoulder tops and knee-length skirts are automatically unwearable and there is only so much you can do with modest fashion—the clothes are basically the same ol’, same ol’.
The world’s first hijabi supermodel, Halima Aden, who has recently quit the fashion industry has shared the pseudo-inclusivity of hijab in the fashion industry. Aden reveals that she feels her experience in the industry has given her uncertainties on her fundamental beliefs. “I went through a period of resenting the hijab,” Aden shared. “I remember wanting to be the ‘hot hijabi’ as if that just didn’t defeat the whole purpose.”
Hijabi ex-supermodel / Image via Muslim Girl
While more fashion brands are becoming socially-conscious such as Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jobs with their Muslimwear collection, there is still a distinct lack of consideration for hijabi models in the global industry. According to an article by Marketing Week, 86% of Muslim women feel as if they are being ignored by high fashion brands, according to an analysis of 500 Muslim fashion consumers by integrated creative agency ODD.
Additionally, the strategist of ODD Arif Miah has expressed, “They still view Muslim women through an outdated first generational immigrant lens, or at worst, completely ignore their modesty needs when communicating to them.”
It seems as if the fashion market only caters to modest wearers for the profit, and not for the connection with the consumer. The closest example would be H&M’s modest fashion line, entitled “LTD Collection”. While the intention to cater is there, it definitely sparked some controversy as Muslim fashion blogger, Dina Tokio expressed her thoughts in her Youtube video below.
Briefly put, the fashion industry is gradually accepting modest fashion and hijabi models. While hijab in the fashion industry is widely accepted (read: not ostracised), fashion brands should look into catering to modest fashion wearers better.
Cover image via POPBELA.com