Nike decided to give us all a gift for International Women’s Day 2017. Although not the first sportswear brand who have taken a step in modest fashion, Nike revealed the Pro Hijab. Nike is one of the most influential sports brand in the world and has announced that the Pro Hijab will be available in three colours in spring 2018.
Nike met with UAE weightlifter Amna Al Haddad, who expressed frustrations about her hijab moving and shifting when she is lifting and doing daily exercise; she also mentioned that it lacks breathability, can become infused in sweat easily, and it is generally uncomfortable. She was one of the main influences behind the Pro Hijab.
Nike tested the Pro Hijab with athletes all over the Middle East. “As each country has its own particular hijab style, the ideal design would need to accommodate variances,” the brand expressed in the latest press release. Nike also insisted that they involved the influence of local Muslims to make sure the Pro Hijab met cultural requirements.
A few weeks ago, Nike prepped the public for the Pro Hijab by releasing an advert with women from the Middle East and North Africa. The advert has over more than 1.5 million views. The ad expressed the thoughts of an athletic women’s mind growing up in the Middle East, a place when it is seen as unladylike. This advert is also very relevant to westernised cultures, as many women are frowned upon when doing some sports and activities.
The Pro Hijab is made from a Nike Pro mesh which is a breathable fabric. It is also very stretchy meaning that one size fits all; this is exceptionally good as the Pro Hijab will adapt to the head of the athlete and any headgear the sport may require. The back is elongated so it does not become untucked, which is very useful when doing activities and was expressed by some of the athletes as a problem they found when working out.
The feedback for the Pro Hijab and advertisement has been positive. It is refreshing to see that most people see the benefits of this item and what is says about sports, fashion, and society. It is a statement about feminism, equality, and humanity as a whole. Clearly this is some sort of progress but Nike is an international company that is selling a product and equality is a still a worldwide problem, so it is still something to work at. We are grateful that Nike has taken a good step towards the right direction.
Words: Seyi Adejori
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