Fashion Forward—and Fashion First.
It won’t officially land in stores until early next year, but Dubai got its first glimpse at Nike’s upcoming activewear hijab at Fashion Forward.
Season 10 of the region’s premier showcase for style talent, which was held over the weekend, saw the Pro Hijab make its international debut as part of Mashael Al Rajhi’s runway show.
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The Saudi designer collaborated with the sportswear giant to use the modest pieces, which were worn by several models along with street-smart separates and androgynous silhouettes.
The looks mixed the high end with the urban, for a finish that will inspire many an ensemble once the breathable, stretchy mesh hijab is released.
Nike’s veil was intensively tested by headscarf-wearing athletes during development, including Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari.
The back of the hijab itself is longer, to ensure it stays tucked in, while the fabric is studded with tiny, imperceptible holes to keep the wearer cool.
Weighing in at about 155 grams, the Pro Hijab will be sent to athletes around the globe before it’s released for general sale “early next year”.
“The Nike Pro Hijab may have been more than a year in the making, but its impetus can be traced much further back, to an ongoing cultural shift that has seen more women than ever embracing sport,” Nike said in a press release earlier this year.
The brand said it was inspired by a conversation with Emirati weightlifter Amna Al Haddad, who used to compete while wearing the hijab.
“[She] recounted how the garment’s weight, the potential for it to shift during action and its lack of breathability disrupted her focus,” Nike said.
“She also detailed her extreme difficulty finding performance hijabs; Amna had only one competition-worthy covering, so she had to hand wash it every night during competitions.”
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Al Haddad said she believed the Pro Hijab would “encourage a new generation of athletes to pursue sports professionally”.
“I support Muslim women with or without hijab, and how they dress is their choice,” said the weightlifter. “Without us athletes who fought for this right and made it happen, Nike wouldn’t ‘just do it’.”
The finished product will come in black, grey and obsidian, though Nike have suggested brighter hues might be used in the future.
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