Hijab has gone mainstream but modest clothing stores already had that 'covered'
More and more Western mainstream retailers and designers are marketing to Muslim women. Last year H&M, the world's second largest retailer, made headlines after they released an ad with Mariah Idrissi wearing a checkered hijab and a long modest jacket.
This past February, Kayne West's Yeezy Season Five fashion show included Halima Aden, a Hijabi model. Aden donned the catwalk wearing a long fur coat, heels and a hijab.
This month Nike released their version of an athletic hijab. Nike's light weight hijab helps the company expand into the Middle East and tap into the modest clothing market.
While many applaud the inclusion of hijabs and modest fashion by popular retailers, there are numerous online modest retailers that have had Muslim women 'covered' for years.
Online modest clothing companies such as JustLongShirts have been designing and providing women who choose to dress modestly, with chic, stylish and modest options. JustLongShirts slogan is "modest clothes for the modern woman" and has various modest shirts from long sleeve tees to formal tops.
In 2004 Bahraini sprinter Ruqaya Al-Ghasra was the first woman to compete in the Olympics in hijab. She wore a a breathable sports Hijood created by Aheda Zanetti. At the Rio Olympics, Ibtihaj Muhammad won a bronze metal in fencing wearing a hijab - an unbranded hijab, unlike that of Nike's which displays the company's swoosh logo prominently on the side of the hijab.
The pro of big box retailers adding the hijab to their lineup is that they will be visible to purchase. However, let us not get caught up in the hype surrounding these releases. Women such as Zanetti are pioneers in developing items that Muslim and modest women needed. What is being done now is taking items such as the Hijood and Burkini and rebranding them. Let's celebrate the variety that will be added, not the development of what is already available.