Nike officially launches its first ever sports hijab and it looks amazing
Way back in March this year, Nike announced that they were be releasing a hijab for athletes - something which was greeted with much applause and positivity at the time. Now, nine down the line, the world's first "technical hijab" has been released at the back end of last week.
The sportswear giant, whose iconic tick is one of the most recognized logos on the planet, said it was developing the technical hijab in order to suit the needs of Muslim women who want to train and compete while wearing the religious headscarf.
The Nike Pro Hijab made its long-awaited debut on Friday at Macy's and is now available at the chain with a $35 price tag. The hijab will also make it's debut online on Thursday, with it set to be listed on Nike's own website.
Nike has said that they first decided to develop the performance hijab after female Muslim athletes had regularly complained about the difficulties they faced when trying to compete when wearing a traditional hijab.
During a meeting with the sportswear giant at their headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, female weightlifter Amna Al Haddad, from the United Arab Emirates, had told the company that her usual hijab lacked the breathability that she required and seemed unlikely to stay in place when she was competing.
The weightlifter found obtaining a suitable hijab for when she competed so difficult that she only had one head scarf that was appropriate to suit her sessions. However, this meant that she had to wash the headscarf by hand every night during competitions, something which is far from ideal.
Meanwhile, Ibtihaj Muhammad, an Olympic fencer from New Jersey, revealed that she had trouble hearing the referee when she was wearing the traditional hijab, meaning she was often carded for false starts.
"First, I'd get a warning and then a point against me… I can't tell you how many times that happened," she told the brand. "And I'd tell the referee, 'Oh, I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you.'"
Due to the complications with wearing the hijab, the Rio bronze medalist used a headscarf made out of double georgette fabric, which not only obstructed her hearing, but was also hard to pair with her fencing uniform.
Muhammad is one of three women, along with German boxer Zeina Nassar and figure skater Zahra Lari, to have posed for the new advertising campaign which is being used to promote the new hijab.
The product is made out of opaque mesh which is said to enhance breathability, it also has an elongated back in order to ensure that it does not become untucked and features fluff threads around the neck to ensure that the athlete's skin doesn't rub due to irritation and sweat. The hijab is currently available in both black and navy blue.
Fair play to Nike for cracking into a market that is yet untouched. Encouraging more women to compete in sport can only be a good thing and the sports giant should be applauded for making sport a more inclusive environment.