One of my favorite athletic brands has done it again. Challenging the norms and breaking free from controversies hold, Nike has decided to develop a well-needed and under marketed product–an athletic-friendly hijab!
Right before the announcement of the new product, according to CNN Money Nike released its newest ad in the Middle East featuring five women professional athletes of Arab heritage pursing their athletic dreams. The tag line for the ad? “What will they say about you?”
The ad targets the difficulties Arab women face when stepping out of their cultural norms and chasing their dreams. The rhetorical question-filled ad has since fueled way for Nike’s newest creation.
The “Nike Pro Hijab” is an athletic head cover, that features a thin, “single-layer pull-on design made from lightweight polyester in dark, neutral colors,” the CNN article read.
The breathable design features tiny holes while remaining opaque for ultimate sports usage. After taking 13 months to create, the final version of the hijab will go on sale in the spring 2018 season.
The article continued to outline that Nike () began developing the hijab after “some Muslim athletes complained about wearing a traditional head scarf during competition.” However, even with the product’s reasoning for creation, Nike has received tons of backlash for both their Female-Muslim ad and the head scarf.
Regardless, the hijab is already being worn and prototyped by Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari.
The article quoted her as saying:
“I was thrilled and a bit emotional to see Nike prototyping a Hijab,” Lari said in a statement. “I’ve tried so many different hijab’s for performance, and … so few of them actually work for me. But once I put it on and took it for a spin on the ice, I was blown away by the fit and the light weight.”
By capitalizing on a market that many retailers have chosen to ignore is commendable, I think. Regardless if the brand actually cares about the muslim women, at least their needs are being heard and this will mark a new beginning for other cultures being represented.
Overall, I think this is an amazing new product that helps further the diversity of the brand as well as expand the representation for Muslim Women athletes in America. Now they too can change traditional norms and be involved in whatever sport they choose without being held back.
Many took to Twitter to share their opinions. If you’re interested, check out what some people had to say.