The sports giant wants to help female Muslim athletes just do it
Nike is getting ahead of the competition.
The athletic wear giant announced Tuesday that it will be launching the Pro Hijab, a new piece of sportswear designed for Muslim sportswomen who want to compete at the highest level, while also covered up. The $35 hijab, which Nike will roll out in stores next January, was designed after a year of experimentation and consultation with Muslim athletes like Amna Al Haddad, the Emirati Olympian weightlifter and figure skater Zahra Lari. It follows Nike’s recent decision to launch its first plus-sized line.
“Any hijab wearing woman struggles to find the correct gear,” says Manal Rostom, the Egyptian distance runner and the first covered Muslim woman to appear in a Nike ad. “You try to find something appropriate but most of the time, you just get by.”
✨Feels surreal to be featured in a @voguearabia article. ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ Feels more surreal to be featured as one of the first #Hijabi athletes to get to try this as Nike launches their first ever Nike Pro Hijab Collection launching officially in Winter 2018. ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ I cried when they showed it to me. ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ I cried when I tried it on for the first time. ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ I still cry looking at this and how far we've come to change the perception of the world about us Arab , covered women as we deal with the struggle of wearing it every day. ✨ ✨ ✨ Anyone telling you otherwise would be lying. ✨ History being made right there. ✨ ✨ ✨Nike caters for all Hijabi athletes worldwide to simply Just Do It, in Hijab. So, so proud and honoured to be the face of this campaign as it kicks off worldwide, breaking barriers and paving the way for young Arab girls to show them what they are capable of , regardless of how they look , Or what they wear. ✨ Massive thanks to @nikecoachtom and @salbroutine for helping me get to where I am today. It all starts with a spark of an idea. Waiting for someone to believe in you. They believed in me. ✨ ✨ Massive thanks to @roynasrallah @hindrasheed @julia_lk @rihamers @abdalah001 the rest of my Nike family. ✨ #Hijab #NikeProHijab # ✨ #Repost @voguearabia with @repostapp ・・・ Breaking: @nike Pro Hijab is happening. Link in bio. عاجل: نايكي تطلق مجموعة للمحجّبات. اعرفوا التفاصيل على vogue.me
According to Nike, the hijab will be made from a soft mesh fabric designed with holes positioned to enhance breathability. It will be available in three dark colors and yes, the famous swoosh will be prominently displayed by the left ear.“When I run in a [non-Nike] hijab, it gets very hot and I feel like choking,” the 37-year-old Rostom tells Moneyish. “But the Nike material helps sweat move away from the body. It’s genius.”
In a statement, Nike said that it hoped the hijab would end the pyrrhic choice many women in the Middle East have to make: Ditch the hijab or quit a sport. “I didn’t want to take mine off but when your friends and family start to, it shakes your faith a bit,” says Rostom, who founded Surviving Hijab, an almost 400,000-strong Facebook group for women facing this dilemma.
It’ll also help at least one American Olympian: fencer Ibtihaj Muhammed, who last year became the first U.S athlete to compete in Rio with a hijab. Muhammad’s parents had encouraged her to pick up fencing because it was the rare activity she could participate in while fully covered up.
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