Modest Muslim fashion is taking the modern fashion world by storm - Dolce & Gabbana produced a collection of hijabs and abayas back in 2016 (first pic) and, earlier this year, Nike announced its upcoming Nike Pro Hijab (second pic).
This sudden turn in the fashion industry has garnered so many mixed reactions. For most, it was a good change as it shows that the fashion industry is looking into becoming more inclusive by catering to the Muslim community.
However, for some non-Muslims, this is an outrage. They see it as these fashion powerhouses as "normalising the oppression of women" (- which doesn't make any logical sense. I mean, a woman wearing a hijab isn't oppression. What is an oppression is people dictating what a woman should or shouldn't wear. For instance, posing a ban on a certain female garment is an oppression. Pressuring a woman into wearing revealing outfits when she doesn't want to, is an oppression. Sheesh.). Extremists have even threatened to boycott these companies if they carry on selling any Muslim modest clothing to the masses (not that their boycott movement would actually make a dent in the profits these companies would be raking in). Yet, despite this somewhat negative reaction, there's an even worse reaction. And it's not even coming from the non-Muslims.
There are a few articles out there by our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters about putting a stop to hijab from turning into a fashion statement. To be completely honest, I have to both agree and disagree with this.
Yes, the purpose of hijab is to cover our aurah, and should be done so because of Allah SWT, and not because of some fashion fad. However, in times like these, when a large number of people in the world are seeing Muslims as a threat, we need to come up with ways to assure them that we are a religion of peace. And, as unbelievable as it sounds, fashion may be one of the ways. So far, we have put it out there in words (and even through peaceful protests) about how Islam is a peaceful religion, but have you noticed how some anti-Muslims out there can simply shut us out, refusing to listen, refusing to reason?
So when fashion moguls and even some well-known trendsetters start parading the hijab, we shouldn't feel offended. Instead, look at it as a powerful platform to show the world the symbol of hijab. That women wear it as a tool of empowerment so that the world don't superficially judge us for simply the way we look, but instead, they judge us for our knowledge, skills and values.
Therefore, now, more than ever, we should feel even more empowered because as the fashion industry is spreading this symbol of Islam - the hijab - in people's closets, hopefully, there's a chance that it's also ingraining the message of Islam in their hearts.
(Love this cute picture from Aquila Style. <3)