The rise of Hijab Fashion and the Muslim concerns
There is a growing number of style brands and global firms showcasing girls wearing the Islamic headscarf. However, for a variety of reasons, some girls from conservative Islamic backgrounds are not content with this new trend.
Some of the largest brands these days are prominently placing model girls wearing traditional Islamic hijabs and abayas in their marketing campaigns.
The hijab has long been a controversial subject of dialogue; feminists, religious conservatives, secularists are a number of the online communities which have participated in a passionate debate about exactly what it reflects. However, this time, online and utilizing social media, it is some Muslim girls that are questioning the commercialization of hijab, i.e. using a spiritual idea to sell products.
The big time emergence of so-called hijabi fashion bloggers and the immense popularity of makeup tutorials directed at girls who wear the hijab can also be a heavily debated topic. They create millions of shares and views, but some girls cite this trend puts increasing pressure on them to transgress their Islamic limits in order to look modern and trendy.
On top of all this, recently a Turkish startup Modanisa held two Modest Fashion Weeks, one in Istanbul and the other in London, that garnered huge media coverage once again putting hijab into the mainstream media. Many conservative Muslims voiced their concerns over holding such fashion shows in the name of Islam.
They feel something sacred is being jeopardized by commercialism. Khadijah Ahmed is the editor of a new online magazine “Another Lenz”, nevertheless composed a personal narrative of how she wore the hijab for a couple of decades, then decided to quit wearing it. She told BBC Trending she felt driven by the pictures she saw in advertisements and on social networking.
“I do not believe the brands do us a favor – we do not want the acceptance of the mainstream media to approve of our unique personality,” Khadijah says. “It is not doing something for the Muslim community aside from decreasing the hijab – that I see as an act of worship – to something that is a just a means to look modern and trendy.”
So with the possibility of an increasing online backlash, why are manufacturers eager to flaunt this specific religious garment?
“In these times, there’s a growing Muslim populace,” Shelina Jan Mohamed, the vice president of Ogilvy Noor, states, “and they’ve lifestyle ambitions about how they would like to live and that ought to be reflected just as with any other lifestyle aspiration.
“It is about how to tap the revenue potential of this Muslim segment.”
That strategy does have some support among female Muslims. Hend Amry is dubbed “the queen of Muslim Twitter” – and according to her even though she’s somewhat uneasy with this title, she does see an upside from the current emergence of hijab and abaya online.
“There’s just one change required, and that’s Muslim ladies have to tell their own narrative. Once that occurs the other narratives will get settled accordingly,” she states.
It seems the trend of hijab fashion is on the rise and it doesn’t appear to stop sometime soon. How the Muslims overall will react to it and whether this trend of Hijab Fashion will be able to get the approval of Muslims across the globe, that will become apparent with the passage of time.