One of the world’s largest fashion retailers is launching a new advertising campaign featuring – for the first time in its history – a Muslim woman wearing a hijab. Mariah Idrissi, 23, appears in the H&M advert, which is trying to encourage people to recycle clothes. She told the BBC that she believed the fashion industry was changing to cater better for women wearing the Muslim headscarf.
Idrissi who is of a Pakistani and Moroccan heritage is based in London appears in the high street brand’s video wearing a chequered hijab and sunglasses to promote its Close the Loop recycling initiative.
Speaking to Fusion about the ad campaign Idrissi said ‘It always feels like women who wear hijab are ignored when it comes to fashion,’ but she is delighted over the huge step to inclusion in fashion. Since the advert launched her Instagram following has more than doubled to 4,000 and she is getting messages from young Muslim girls saying it had helped them with their confidence.
Idrissi has also suffered from her fair share of negative comments, particularly from other Muslim women who said the advert was not modest. But she has brushed them off, saying: “People have said ‘Wearing a hijab is about being modest so how come you are posing?’ But why can you not look decent and covered? You don’t need to be naked to look good. There is no restriction on having a personality if you wear a headscarf.” She said the women making the comments about modesty were the reason British society still sees Islam as oppressive to women.
The ad celebrates models of various ethnicity, religion, body types and goes a long way to tell us there are no rules in fashion!