I can’t express how happy I am that fashion labels are now catering for fashion conscious hijab-wearing women, this started in 2015 and has escalated even more since the success of Ramadan collections. This might seem odd given my outright atheism and hatred of anything oppressive; but it’s important to remember that, while there is undoubtedly a lot of bad stuff happening in the Middle-East, not every woman who chooses to wear a hijab is being oppressed or oppressing herself – the headscarf can also be a tool or religious empowerment for some. Depictions of Muslim women in the media are used either to highlight women’s struggles or to incite terrorism driven fear In a “Who’s under there? Nobody knows! It’s all a conspiracy!” type of narrative. Rarely are women who choose to cover up shown as career women, fashion conscious, funny or anything other than a symbol of oppression for the great white west to use for their own agendas. Every person has feelings, thoughts, wants and ambitions and to erase that from a person simply because you can’t see their hair or face is pretty messed up!
If a woman chooses to cover her hair in a bid to get into heaven then she should be able to without being excluded from fashion spaces, which is what a lot of brands like H & M, Mango, DKNY and D & G are trying to do. Brands have even started doing Ramadan collections to give a nod to those who choose to dress more conservatively over these months due to the religious holiday which requires Muslims to be extra pious. Of course the underlying reason is a desire to tap into the extreme wealth of the rich minority in the Middle-East and to mine that untouched market would be incredible fruitful I imagine. Culturally this is a really big step towards inclusion of all types of beauty in the fashion industry and I’m proud to see empowered Muslim women leading a facet of that industry despite the terrible things that have been going on in the world lately. I’ll leave you with some images of Hijab and Ramadan collections; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.