It's the first time a major brand has chosen to feature the hijab in an ad campaign and it's a move that's making massive waves. Despite the fact that the video - designed to promote H&M's new clothes recycling initiative, as well as celebrating diversity - also includes an amputee, crossdresser, plus-size model and a Gulf Sheikh, it's 23-year-old Londoner Mariah Idrissi who's captured everyone's attention.
Idrissi was discovered on Instagram, where she posts fashion-savvy selfies and shares her beauty finds (coincidentally, she's also the founder of Salon Marrakesh in Westbourne, London, where you can get manis and pedis with halal nail polish). "It always feels like women who wear hijab are ignored when it comes to fashion," she told Fusion. "Our style, in a way, hasn't really mattered, so it's amazing that a brand that is big has recognised the way we wear hijab. It might be because hijab fashion has boomed in the last few years and to finally see a hijabi in mainstream fashion is a big achievement."
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The campaign is a positive sign of the fashion industry's - and that of Western society at large - growing acceptance of women wearing the hijab, which has had its fair share of negative press. "Some people think it's great that women can be beautiful and wear a hijab, and others think they're forced to wear it," Idrissi says. "I'm quite thick-skinned though, so if people did say anything to me, I wouldn't notice it anyway."
H&M isn't the first brand to acknowledge their Muslim market - Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Mango, among others, have all started designing clothes especially suited to the Islamic dress code. Watch the video below.
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