Islamic fashion has really taken off over the last few years. Also referred to as “modest” fashion in some circles, the Islamic way of dressing has experienced increased mainstream exposure. Several shows are dedicated solely to this form of fashion and several of the world’s major mainstream fashion shows have dedicated segments entirely to Islamic fashion.
It’s a growth industry too. Some estimates claim that the Islamic fashion industry will reach almost $500 billion (£385 billion) by the end of 2019.
There are a lot of factors that have gone into this increased popularity. Many Islamic fashion designers have started to make names for themselves. However, we cannot underestimate the importance of the rise of the hijab in the modern fashion environment.
The Sports Hijab
It would be inaccurate to state that the acceptance of the hijab in the sporting arena is the sole thing that is responsible for the garment’s acceptance in mainstream fashion. Still, we also cannot underestimate the importance of this move towards acceptance in sports.
The first sports hijabs, at least in the mainstream arena, made an appearance back in July 2012. This is when the International Football Association Board, which oversees the rules of football, ruled against its own previous decision to ban the hijab from the field back in 2007. The argument made at the time was that the hijab was unsafe to wear when engaging in sports. Some claimed that it increased the risk of head and neck injuries.
Thankfully, this was seen for being as preposterous as it is. The 2012 overturning of the ban opened the floodgates. Football players could wear hijabs and the garment soon found its way into other sporting events as well. You may remember athletes wearing hijabs during the Olympics, for example.
In the years that have followed, there has been an increasing acceptance of the hijab among sportswear manufacturers. This is most clearly seen in Nike’s recent decision to create their own branded version of the hijab. Now, you may see the branding as being somewhat distasteful. Even so, the move shows that the hijab has been practically fully accepted in the mainstream sporting arena, which is a crucial step in it being accepted elsewhere as well.
How Islamic Fashion Will Move Forward
The move towards the acceptance of the hijab in mainstream culture is not without its controversies. There are those who argue that the garment supports the subjugation of women, though many argue against this viewpoint.
Further, several Islamic scholars and other professionals have weighed in on what constitutes Islamic fashion in the first place. Which garments should be accepted and, as importantly, which ones shouldn’t?
This controversy has spread to the catwalk. Some conservative viewpoints object to the idea of showing off the hijab during fashion shows. They argue that the purpose of a hijab is to distract away from the physical form of a woman, whereas fashion shows are all about placing attention on that same physical form.
The Final Word
We are sure many of you have your own opinions of the rise of the hijab in mainstream fashion. Even so, it is a trend that is not abating anytime soon and it is contributing enormously to the growth of the Islamic fashion industry.