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Nike’s Newest Launch of the Nike Hijab

Elaine Tong

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Nike engineers have been working hard to design the Nike Hijab.

Nike’s launch of its newest product, the Nike Pro Hijab, has caused conflicting feelings among customers. According to CNN, the Nike Pro Hijab is a single-layer, lightweight polyester design covered with miniscule holes, which helps make it breathable while also being opaque. Nike began creating its athletic hijab after hearing complaints from Muslim athletes about being excluded. Finally, after thirteen months of designing, it will officially be available for purchase in spring 2018, although a few hijabi athletes already own prototypes.

The Nike Pro Hijab will cost around $35. Furthermore, it will come in an assortment of colors, including black, grey and obsidian. “I was thrilled and a bit emotional to see Nike prototyping a Hijab,” said Zahra Lari, Emirati figure skater. “I’ve tried so many different hijabs for performance, and… so few of them actually work for me. But once I put it on and took it for a spin on the ice, I was blown away by the fit and the light weight.”
On the contrary, some hijab-wearing consumers are also questioning Nike’s purpose for releasing a hijab—are they just trying to profit off of this or are they actually taking a stand? Regardless, Nike’s choice has led to backlash, especially from consumers themselves. Although smaller companies such as Friniggi and Capster have already created their own version of athletic hijabs, having a well-known cooperation such as Nike join in may help bring light to the field. Furthermore, with Nike opening up this new brand, other popular companies like Adidas and Under Armour will most likely follow suit.

On the other hand, selling the Nike hijab could help smaller companies, as they are opening up a new area of competition, and others may opt to buy a cheaper version from a different company. Aisha Manzoor, secretary of the Rhode Island Council of Muslim Advancement, already owns four athletic hijabs from different brands. “As a Muslim woman who wears a hijab, I applaud major brands such as Nike catering towards Muslim women — but at the same time they are a few years late,” Manzoor told NBC in an interview. “I am willing to give anything a try and am looking forward to seeing what the Pro Hijab will look like. I also saw that they’re working with famous [Muslim] athletes, so that pulls me and I think other Muslims in,” she adds.

Despite concerns of Nike’s intentions, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relationships added his input. “Regardless of the values driving this new product, it is always a welcomed move when corporations and media normalize the presence of Islam and Muslims in our world and especially in the U.S.,” he said. “Such normalization helps weaken the rhetoric of fear and bigotry advanced by the powerful Islamophobia industry.”

While some people are angry and boycotting Nike for simply creating its Nike Pro Hijab line, but others are pleased with the new inclusivity. Whether or not consumers are happy about the launch, the Nike Pro Hijab definitely changes the market of athletic clothing.

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The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California
Nike’s Newest Launch of the Nike Hijab