The fashion industry is a world of creativity where innovation and rule breaking lead the way. As time passes, society inches closer and closer to worldwide acceptance of different cultures and their fashion trends. As of 2015, Mariah Idrissi became the first headscarf-wearing model when she posed for a major H&M campaign. She is the perfect example of a model accomplishing style while staying true to her beliefs. Mac Studios London takes a further look into how the headscarf is beautifully making its mark in modern fashion and the women who are helping make this happen.
In 2015, young model Mariah Idrissi from London modelled for a H&M campaign wearing her headscarf. As H&M is the second largest global retailer, Mariah’s statement spoke to individuals everywhere. She had previously told Fusion, “It always feels like women who wear hijab are ignored when it comes to fashion… so it’s amazing that a brand that is big has recognised the way we wear hijab.”
Fast forward to 2017, Halima Aden made history when she was featured on the June cover of Vogue and became the first model to wear a hijab on the famous magazine’s cover. Before her groundbreaking debut, the Somali-American model had walked in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 fashion show that February. Fans everywhere took to social media to express their excitement and applauded her strength and ability to effectively embrace individuality.
Since then, fashion continues moving forward with embracing culture diversity. As of last year, Denmark’s modelling agency, Unique Models, became the first Danish agency to hire a headscarf-wearing model. Their decision helps to further the idea that fashion can be embraced by all women and that Muslim women are no longer overlooked by the industry.
Last year in October, London hosted the first ever London Modest Fashion Festival featuring Islamic models in headscarves and robes walking the runway. Its aim was to ‘empower Muslim women’ worldwide. Wearing elaborate full-length gowns and robes, turbans and headscarves, models took part in representing and celebrating the industry through ‘modest fashion’. Designers from all over the world took park to present their collections for the event.
Despite this forward way of thinking, this by no means downplays the number of Muslim women who have successfully broken into the fashion industry. IMG is known for supporting models from all backgrounds and has signed Muslim models in the past. Along with IMG, the New York-based modelling agency Modest Models helps pave the way for individuals looking to enter the industry while maintaining modesty. In fact, their website states they’re an agency “seeking to dispel the ideal that Islam and the modern fashion are incompatible.”
While the fashion industry has come a long way in which models and fashion statements it represents, there still is a way to go to make it so all individuals and cultures feel represented and celebrated. Thankfully, this industry is an ever-changing hub full of creatives ready to push the boundaries in what we consider fashionable. As a studio comprised of a talented staff from all around the world, we welcome anyone – no matter what size, shape or background into our studio. We applaud all individuals who are making a positive impact in pushing the current way of thinking forward. And with the help and strength of models, designers and consumers, there’s no doubt that worldwide acceptance of differences is possible.