The year 2017 saw a growing trend of hijab and modest clothing depicted in many aspects of the fashion industry. A big portion of Muslim women is dissatisfied with the present depiction of hijab fashion by mainstream culture, in particular concerning media and fashion. So far as this discontented group of women is concerned, the reasons behind the portrayal of the hijab as trendy by multinational brands is more related to falsely encouraging the brands’ pictures as innovative and inclusive, rather than to safeguard the interests of the cultural group they seem to represent.
As a result, the current presence of the hijab in the mainstream press is cloaked with ‘political correctness’ that nevertheless impose negative stereotypes regarding the association between Muslim women and the headscarf, and does not correctly represent the spiritual and cultural heritage of it.
The conservative Muslims certainly have a valid point concerning the hijab; that is the hijab is supposed to be a true sign of modesty for Muslim women, but the commercialization of hijab would mean using a spiritual symbol to sell more products and earn more revenue. And that doesn’t sound moral at all. In the year 2014, famous fashion home DKNY established a Ramadhan clothing line for Muslim girls, and soon other prominent brands toed an identical line. The sports sector followed suit.
These events, coupled with additional attempts in the clothes and advertising industries saw the hijab gained huge prominence as mainstream fashion, and also helped alter the awareness of it as an oppressive type of dressing. However, according to Ahmed, these brands are not doing Muslims any favors, as neither their manner of dressing nor their individuality needs mainstream acceptance or commercialisation.
The worries of a trivialization of the hijab as yet another only ‘for-profit’ venture are very much valid. The purpose and use of the hijab will continue to be a favorite topic for discourse inside and outside of the Muslim community, but the truth is that the present “commercialisation” of this hijab didn’t happen in a vacuum. There was a need that was clearly felt.
Regardless of private or social responsibility, head-covering is an essential component of Islamic beliefs, and also plenty of Muslim women around the globe incorporate it in their regular dressing. Besides clearly having their very own peculiar manner of dressing, Muslim girls weren’t part of their target market as it came into mainstream fashion and lifestyle layouts. Islam even focuses a lot on the institution of marriage and there are detailed rulings of Islam that address the relationship of husband and wife.
In what seems to be a deliberate response to disagreements of whether or not the dress code is enforced, an issue of selection, or simply plain dull, a bunch of Muslimah women – now popularly called the “Hijabis” – utilized the several types of media to demonstrate that wearing a hijab may be both a small and stylish affair. This evolution created a market for trendy and in-fashion hijabis, and sometimes even dolls weren’t left out of this ‘new revolution’.
Additionally, female Muslim athletes needed to take care of a lack of sufficient supply of sportswear to coincide with their physically active lifestyles, since they were not willing to make any compromise on their cultural beliefs.
The point of the fact is that Muslim ladies do spend their money on wearing abayas and hijabs. Hence, the hijab can be included in mainstream lifestyle without necessarily undermining its sanctity, because there are people who want to be modern and progressive, while also abiding by the teachings of their faith.