13 September 2015
This week, retail-clothing company H&M released their new fall collection, and made waves all over the world. This time it's not the clothes, but a very specific model who is the reason behind all the clamour.
The ad campaign features model Maria Hidrissi, dressed in round sunglasses, black palazzo pants, a pink coat, and a checked hijab.
One of the many people featured in the ad, which promotes the conservation of materials by showcasing recycled old clothes in their new collection, Maria stands out for one reason only—this gives Muslim girls in head scarves all over the world a chance to look at themselves in a leading fashion advertisement campaign.
The Swedish multinational retail giant exists in 57 countries with over 3,500 stores and as of 2015, around 132,000 employees.
As a result of the campaign, Maria Hidrissi is getting a lot of love and support on social media - and so is H&M for that matter.
One Facebook fan wrote: "AWESOME! Thanks H&M. There are a lot of Muslim women that LOVE shopping at H&M and now we'll love you even more!" Another wrote, "Well done H&M".
Blogger MuslimGirl wrote: "Maria Hidrissi didn't just model for an ad campaign, she awakened the people. In a simple and quiet way she made others look at a Muslim woman without fear or contempt but with a healthy curiosity. Maria opened a conversation that has always been strained."
The admiration for Muslim women’s fashion has been noted by industry experts, who consider it a rapidly growing trend in the industry. According to a report by Thomson Reuters, Muslims spent $266 billion on clothing and footwear in 2013 and will increase spending to $484 billion by 2019. So it comes as no surprise that big clothing brands like H&M want a piece of that pie.
DKNY launched a collected for Ramadan in 2014. Tommy Hilfiger and Mango followed suit with a collection this year.
Shahana Yasmin, "H&M's Fall Collection is Unveiled by a Muslim Model in a Head Scarf" Vagabomb September 12, 2015
"Trending: Maria Hidrissi, H&M’s first Muslim model" Vanity Fair September 11, 2015
"Muslim girl in hijab unveils H&M's new collection"