An American teen retailer has released a denim hijab as part of its fall collection, and forming s part of the company’s recent fashion-for-all campaign, a decision which has sparked mixed responses.
“Thank you American Eagle for encouraging young America to follow their passions, express their individuality and pursue their unique paths,” Halima Aden, a Somali-American model who signed with IMG Models earlier this year, posted on her Instagram account, along with a video from the fall denim campaign.
The move also suggests some positive u-turn for American Eagle, which in 2008 denied a 17-year-old a job because she wore a black head scarf to the interview. The company claimed it violated its “look policy.”
The campaign styles hijab to look fresh and fun, paired with a denim button-down shirt, olive jacket and navy floral frock layered over pants.
However, the approach has drawn some condemnations on social media.
“Supporting the Muslim Hijab is supporting the enslavement of women …” one tweet said in protest. “Will Nike provide male guardians so that hijabis can go out for a job?” echoed another.
This release comes on the heels of Nike’s announcement earlier this year that it plans to make available next spring a “Pro Hijab,” designed in black with signature Nike “swoosh” logo.
It has been designed in collaboration with Muslim athletes and will be made from a dark, breathable polyester fabric. American Eagle and Nike have shown their respective hijabs on actual Muslim models.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.