Why H&M’s New Campaign Featuring a Muslim Model Wearing a Hijab Is Making Headlines
Incorporating diversity and normalcy into the world of fashion has been a hot topic for most of 2015. And to be honest, it’s been a pretty good year for it so far. Ashley Graham was the first plus-size model to be featured in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. There is now a style website dedicated solely to transgender fashion and for the first time ever, women of color dominated the covers of magazine’s September issues. There is definitely still work to be done, but after watching H&M’s newest video campaign, we’re feeling pretty good about the direction the industry is headed.
In a new campaign for H&M’s recycled material line, Close the Loop, we watch a ton of different people show off drastically different looks. As each person or group gets a brief cameo, a velvety smooth voice instructs us to break all the fashion rules we’ve ever been taught.
Ultra-popular, plus-size model Tess Holiday makes an appearance as we’re told to “mix pink and red.” We also see a transgender women, an amputee athlete, a model rocking armpit hair and an elderly woman looking super fly in some glitzy duds. However, the cameo that’s making the most waves is the appearance of Mariah Idrissi. Idrissi is the brand’s first Muslim model to be featured wearing a hijab in an ad.
In a recent interview with Fusion, Mariah says she was initially surprised that the global retailer wanted to feature her. “Are you sure they know I wear a hijab?” she asked. Mariah goes on to explain, “It always feels like women who wear hijab are ignored when it comes to fashion. Our style, in a way, hasn’t really mattered, so it’s amazing that a brand that is big has recognized the way we wear hijab.”
Obviously, Mariah’s appearance sets a great standard for other retailers to follow, but what we love even more about her debut is that she wasn’t even the main focus of the ad – and actually, diversity wasn’t either. As the video wraps up, the narrator tells us, “There are no rules to fashion but one: Recycle your clothes.” While that may seem a little random, it serves as a reminder that although people from all walks of life were featured, that’s not really what the ad was about. It was about Close the Loop and recycling clothes and diversity just so happened to be incorporated into that.
What was your favorite look from this video? Share with us in the comments below.
(Photos via H&M)