It’s finally here! Vogue Arabia has just announced that “Nike Pro Hijab” just officially landed. The global launch was highly anticipated, especially after it made its debut on Saudi designer Mashael Alrajhi’s runway during ‘Fashion Forward Dubai’ in October.
Nike athlete and Olympic fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammed, was one of the very first women to test-drive the prototype. “I can’t tell you how many times I got carded,” she says. “And I’d tell the referee, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t hear you,’ and they’d think I was lying, but I really couldn’t hear them.” However, the ultra-lightweight, stretchy fabric will be a game-changer for her, and for all the sports community!
Nike designers had meetings with Muhammad and other top athletes over the course of two years to discuss the need for a performance hijab. The sportswear brand then went on to create the prototype, which they gave to several athletes across a different range of sports to test. The feedback was the same from the women, mostly pointing out the desire for a lighter and more breathable garment.
Their designers created an updated version, resulting in a durable single-layer Nike Pro cool mesh, one of Nike’s most breathable fabrics. The stretchy mesh material is combined with an elastic binding in order to allow a personalized fit that adapts to both the wearer’s head and her sport. Additionally, fluff threads were used at the neck and face to eliminate rubbing and irritation that can occur when sweating.
Influential sports figures who tried the prototypes include; Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari, Boxer Zeina Nassar, and Egyptian Nike Run Club Coach Manal Rostom!