American Eagle debuts denim hijab
By Haneen Hammad
American Eagle Outfitters has broken through barriers and proposed to its consumers a new outlook on the traditional concept of “American Jean.”
A 2009 lawsuit against American Eagle’s sister store, Abercrombie & Fitch, occurred because store officials refused to hire a Muslim women. This was because the hijab she wore didn’t fit the look the company had in mind. That lawsuit has lingered in the store’s shadows.
American Eagle didn’t do anything to redeem its self until recently, when the brand launched the #ICan movement that promotes individuality and takes a stand against discrimination. And with that came a denim Hijab!
The clothing company teamed up with Hakima Aden, the first Muslim Somali-American to compete and in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant, to be the face of the movement.
So when I saw Aden post a picture of the hijab on her Instagram page, I felt proud. I think it is a very big deal to see a mass retailer such as American Eagle offer the hijab directly to its consumers.
For many this might seem small, unless you are, like me, a Muslim women who wears a hijab every day. At times I feel sidelined from western fashion. But something like this is a significant step forward.
The denim hijab is made of a soft fabric and comes in an indigo shade variant with a description encouraging shoppers to, “Wear it your way. Make it as original as you are.”
To see a brand that builds an image on being a model American is welcoming. After all, what’s more American than freedom of expression?