Proper Coverage: Why The American Eagle Hijab Is So Important To Muslim Hijabis

Proper Coverage: Why The American Eagle Hijab Is So Important To Muslim Hijabis

They showed everyone, who we are and what we represent through our own people —​ not how we are seen as by others who are befuddled by the negative perceptions they've been fed for so long.

As a hijabi who owns more scarves than shirts and pants altogether, I would say I've got a knack for collecting scarves. My favorite hotspots include the sales rack at Kohl's in autumn, the spring accessories corner in Stein Mart and the occasional out-of-season lucky strike hanging by the handbags aisle at Target. Scarves are everywhere, and you'd think it'd be a hijabi's dream come true to find so many — except, I usually can't wear any of them.

Those scarves aren't made for Muslim girls like me in mind.

They're beautifully designed on short strips of sheer, patterned that also happens to be frustratingly slippery, so getting them to cover my hair takes a lot more manpower than a hijab cap and pins can offer. Besides those scarves, there aren't many options I can turn to for hijabs, except a couple plain fall-winter scarves made of viscose, cotton and certain polyester blends, which can get irritatingly hot mid-summer. So, I take what I can get, sigh and move on. My pipe dream dissipates in the face of the clear, harsh truth: Muslim girls and hijabs are just not seen as marketable, so most stores don't care to cater to us. We have to make do with whatever's left over from what the majority population prefers to wear. What I can buy, what I can wear and the very cloth I can express my individuality with — all of it is suppressed by an industry that couldn't care less about my existence.

Then this summer, something changed.

American Eagle (AE) debuted their first-ever hijab made specifically for Muslim women! No other prominent clothing retailers in the U.S. have ever marketed modest-style clothes for the 3.3 million Muslims living here, let alone thought to manufacture headscarves for Muslim women who cover. The fact that a major brand name store not only thought to cater to our demographic but to flaunt that openly in the day and age of Trumpatania is something I find absolutely awe-inspiring.

And better yet?

They hired a real Muslimah model to be the face of this new line, and honestly, they could not have picked a more talented, beautiful young lady than Halima Aden. Instead of falling in line with the media that twists the connotation of terrorist and Muslim to seem as though they're two sides of the same coin, AE stepped up and threw the spotlight on us, showing Muslims in a friendly, positive, normal setting rather than on the news in some foreign land an ocean away. Their creation of an original headscarf and collaboration with a hijabi to promote has set American Eagle apart from every other brand. AE did something unique that all other American brands have failed to do: they showed everyone, who we are and what we represent through our own people and through our own eyes — not how we are seen by others who are befuddled by the negative perceptions they've been fed for so long.

They didn't think, hmm, what can we do to make our company seem inclusive? Instead, they asked Muslim women: what can we do for you? What is it that you need that we can help provide? This speaks volumes about their values as a company and their view of us Muslims.

Seriously, hats off to you American Eagle. Hijabs stay on, but hats off to you.

If you haven't seen this ingenious denim style yet (who knew denim could be made malleable), check out the cloth below!

Many people on Twitter are celebrating AE's public recognition of Muslim women as ordinary, average Americans. This is only the beginning, but even this small show of inclusion that hijabis exist, matter and are here to stay is a heartening gesture. I applaud American Eagle for taking this step forwards in promoting and accepting the diverse America that exists today.

It's also a brilliantly played marketing move on American Eagle's part and so far, the ads and promo have been incredibly thoughtful. Famous brands like Nike are now taking a page from AE's book by designing the Nike Pro Hijab to debut in spring 2018. Brands with international strongholds like DKNY and Spain's Mango have also turned their sights on marketing to the growing generation of Muslim millennials around the world by releasing their fashion collections prior to the holy month of Ramadan.

As a Muslim millennial myself, I'm looking forward to the new fashion and clothing standards this will bring to U.S. retailers and the world. The generation after us may grow up in a world where you can purchase hijabs at your local Walmart, but we older generations will never forget the struggle of perusing foreign online retailers for deals and waiting for spring scarves season in the States to grab whatever's available. It was fun, and while it certainly hasn't come to an end at the drop of a hat, I'm already looking forward to the better days ahead.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Dear Uggs, I'm Sorry It Took Me So Long To Wear You

I promise that I'll never put you back in the box again.

I remember opening the huge beige box on Christmas Day of freshman year and not believing what I saw: a pair of tall, chestnut-colored boots with three buttons down each side and the ever-recognizable square "UGG" tag on the back. I was both shocked and grateful, not knowing what to do with these shoes.

You're probably thinking, Duh, just wear the UGGS already! But it actually took me a long time to warm up to these uber-comfy boots. And by a long time, I mean at least five years.

That's right—I rarely took my UGGS out of their original beige box during those five years, and I wore them in public even less frequently than that. I even kept the original cardboard pieces that you stuff inside the shoes to preserve the shape of the toes.

I guess I cared more about keeping them in good shape than I did about wearing them. It wasn't until my junior year of college that I decided to give my UGGS one last chance to prove it to me. And I have to admit, they did not disappoint.

I started wearing these bad babies on a frequent basis in January, and they've become my favorite fashion accessory and ultimate cold-weather staple. When I wear them to class in negative 12-degree weather, my feet and calves stay toasty-warm (I don't even have to wear thick socks to experience warm toes!) Plus, the soles are cushioned, which makes them so comfortable to walk in.

I literally feel like I'm stepping on clouds when I wear my UGGS.

I also love how they compliment even the simplest of outfits. I can wear leggings and a long shirt with my UGGS and feel perfectly fine about myself. Or, I can wear blue jeans and a sweatshirt and feel even more cozy. They're so versatile to work with (brown boots match almost everything), and I get so excited when I decide to wear my UGGs—even if it's just for a few hours while I'm doing homework at the end of the day.

Life is too short to wear uncomfortable boots in the wintertime. Even if you don't own a pair of legitimate UGGS, you can still rock the look by purchasing similar styles at Target or Payless Shoes (my personal favorite places to shop for shoes). If you're worried about appearances, just remember that no one will think twice if they see you walking around campus all bundled up in furry boots and a long coat and mittens.

Winter fashion is about what keeps you warm, happy, and comfortable on the most chilly days of the year. So go for it—wear the UGGS already, and give your feet the comfort they deserve.

Cover Image Credit: mantfly via Pixabay

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Christian Siriano Is Shaking Up The Fashion Industry

"We're just happy to still be doing this."

The man known for showing diversity on the runway just celebrated his 10th-anniversary show at New York Fashion Week on Saturday. Cardi B, Anna Wintour, and Laverne Cox are a small fraction of celebrities that attended the show.

Winner of the fourth season of Project Runway and most successful to come from the television series. He is a force to be reckoned with since adding the most diversity in the fashion industry.

In 2016, he and Leslie Jones teamed up together after Leslie tweeted no one would dress her for the Ghostbusters reboot red carpet. Siriano tweeted at her saying he would!

His 10th-anniversary show included 72 looks from women of all shapes and sizes. First putting plus-size models on the runway in 2016 but critics weren't a fan. Saying the looks didn't look uniform enough and seeing a plus-size model took them out of the "moment."

This year was a total 360. Critics saying this show was a breathe of fresh air that the industry has needed for years. The Hollywood Reporter saying "His magic touch made any difference disappear — you just saw style."

His latest collection featured red carpet looks and women living their lives. Young, old, skinny, or plus size it didn't matter, he had it all.

Hopefully, other fashion houses can take notes on the diversity that he has shown.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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