Nike prides itself on innovation and global advancement. The global sportswear giant continually releases products to help male and female athletes around the world advance their performance. The company announced on Tuesday that it will release the Nike Pro Hijab — showing its commitment to female athletes globally.
The Pro Hijab, which took more a year to make, was made with the help of a number of influential Muslim female athletes, who gave the company information about wearing hijabs during athletics.
A female weightlifter from the United Arab Emirates, Amna Al Haddad, shared with the design team how much impact the weight of her hijab can have during competition, and that was one of the many factors the team incorporated into the garment’s design and production.
The Pro Hijab is constructed of lightweight, breathable fabric, has tiny holes throughout, and is available in black, grey, and obsidian.
“Nike’s mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to all athletes,” Megan Saalfeld, Global Nike spokeswoman, told Arab News. “And we’re thrilled that Nike can deliver a product innovation that female athletes in the region told us they wanted and needed.”
Major effort was put into the construction of the product to ensure it was well-suited for athletes.
“Our designers met with people from all areas of the Dubai and GCC community,” Saalfeld said. “From athletes to local historians, writers to artists, these sessions allow our teams to learn more about the region, what athletes here want and need to perform better, and allow them to take this inspiration back to Oregon.”
“By providing Muslim athletes with the most groundbreaking products, like the Nike Pro Hijab, Nike aims to serve today’s pioneers as well as inspire even more women and girls in the region who still face barriers and limited access to sport: Fewer than one in seven girls participate in locally recommended sport activities for 60 minutes or more,” the company said in a press release.
The hijab is already being tested by Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari — and is getting positive feedback.
“I was thrilled and a bit emotional to see Nike prototyping a hijab. I’ve tried so many different hijabs for performance, and … so few of them actually work for me,” Lari told CNN Money. “But once I put it on and took it for a spin on the ice, I was blown away by the fit and the light weight.”
The news about the hijab comes soon after Nike released a commercial centered on female Muslim athletes.
The global sportswear giant possibly teased the product in the YouTube video — “What Will They Say About You?” — that was released in the Middle East.
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