Nike is without doubt an innovative brand, striving to design the best products to enhance a basketball player’s jump, a sprinter’s speed, or a tennis star’s agility. But perhaps the Oregon-based company’s most ground-breaking (and overall wonderful) creation of late is one that gets a little more specific, honing in on a particular group of athletes: Muslim women.
The Nike Pro Hijab, which will be available starting early 2018, provides Muslim women with a lightweight and sport-friendly version of the religious veil. While traditional hijabs are heavy, lack breathability, and are at risk of shifting when involved in fast-paced motion, Nike’s version—a year in the making—is specially tailored to, as with all Nike product, feel like an extension of the wearer.
Professional athletes, including weightlifter Amna Al Haddad and figure skater Zahra Lari, were consulted for feedback and given prototypes to test out. The brand also made sure to speak with Muslim community members and advocates to certify that the hijab’s cultural requirements—which vary based on country—were met.
Made from breathable Nike Pro power mesh, the pull-on hijab has an elongated back to make sure it does not come untucked during action. Elastic binding means the piece adapts to the size and shape of the athlete’s head, and fluff threads on the neck help prevent rubbing and irritation.
Creating a garment specific to the females of Islam is a bold and beautiful step for the company. But a fitting one, too—Nike was a goddess, after all.