Back in 2010, New York-based Haute Hijab began as a modest accessories label specializing in turning one-of-a-kind heirloom vintage scarves into contemporary, wearable hijabs. Since then, it has expanded its offering, experimenting with luxury materials and custom-developed tech fabrics for an innovative Underscarves collection. Today, it launches its first-ever Sports line, an impressive collection that has sustainability at its core and is a year and a half in-the-making.
A response to the reality that the requirements of Muslim women have been largely overlooked in the professional sports arena, Haute Hijab Sports is tapping into what remains an under-served market. Yes, global sportswear heavyweights such as Nike and Adidas are finally investing time and technology in modest sportswear but it’s an ever-evolving category. Haute Hijab has the backstory and direct understanding of modest style that it takes to develop pieces that are functional, technically advanced, comfortable and visually appealing.
Four hijab styles can be worn for a range of sports: The Flexfit Sport (a one-piece pull-on hijab with an adjustable cord at the back), The Criss-Cross Sport (a one-piece hijab with a criss-cross front, fitted neck and gathering at the back to accommodate hair volume), The Tech Sport Cap (an ergonomically designed hijab cap), and The Tech Sport Wrap (a classic and versatile hijab wrap made from S.Cafe fabric, a sustainably produced feather-light fabric made from coffee grounds that dries quickly, offers UV protection and repels odors).
Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir – the Tennessee collegiate who set the state record for the highest all-time high school scorer for both men and women, and whose hopes of playing professional basketball were later crushed when the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) banned religious head coverings – joins a collective of other athletes including 16-year-old cross-country runner Noor Alexandria Abukaram on the campaign visuals, emblazoned with the slogan ‘Can’t Ban Us.’
“Women who wear hijabs have been banned from playing their sports professionally, disqualified for wearing hijabs in school sports and altogether overlooked and regarded as a group of women who aren’t athletic – or worse, aren’t interested in sports. And yet, Muslim women are more engaged in sport than ever. It’s time we claim our spot in the ring,” says Melanie Elturk, founder of Haute Hijab.