Rise of the hi­jab

Lon­don girl Mariah Idrissi, the first model to wear a hi­jab, shares the tale of her foray into the fash­ion world

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Variety - Abhinav Verma abhinav. verma@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

Mariah Idrissi has be­come an overnight so­cial me­dia sen­sa­tion. But how did the Lon­don girl man­age to sur­prise the fash­ion world? The 23-year-old model, who is half Moroc­can and half Pak­istani, was dis­cov­ered by one of the cast­ing di­rec­tors of H&M, and be­came the first hi­jab-wear­ing model for the brand.

“I got a call from one of the model scouts, also a friend of mine, ask­ing me to fea­ture in a new ad cam­paign. I asked her, ‘Are you sure that they know that I wear a Hi­jab?’” shares Mariah, who has a fash­ion blog and an In­sta­gram ac­count that pro­motes hi­jab fash­ion. “It is my way of telling the world that you can be tra­di­tional and fash­ion­able at the same time,” she says.

The ad­ver­tise­ment that Mariah fea­tures in tries to high­light the on­line rise of hi­jab-wear­ing fash­ion blog­gers and In­sta­gram stars. She is also a part of a video cam­paign ti­tled Close the Loop, which pro­motes the idea of sus­tain­able fash­ion — re­cy­cling of clothes. Ever since the com­mer­cial and the video re­leased, Mariah’s fol­low­ers on so­cial me­dia have dou­bled.

“I’ve al­ways felt that women who wear a hi­jab are ig­nored when it comes to fash­ion, so I wanted to change that per­cep­tion,” says Mariah, who stresses on the thought that one doesn’t need to take off clothes to look good. “Who says you can’t look good when you’re cov­ered? You can still have a per­son­al­ity and wear a head­scarf,” she adds.

Tak­ing the hi­jab along on this fash­ion jour­ney hasn’t been an easy task for Mariah, as the model-blog­ger faced neg­a­tive com­ments, es­pe­cially from other Mus­lim women. “The me­dia por­trays Is­lam neg­a­tively, but things get worse when Mus­lims them­selves strengthen the per­cep­tion, by say­ing that women shouldn’t be do­ing this, and that I wasn’t dressed mod­estly... There is a deeper mean­ing be­hind the hi­jab which I’m also try­ing to put for­ward be­cause even I know that a hi­jab is not for fash­ion,” says Mariah.

I’ve al­ways felt that women who wear a hi­jab are ig­nored when it comes to fash­ion, so I wanted to change that per­cep­tion. Who says you can’t look good when you’re cov­ered? You can still have a per­son­al­ity and wear a head­scarf

Mariah Idrissi, model

PHO­TOS: IN­STA­GRAM

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