Nike to launch high-tech hijab for female Muslim athletes

NEW YORK: Nike Inc will launch a hijab for female Muslim athletes early next year, becoming the first major sports apparel maker to offer a traditional Islamic head scarf designed specifically for competition, the company said.
The head covering, marketed under the “Pro Hijab” brand, is designed to allow athletes to observe the traditional Islamic practice of covering the head without compromising performance.
Made from a lightweight, flexible material, the hijab is expected to hit stores shelves in early 2018, Nike said in a statement.
In recent years, the hijab has become the most visible symbol of Islamic culture in the United States and Europe. Many Muslim women cover their heads in public with the hijab as a sign of modesty.
The hijab over a time has evolved in a symbol of diversity that Nike has embraced.
The Women’s March on Washington, held the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, used the face of a woman wearing a hijab in an American flag pattern as its promotional image.
Muslim athletes visiting Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, just outside of Portland, have complained about the difficulties of wearing a hijab while competing, according to the company.
The company consulted with Muslim women athletes from around the world, including Middle Eastern runners and cyclists, in designing the hijab. Other companies have also set their sights on hijab sales to Muslim athletes. — Reuters