How This Hijab-Wearing Model Is Breaking Stereotypes And Changing The Industry

How This Hijab-Wearing Model Is Breaking Stereotypes And Changing The Industry

I was not planning to
be a model initially. I actually did English Literature in uni, and I planned to work in film, which I am gonna go back into, so that was not the plan. I was scouted in a shopping
center, in Westfields. A lady was looking for
real people for her roster, and then she said H&M were interested in using me for a campaign. I thought nothing of it, so I
just went, did the campaign, and then that's how
everything started from there. The actual shoot itself
was pretty straightforward. I didn't need a lot of direction. It was just "stand there
and pose," basically, but the styling side, I did
have to assist a little bit because they weren't
prepared with the scarves. Obviously no one knew how to wrap a hijab. So the scarves they'd
given me were really small, so we had to sew there and
then two scarves together so that it was long enough to wrap around my big head. Initially, shooting it, I
didn't think anything of it. I just thought I was like
an extra in a campaign, the same way you'd be
like an extra in a movie, but it was only until
the campaign came out. One, it was a really good message. It was about promoting
recycling your clothes. That was really good, and
that was a few years back. I know now more and more people and brands are talking about sustainability, so it was something I
was proud of to do then. So that meant a lot to
me as well as the fact that obviously I didn't realize that using someone in a hijab
had not been done before. We already had this space, like a modest fashion industry of our own, but the mainstream had never
recognized it as anything. They just saw it maybe
as a cultural thing, and it hadn't really been incorporated with mainstream fashion houses. And that was one aspect of it, the fact that we have, there's a demand for more modest clothing, but then also the aspect of representation was also important. So one
side is the actual material, the clothing that we need, and then the second
side was we need people that we can relate to as well so that we know, "Oh, wow, they're actually
targeting people like us." Initially, I did get very
mixed responses, let's say, and some of them were very hateful. And I think it's because
people didn't understand, both from the Muslim and
the non-Muslim community, like, what's about to happen. That was amazing, actually, because that happened at a
time where I was really down. I left my old management. I left my modeling agency because I just feel like
it still wasn't a big thing where people didn't know
how to necessarily work with a woman in a hijab
and how to market me. So I was like, I'd rather
just do this on my own and work with the right
person when that person comes. And in that space, that's
when I got an email from Rihanna's team saying, "Hey, Rihanna wants to book you. Are you free on these dates?" I was like, "Oh, my God." And I was in between
a new management then, so it was perfect because everything just
all came together at once. There's definitely been
barriers, more with, I'd say, just people understanding how to market us because initially it was like, great when there's a
Ramadan campaign again or when Eid's coming up. And it's like, we don't
wear hijab on holidays or specific times of the year. We wear hijab all year round. That's where one of my
challenges has been, trying to get people to understand that they should work with Muslim women or women of all different
backgrounds, cultures, any time of the year. It shouldn't be just a tokenistic thing where it's for a specific moment. It's not just gonna affect
the fashion industry, but it will change the mentality of people that are not
interested in fashion because advertising is all around us. If you see a Muslim woman on a billboard and you recognize the brand, you're then gonna be like, "Oh, wow." And it's opened so many careers
for so many more women now. That's not a coincidence again because a lot of them wanted to be models. They actually had that career in mind, but it's all post that time. And then same with even fashion houses, there were already some
collaborations going on with DKNY, and Uniqlo with Hana Tajima. But I think in terms of it, just really the bubble bursting, the last couple of years,
we've seen so much growth. It's really good. That's where I feel being a Muslim is really important in what I do because it's influenced so many
different areas of my work. Obviously, one being a
model wearing a hijab. It's because I'm a Muslim. And then two, with the charity work I do, because it's a part of our faith, it's one of our pillars, where you just have that awareness that I need to do more than just my job and because, again, I work for myself now, so I had to find angles in which I could be a positive influence in other areas away from just the work
that I do in fashion. Woman: You look like
you're starting to sweat. All the kids are waiting for you to eat. They're all waiting. Look
how they're watching. I love Disney, as we know. Disney is definitely one of my passions. I also want to get into voiceover acting, and that's probably connected to Disney because I want to be a
hijabi Disney princess. Voiceover acting is another
thing I'm really interested in. And generally, I've been
called a bit of a nerd, so I'm really interested in
history, culture, religion, and that's one of the things I'm focusing on in my filmmaking,
so making documentaries. Telling our stories that
haven't really been told and also just exploring
things from a different lens. There's just too many of them! How are we supposed to get them out before mommy and daddy come home? Oh no. Aside from Rihanna, Victoria Beckham. I really feel like for a long time now, she's been promoting modesty
without even realizing a lot of her designs are pretty modest. And also Quavo from Migos. A lot of people think "What? He's a guy!" I just like the colors. I like his style. His energy with it as well, so yeah. I've started saying a
bit of an urban hippy. I grew up in London, North West London, and there's obviously that urban influence that we've had from our music, culture. And then the hippy side is from my mum. She's always been a bit of a hippy. She's always loved very
cultural-ethnic prints, so just bringing that
together, an urban hippy. Mum jeans, I'd say, and
just a roll-neck top.

44 Replies to “How This Hijab-Wearing Model Is Breaking Stereotypes And Changing The Industry”

  1. Don't you all see how this would be affecting her?

    Like imagine her, going on YouTube and wanting to see positive comments or just comments about anything and she gets the' this is not a hijab' thing

    Even if she is a model, wears makeup and tight clothes it's not your choice to decide on her lifestyle

    And plus makeup is advised

    Sorry about this little rant but I said what I said, feel free to hate on me m8s ok bye

  2. 90% hate comments
    10% support comments
    0% comments like these..

    But in all seriousness I do support her even if I am Muslim and this was not meant to offend anyone

  3. Can we stop talking about turbans and hijabs and actually FOCUS on how damn beautiful she is? 💖

  4. Oof. Talk about don't read the comments…. in case anyone who's not an asshole is here… she is beautiful and she is killing it.

  5. First this isnt a hijab and you can say this is an hijab if she wants to stop stereo types she should in a good way not a bad way

  6. Muslim here, everyone is different since we all probably have family traditions that’s differ from each other. Some families wear hijabs one way, some wear it the other way, some don’t wear it.

  7. Seem she breaking our Islam stereotypes. Wearing turban n not even cover the entire body. U know dat u can just don't wear it coz hijab just not about not showing ur hair but protecting YOUR ENTIRE Body except the leg, face and hand. Don't be that dumb please. You are the stereotypes

  8. After we cleared the fact that this is a turban.
    I read that the hijab is there to make the women seem „invisible“ towards others. its about the „not seeming sexy hot attractive and teasing“ . i dont think that an religious item such as a hijab, (not even muslim items but also when you think about the nuns) is an instrument that you can make look modern and fashionable , its not a tool. it has one purpose in the religion.

  9. she's being decent. that is the whole point. I respect her and if you're here just to tell her what she's doing wrong, go check yourself. islam specifically says not to judge people on how good of a muslim they are. mind your business and be respectful. she's gorgeous anyway.

  10. Dear That's not Hijab…
    You don't have to Show People anything…
    You just have to Please The One and Only God Allah in the way He wants

  11. It's like she just wants that her head SHOULD go to jannah., she doesn’t care weither her body goes in jahannam, 😂. It’s not hijab. She is just covering her hair with a scarf just like a turban..😢

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