Nike unveils sports performance hijab weeks after 'Equality' campaign
Just weeks after launching an ad starring Arab female athletes, Nike announced the launch of a new Pro Hijab. Many female Muslim athletes, including Nike+ Run Club Coach Manal Rostom from Egypt and Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari, tested the new product, which is slated to launch in spring 2018.
The Nike Pro Hijab is a lightweight polyester and mesh fabric with a stretch fit, an elongated back so it won’t untuck during performance, and embellished with the Nike swoosh logo.
The sportswear company said that the product is more than a year in the making, dating back to 2012 when runner Sarah Attar competed in the Summer Olympic Games in London while wearing a hijab.
Global Nike Spokeswoman Megan Saalfeld told Al Arabiya English that the concept of launching an athletic hijab came after meeting Emirati Olympic weightlifting athlete Amna Al Haddad at the Nike sports research lab in Oregon. Nike took several of the athletes’ feedback when designing the piece.
Saalfeld said, “The Nike Pro Hijab was designed as a direct result of our athletes telling us they needed this product to perform better, and we hope that it will help athletes around the world do just that.”
Nike took a stance for equality this year with a new campaign calling for respect on and off the court and field. The campaign starring Serena Williams, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Gabby Douglas and others was followed by the “What will they say about you?” video that stars Lari, Arab athletes Amal Mourad, Arifa Bseiso, and Ines Boubakri, and Saudi pop-singer Balqees Fathi.
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