Nike to unveil performance hijab for Muslim athletes

The launch is seen as the next step in the global sportswear company's push into the lucrative Islamic clothing market

Nike to unveil performance hijab for Muslim athletes

Image: Nike

Global sportswear manufacturer Nike has become the first mainstream brand to unveil a sports hijab for female Muslim athletes.

The Nike Pro Hijab has been in development for the past 13 months with a number of Muslim athletes contributing to its design, according to the company.

It is expected to go on sale in spring 2018.

The company said the "pull-on design" is made from its "most breathable" mesh fabric.

Abu Dhabi based international figure skater Zhara Lari was one of those involved and she posted a picture of herself wearing the design on Instagram:

The move comes amid a continuing push for greater female inclusion in sports in a number of Muslim-majority countries and a number of smaller brands have already introduced performance hijabs.

The launch is seen as the next step in Nike’s push into the lucrative Islamic clothing market.

“The Nike Pro Hijab may have been more than a year in the making, but its impetus can be traced much further back, to an ongoing cultural shift that has seen more women than ever embracing sport,” the company said in a statement to Al Arabiya English.

“This movement first permeated international consciousness in 2012, when a hijabi runner [Saudi Arabia's Sarah Attar] took the global stage in London.

According to the 2015 – 2016 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report, Muslim consumers spend an estimated €218bn a year on clothing – a number that is expected to rise to approximately €310bn by 2019.

Islamic players wore headscarves for the first time at an official FIFA event at the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan last year.