H&M’s latest advertising campaign for its clothing recycling program includes its first ever appearance of a Muslim model wearing a hijab–a move that signals the growing acceptance in British pop culture toward the traditional headscarf.
The model, Mariah Idrissi, is a 23-year-old Londoner who only models as a hobby. She says she was surprised to get the call from H&M, but says she’s proud to be part of the campaign. “I’ve had girls contact me online saying ‘I wanted to take my scarf off but now I’ve seen you I’m more confident’, and non-Muslims saying, ‘Wow, she looks really good, I’d wear that jacket,’” Idrissi told the Evening Standard.
Idrissi also praised H&M for the respectful environment during her shoot, where she was able to set the terms for how much skin to cover. “If the cameramen noticed something not quite right, they would call a woman over to fix me, it was sweet,” Idrissi told Marie Claire. “It just showed that little bit of respect.”
Idrissi’s H&M debut was widely lauded across social media. But H&M isn’t the first company to pay attention to its Muslim customers: In July, Uniqlo announced a fashion line for Muslim women.