H&M’s hijab-clad Muslim model hailed as an inspiration
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H&M’s hijab-clad Muslim model hailed as an inspiration

Maria Hidrissi says global fashion brand was ‘very respectful,’ as new campaign is praised for celebrating diversity

Muslim model Maria Idrissi as featured in H&M's autumn 2015 collection video. (screen shot: YouTube via H&M)
Muslim model Maria Idrissi as featured in H&M's autumn 2015 collection video. (screen shot: YouTube via H&M)

Global fashion retailer H&M recently introduced its first ever Muslim model, dressed in a hijab, in an advertising campaign for its Fall 2015 line, and model Maria Hidrissi has won praise from her female coreligionists.

In the weeks after the H&M commercial aired early September, images of the 23-year-old model — clad in an oversized pink trench coat, a checkered hijab and outsized sunglasses — have gone viral, garnering thousands of comments praising the brand for its diversity.

The London native told fashion blog “Fusion” that since the commercial aired, she has been hailed as an inspiration to women by various Muslim women’s groups. “It always feels like women who wear hijab are ignored when it comes to fashion,” she said in an interview published Friday.

Hidrissi said she participated in the ad campaign with the consent of her parents, and H&M provided her with a mostly female staff to work with during the photo shoots.

“[They] asked how much in terms of neck I could show, but to be honest they were very respectful,” Hidrissi said. “If the cameramen noticed something not quite right, they would call a woman over to fix me; it was sweet.”

H&M’s “Close the Loop” commercial features a diverse range of both models and people of various ethnicities, religions and body types.

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