Nike’s Pro Hijab sportswear designed for Muslim athletes has received the Fashion Design of the Year recognition at the Beazley Designs of the Year 2017.
An awards programme organised by the Design Museum in London, other categories include architecture, digital, product, graphics and transport.
One of the judges, RIBA Stirling Prize winning architect and founder and principal of AL_A, Amanda Levete described the design as “perfectly delivered with inclusion at its core”.
“It is a piece of design that tackles an important issue in a simple and elegant way,” she said.
The design itself is a single-layer stretchy hijab that was born from a year-long collaboration between Nike and well-known Muslim athletes including weightlifter Amna Al Haddad and figure skater Zahra Lari.
It features a pull-on design that is created from a single layer of Nike Pro’s power mesh fabric made from a polyester material that has tiny holes for breathability, while remaining completely opaque.
The end result is a piece that stretches to adapt to the wearers head.
The Nike Pro team took the athletes’ feedback into consideration when designing the product, creating a piece that is similar in performance to its other Pro products that act as a second skin.
“The one obstacle that’s always there if you’re a hijabi is what are you going to wear on your head?” said UAE-born Al Haddad.
“For us, we come up with ideas and ways to be comfortable in what we wear, but to have the number one sport and fitness brand in the world facilitate this process for us is going to change everything,” she said.
“Ice skating, for example, requires a tighter fit for twirling,” said Nike. “The back of the hijab is also elongated to ensure it doesn’t come untucked. Fluff threads were used at the neck to eliminate the rubbing and irritation that can occur when an athlete sweats.”
Al Haddad added that the development of this product “is revolutionary and will change the face of sport for Muslim Arab girls.”
“You have no idea how important this is. It’s going to inspire girls worldwide to follow their passion for sports,” she said.
Architect David Adjaye’s The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC was recognised as the overall Design of the Year for 2017, as well as winning the top award in the architecture category.