The second largest retailer in the world after Zara released a promotional campaign on its new sustainable line coming this fall. This time, however, Mariah Idrissi, a veiled model from London, graced H&M's multimedia.
Idrissi, 23, whose parents are Moroccan and Pakistani, is the first hijabi to appear in H&M's campaigns. The video, which was released early September, also featured an amputee, Sikhs, a model wearing the traditional Gulf attire, plus-sized models and a transgender woman. It has since racked up close to eight million views.
Speaking to Fusion, Idrissi said she was shocked when she heard that the popular retailer had requested her to be featured in their campaign.
“Are you sure they know I wear a hijab?” she'd told the model scout at the time, according to the blog.
H&M discovered Idrissi from her social media account, specifically Instagram, where she posts about her faith, her passion for henna amid an abundance of selfies showing Idrissi's immaculate face fixed in different expressions.
According to Fusion, she started wearing the hijab when she was 17, and never looked back since. Due to her Muslim upbringing, which included performing Islamic poetry - or Nasheeds - in front of large crowds, she went to the photoshoot feeling at ease, after receiving her parents' permission.
Now, many have asked Idrissi for tips on how to fasten the hijab in a fashionable turban. She recently opened her own salon specializing in Moroccan henna and nail polish, called Salon Marrakech.
With this bold step, the retailer, which already has branches in key cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Beirut, will further close a cultural gap between its Muslim fan base and tap into the second largest market in the world.
“It always feels like women who wear hijab are ignored when it comes to fashion,” Idrissi said, echoing this sentiment. “Our style, in a way, hasn’t really mattered, so it’s amazing that a brand that is big has recognized the way we wear hijab.”