Hilal Ibrahim began dreaming of making hijabs more accessible to women of all cultures in high school, and now her luxury designs are available as some of the first hijabs to be sold at a major fashion retailer in the US.
The 26-year-old began her company, Henna and Hijabs, in 2017 to do what others had not: make hijabs, traditional head scarfs commonly worn by Muslim women, that were accessible to everyone using sustainable materials.
Her fashion hijabs made their appearance in 16 Nordstrom stores across North America this month, including the Mall of America and online, according to a statement from the department store. The pieces start at $45.
“We look forward to continuing to evolve our assortment, while listening to our employees, customers, brand partners and neighbors along the way,” Jen Jackson Brown, EVP and President of Nordstrom Product Group, Nordstrom, Inc., said in the statement.
“We hope this collection provides a sense of pride, excitement and confidence for an otherwise underrepresented community of women.”
Ibrahim told CNN that hijabs in retail are a new concept, and without them women and young girls had to rely on buying scarves that may be too sheer or too small for their intended purpose. She wanted to change that and allow all women looking to use a hijab to walk into a mall and buy one off the shelf.
“That’s what makes it so special, it celebrates the moment. This is something that hasn’t been offered before. It’s almost like a recognition and celebration of representation,” Ibrahim told CNN.
“I want young women and women of color, and not just Muslim women … to know that this hijab symbolizes that they can do everything that they want to do.”
She said empowering women is one of her main goals, and what keeps her going is notes from young women telling her they are thankful for what she is doing and the representation she is creating.
“You never know the impact you can have, and I didn’t know how vast it would become, but to continue doing that is what my goal is,” Ibrahim said.
In addition to Ibrahim’s fashion hijabs, she launched the first ever medical hijabs in 2019, just ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic. She has an extensive background in healthcare and saw a problem that needed a solution.
Since Henna and Hijabs launched the medical line in November 2019, it has donated nearly 1,000 healthcare hijabs to Minnesota hospitals.