Macy’s announces Muslim clothing line featuring hijabs, prompting backlash online


Macy’s will soon feature a collection of modest clothing and hijabs catered to Muslim shoppers, which has drawn both ire and praise from customers.

» RELATED: Muslim women support Nike as backlash over sports hijab sparks #BoycottNike

The popular retailer teamed up with modern Islamic clothing boutique Verona Collection, a brand founded by Lisa Vogl, a graduate of Macy’s minority- and women-owned business development program aimed at promoting diversity in fashion.

“Verona Collection is more than a clothing brand. It’s a platform for a community of women to express their personal identity and embrace fashion that makes them feel confident on the inside and outside,” Vogl said in a news release last week.

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“Lisa shared her vision to create a collection that speaks to a community of women looking for a solution to their fashion needs,” Cassandra Jones, senior vice president of Macy’s Fashion, said. “Verona Collection offers a unique and understated elegance through everyday essentials designed for versatility and comfort, and through our partnership, we can better serve our customer looking for modest fashion.”

Vogl first started working with Macy’s in 2017 through the Workshop at Macy’s program and lauds the retailer for being “an amazing partner.”

» RELATED: L’Oreal’s first hijab-wearing hair care model steps down over 2014 Israel tweets

The new collection, which will be sold online only starting Feb. 15, includes a curated collection of dresses, tops, cardigans, pants and hijabs in a wide array of colors and fabrics. Some of Vogl’s standout pieces include maxi dresses and hand-dyed hijabs. Prices for the items range from $12.95 to $84.95.

Macy’s is the latest U.S. fashion retailer to offer modest clothing options, joining Nike and American Eagle, both of which began selling hijabs and other Muslim fashion clothing last year and both of which received their share of praise and backlash for doing so.

» RELATED: Some Muslim women afraid to wear the hijab since Trump's election

The Macys-Verona Collection collaboration reignited a controversial discussion about the hijab, with many arguing the garment promotes oppression of women.

» RELATED: Tenn. teacher suspended for video of student’s hijab being ripped off: ‘Lol all that hair covered up’ 

Still, some praised the company for its message of inclusivity.

Following Nike’s release of the Nike Pro Hijab for Muslim female athletes, weight lifter Amna Al Haddad applauded the company for its new product, which was developed with the help of hijab-wearing athletes.

People also shared a  video by Hanna Yusuf of The Guardian, in which the Muslim feminist addressed critics of the hijab and said that wearing hers is a feminist statement. 

“In a world where a woman’s value is often reduced to her sexual allure, what could be more empowering than rejecting that notion?” she said.

» RELATED: Muslims in America, by the numbers

But, Yusuf said, her concern with the hijab being unfairly portrayed as oppression is not a denial of the fact that some women are forced to wear it in some parts of the world.

In Iran, for example, the so-called Girls of Revolution Street protests sparked a robust debate about women’s rights, and specifically, the hijab, which is compulsory in the country. 

”The message is very clear and very specific—that women want to be able to choose if they wear hijab or not,” Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human-rights lawyer in Tehran, told the New Yorker. “This is a civil-disobedience movement. Women know what the laws of the land say about hijab, and, based on that, they chose to protest.”

» RELATED: Mattel announces Ibtihaj Muhammad doll, the first Barbie to wear a hijab 


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