This summer, Ibtihaj Muhammad won a bronze metal as a member of the American fencing team at the Rio Olympics. Not only was she victorious on that front, she became the first Muslim American women to compete while wearing a hijab and sparked a conversation in Muslim fashion.
Muhammad won more that day than just a metal, but the support of Muslim athletes everywhere and a revolution in fashion today.
The conversation sparked interest from a Somali immigrant and her American-born business partner to design a customized hijab athletic wear for women.
“Asiya,” the brand’s name, originates from a famous and historical Islamic woman meaning wise and just.
Fatimah Hussein, co-founder and social worker who has worked with young girls in East Africa, stated that the mission for the brand is quite simple: give Muslim girls the confidence to go out compete athletically.
“Our mission is to help more girls play sports,” said Hussein according to a Star Tribune interview in Minneapolis. Girls who play sports are more confident and do better in school … and [are] more ready to compete to a get a good job.”
Co-founder Jamie Glover, has worked with Hussein countless hours to make this dream a reality for young girls everywhere. They even put on a successful fashion show which raised over $100,000 and the opportunity to make the hijabs with a Minnesota contract manufacturer.
“I wanted to find a way to spend my working time on something that can make a difference,” said Glover, the marketing expert of the duo.
The collection of hijabs were created by Minnesota University design students who constructed three different styles and various fits that can be worn during sporting activities. They prices range from $30-$40 and are available on Asiyasport.com.
The brand is creating a new generation of athletes who are confident in expressing their religion through their clothes and believe in their own power and athletic ability. The goal is confidence for Muslim athletes and with the hopeful success of this brand, Muslim athletic wear can become a global phenomenon.