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Nike’s globally anticipated first ever made-for-athletes performance hijab will be launching nationwide on February 15th. The Nike Pro Hijab is created with lightweight and breathable fabric to empower female athletes across the world with a garment designed to perform just as well as they do.

Finding a hijab that worked well for particular sports was a major challenge. Nike designers had been having meetings with top athletes who illuminated the many availability and performance problems associated with wearing a traditional hijab for sport over the past couple of years — conversations that put the designers to work to create a sport hijab prototype.

The designers gave that initial prototype to a variety of athletes, including weightlifter Amna Al Haddad and figure skater Zahra Lari, both from the United Arab Emirates, to put the garment to the test in their respective sports. Everyday athletes from around the Middle East, including runners like Manal Rostom, a Nike Run Club Coach in Dubai, and Zeina Nassar, a German boxer, also assessed the hijabs. Nike gathered both the athletes’ performance feedback and their reactions to the garment’s appearance.

The women came back with a range of input, most of which pointed to the desire for an even lighter, softer and more breathable garment. Nike Pro designers, who are responsible for creating base layers (the layer closest to the skin) for athletes, examined how to make a performance hijab inconspicuous, and crafted more prototypes with this goal in mind.

With that, Nike designers evolved the prototypes and received an enthusiastic response, and a final request to modify the fit to account for a range of head sizes and face shapes. The designers sized the head covering to XS/S and M/L (rather than adding an adjustment mechanism, which would add weight). After further dialing in the details and conducting additional rounds of wear testing the Nike Pro Hijab was complete.

For many hijabi athletes, the Nike Pro Hijab is so much more than a performance garment. “It inspires me to reach greater heights and to run farther distances,” says Rostom, who recently completed the New York Marathon in the Nike Pro Hijab. “And I believe it’s going to inspire girls worldwide to follow their passion for sport.”

“The Nike Pro Hijab will help advance the conversation around hijabs and Muslim women in sports and further make sports an inclusive space,” says Muhammad.

For Lari, the Pro Hijab is a symbol of empowerment. “It’s a reminder to us Muslim women that we can achieve anything in the world,” she says. “What Nike has done for Muslim athletes is a dream that we never thought would happen.”

The Nike Pro Hijab will be available on February 15th at Nike Pavilion, Nike KLCC, Nike Midvalley, and Zalora with the retail price of RM99.