Mariah Idrissi, the first Muslim model to be featured in an H&M promo, gave a presentation in the Alumni Memorial Union last week, which focussed on the current state of inclusion in fashion and her personal experiences being a western Muslim in London.
Idrissi was approached by a casting director in 2015 for an H&M campaign promoting diversity and recycling clothing, however, she was shocked when the photos came out—the objectifying attitude towards Muslims was almost tangible.
“I like the way things are going in fashion as there are statistics showing that women of color have been used more on runways since 2015,” Idrissi stated. “We are seeing a gradual progression of inclusivity of different races, but I would also like to see more women of color behind the scenes as designers or editors.”
Furthermore, the presentation also included an analysis of the impact of social media, with a focus on hijab-wearing bloggers influencing young girls. According to Idrissi, social media can be used as a tool to debunk certain myths seen and heard in the mainstream media that have no basis. Certain views can be expressed on social media and can be seen by followers and viewers without much censorship.
In fact, seventy-six percent of American adults are on social media and many of the platforms are dominated by women. As such, these platforms have real power to make a change.
So, we see it as our duty, as a fashion law blog, to ensure that Idrissi’s message is heard as much as possible. We thank her for speaking about her personal experiences and for pushing the boundaries of inclusion. We hope that real legislative change will follow.
Information and quotes accredited to Marquette Wire.