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Think back to 2016. This was the year Halima Aden, a Somali-American woman who was 19 at the time, made headlines for being the first contestant ever to compete in a Miss USA pageant wearing a hijab and burkini. Now, four years later, Aden is making headlines again, this time for designing a line of hijab and turban face mask sets, specifically hijab and turban sets. The line was created in collaboration with Allure and Anywear for the Banding Together Project.
“As many hijab-wearing women are working at health care facilities, I wanted to make sure they have a comfortable option for wearing a mask while keeping their hair covered. It can also get hot running around at the pace health care employees are right now, so a breathable fabric was a must,” Aden says of the sets.
Aden’s collection is comprised of 30 sets, including a hijab set in eight different shades and prints, a bamboo fabric face covering set, a tetra fabric face covering set, an organic turban set in six different shades, and a sequin turban. Prices range from $40 to $52.
“I really wanted the pieces to give a feeling of tranquility and calm, so I went with soft shades that bring a feeling of peace,” Aden says.
Every piece is made from organic fabrics, making them machine-washable and reusable. And, with the purchase of each set, Anywear will donate a medical cap with buttons to a health care professional in need.
“There are many hijab-wearing women working at health care facilities,” Aden says. “I wanted to make sure they [and the general public] have comfortable options for wearing a mask while keeping their hair covered.”
This project is a personal one for Aden, who used to work at St. Cloud hospital in Minnesota before her modeling career took off.
“As someone who worked cleaning patient rooms even seven months into my modeling career, I have an empathetic heart for the thousands of medical workers who are on the frontline and doing all they can around the country to help with what the foreseeable future holds,” Aden wrote on Instagram in March.
The Banding Together Project features six other designers, including Nam Vo, an NYC-based makeup artist; Shereene Idriss, an NYC-based dermatologist; Mei Kawajiri, an NYC-based nail artist; Nikki Nelms, a Brooklyn-based hairstylist; Daniel Martin, an NYC-based makeup artist; and Chris McMillan, a Los-Angeles-based hairstylist.
Anywhere is a female-founded AI tech company “working to reduce the negative environmental impact created by the fashion industry, while also reframing the idea of body image.”
“Like everyone, my livelihood has been turned upside down,” Aden says. “I just keep reminding myself [of] something that my mom always says: ‘Hard times don’t last, but strong people do.’”
Before you go, check out all of the cloth face masks available online in the gallery below:
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