Story Of First Muslim Hijab Wearing Model: Mariah Idrissi

Story Of First Muslim Hijab Wearing Model: Mariah Idrissi

Mariah Idrissi is a model of  Moroccan-Pakistani descent from England who made headlines when she became the world's first hijabi model for clothing giant H&M IN 2015.

She posed in a long pastel pink coat, loose black bottoms, donning aviator sunglasses, carrying a handbag and a patterned hijab acted like a crown on her head.

Mariah's first foray into the limelight began at the age of 14 when she performed alongside poets at a local theatre.

Always looking to break new ground, in 2015 Mariah was scouted in a shopping mall by casting director, Coralie Rose in Shepherd's Bush. At the time Mariah had no idea that the scouting was being done for retail giants H&M.



She was chosen as a Muslim wearing a hijab to promote more diversity in the industry. Her mere two-second appearance in H&M's 2015 sustainable fashion campaign, 'Close The Loop' sent shockwaves throughout the industry and world.

Idrissi appeared in both print and video ads for the Swedish fashion brand's campaign and gained fame as the first Muslim hijabi fashion model.

As a result, both Idrissi and H&M made headline news receiving domestic coverage across major British media outlets.

Katie Rogers of The New York Times wrote: "the story of Mariah Idrissi, a hijab-wearing model, has prompted a discussion about women who are reclaiming the head scarf as a form of stylish self-expression".

Aaron Morrison of The International Business Times reported, "There's a considerable amount of buzz in the fashion world about Mariah Idrissi".

After shooting to fame in a blitz, Mariah was quick to realize the reason she had become a model was to provide purpose and substance to what she represented.

For her it is not only about being a model but inclusivity, diversity and representation.

Her career as a model has allowed her to emerge as a spokeswoman on various issues across the world.


She's an active humanitarian advocating for Syrian women, endorsing Human Care Syria's 'Women's Hygiene and Sanitation project.

“As one of the many women who had paved a way for diversity, I feel great pleasure in my work, as well as a sense of responsibility. There's always going to work to do and sometimes it's about doing what's right rather than what you want to do. I feel areas of my adversity have been more mental than physical. I felt very alone on a professional level as I tried to build a brand. It was a struggle for me to have a clear vision and a strategy. But that's where incredible friends and family came into play, and I can’t stress how important it is to have positive people in your life to help shape you to become the best version of yourself,” she said in an interview.

Described by The BEAM Awards as "an influential role model and voice for many fashion-conscious modest women in the UK as well as internationally," the organization nominated Idrissi for the 2016 'Cultural Icon of the Year' award and later appointed her an ambassador of the ceremony.

Mariah continues to inspire a generation of Muslim women to increase their representation in various parts of society whilst keeping a modest touch alive.

Apart from encouraging Muslim women she has also been an advocate for recycling and creating awareness about climate change.



"As a Muslim, I feel a great responsibility to do my part in taking care of our planet especially considering I am a part of an industry that causes it great harm. I don’t consider myself an expert in this field but that doesn’t mean someone like you, or I can’t openly show a willingness to learn and change our habits to be actively involved in something that benefits every one of us. I’ve made small changes by ensuring a larger percentage of my wardrobe has either recycled or ‘preloved’ items as well as trying to support brands that attach themselves to a cause", she was quoted as saying.

Mariah is a truly significant story in today's world especially after her appearance as a Hijab model pushed other brands to be more inclusive of other cultures. She hopes to continue representing Muslim women and inspiring them to dress modestly.