Mariah Idrissi recently became the world’s first Muslim model in hijab for a major designer, H&M, earning her worldwide attention.
She has appeared on CNN, BBC News, ITV, CNN and NBC, and been featured in the New York Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Evening Standard and the Khaleej Times.
She has been interviewed by BBC5 Live, BBC Asian Network, BBC1, as well as other radio stations worldwide, to discuss the issues around Muslims appearing in Western fashion.
Mariah has continued to cause a stir in the fashion world, breaking the “Western ideals” of fashion. With appearances in Harper’s Bazaar, Dazed and Grazia, she has helped to change the modern perception of beauty.
Mariah is not just concerned with making a name for herself in fashion. She wishes to inspire women all over the world with her message of equality.
‘It’s been a rollercoaster,’ she says. ‘I didn’t know I was the first hijab-wearing model out there, but people have been saying it’s a breakthrough.’
She thinks the modesty trend is ‘incredible’ and explains: ‘It’s not just for Muslim women. I think we’re all so fed up with nudity and the sexualisation of women that we now welcome an alternative.
‘There’s not enough role models in the mainstream that are doing that. When I’ve spoken at events I’ve had all sorts of young girls coming up to me and being like “we love the way you dress, we love that you’re like us” – it’s not just a religious thing.
“I think modest fashion can relieve some of the pressure on young girls as they are growing up, showing them that it’s okay to be yourself and wear what you’re comfortable in – however you want to dress.
“That you shouldn’t feel pressured to flash your boobs and that you can still be attractive while covered up.”
She said that when she was growing up there weren’t really any strong female role models for her to look up to, which is why she began doing public speaking.
“Even though I am Muslim and I am very proud of that, I’m not pushing the message of Islam – that’s not what I do. But I’m not ashamed either.
‘We are coming into a time for women and I think modest fashion is part of that.”