Banana Republic is the latest major retailer to sell hijabs, the Islamic head covering for women. Although the company has been praised for its new products by CAIR, it also faces backlash from the Islamic community for showing models in hijabs dressed in short-sleeved t-shirts and other clothing not in line with Islamic dress codes.
The clothing company began selling hijabs in late July, following in the footsteps of Nike and Macy’s. Banana Republic’s site currently features four hijabs in solid colors as well as leopard and floral prints, ranging in price from $39.50 to $49.50.
Banana Republic is owned by Gap, which also owns the Old Navy brand.
The new line of hijabs has already sparked backlash from some members of the Islamic community, who have faulted Banana Republic for showing hijab models wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt and a side-slit dress, neither of which conforms to the Islamic dress code, according to an article in Vogue Arabia.
The report said Banana Republic has since removed images that were deemed offensive.
The Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has praised Banana Republic’s decision to sell hijabs.
“Retailers react to the market, and obviously people want to buy that particular product, or that’s what Banana Republic believes,” CAIR’s communication head Ibrahim Hooper told CBS News.
“I think it’s a healthy sign of inclusion and recognition of the growing American-Muslim market and it’s a positive sign.”
Macy’s began carrying hijabs last year, featuring items from the Verona Collection, a modesty-wear line co-founded by fashion photographer Lisa Vogl, who is a convert to Islam.