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Fast-fashion brand H&M's new campaign ad features models from all walks of life — including one woman wearing a hijab.
Shoppers are praising model Mariah Idrissi's brief appearance in the clip, which is called "Close the Loop" and intended to promote the brand's sustainability efforts and urge customers to recycle their clothes.
Idrissi, who is Muslim, wears a pink coat, black trousers and a white blouse along with the printed headscarf. The 23-year-old told, who had no prior modeling experience before the H&M video, told TODAY.com it's about time brands start incorporating diversity into their advertising.
"Muslim women wearing hijab in mainstream fashion hasn't really been done yet, even though the world of fashion for Muslim women is huge," Idrissi said. "Something as simple of having a photo, like of the one they used of me, behind the counter will attract so many more customers. Because Muslims will start to say, 'Oh yeah, I can wear that, as long as it's done correctly.'"
Idrissi said she got involved with H&M through a costume director friend who knew the brand was looking for a woman wearing a hijab to be in the video.
"They were really understanding and respectable — I was surprised," Idrissi said. "[During filming] they made sure women were touching me if they had to help me with my clothes or fix my scarf."
Fans responded to her part in the viral video, and now Idrissi finds herself going viral, too — she suddenly has more than 12,000 followers on Instagram, where she often posts snapshots of her outfits, makeups and the henna designs done at her London salon.
While Idrissi is getting lots of buzz for her H&M appearance, she's not the only model in the ad who defies traditional fashion stereotypes — the clip also features men and women of all shapes, sizes and colors. There are young models, old models, men wearing turbans and even an amputee. In one scene, a shirtless Iggy Pop stands on a lawn holding a hose.
H&M sent the following statement about the video to TODAY.com:
"Everyone is welcome at H&M and we never take a religious or political stand," spokesperson Jennifer Ward said. "At H&M, we strive to provide a wide range of designs and styles in all our collections with the hope that everyone finds something that suits them. Our customers are free to use and match any way they wish to express their personal style."
"We want our advertising to inspire as many people as possible and we target a wide and diverse target group," Ward continued. "We don't convey any specific ideal or encourage a choice of lifestyle, which is what the 'Close the Loop' film shows; there are no rules in fashion but one. To recycle your clothes."