We’re always on the lookout for new ways to interpret and design uniform so that it reflects different cultures and beliefs, so last week when we read about the bank Westpac’s new corporate hijab design set to release in April 2017 we decided to investigate cultural and religious aspects of uniform and fashion.
At Studio 104 we believe it’s important for people to be able to freely express themselves through what they wear so we were shocked by the controversy caused by some French resort towns earlier in August. The mayors of this town banned birkinis, a full body swimsuit with a head covering typically worn by Muslim women. A French high court has now lifted the ban, but not before it caused obvious outrage and debate about enforcement of religious dress and symbols.
Religious dress symbols have similarly caused controversy in the workplace because they are not ordinarily part of the uniform. We’re pleased to see that this finally seems to be changing and companies are embracing religious headwear. Westpac have created their new hijab, designed in the company’s colours and featuring their logo, because they want to “make staff feel valued and part of the team” no matter what their religion. Their hijab has been designed by Carla Zampatti, who is an influential Australian fashion designer.
Recently, hijabs are being featured much more often in catwalks and ad campaigns. Earlier this year a H&M campaign featured the model, Mariah Idrissi wearing a chequered hijab and Dolce and Gabbana made headlines after creating their collection specifically designed for Muslim women.
Here at Studio 104 we always take into consideration our client’s values and vision as well as their heritage and culture when creating our designer uniform. In this way, we would adapt our uniforms or create bespoke religious head wear or accessories to accompany our designs.