Halima Aden and Anywear Team Up to Create Masks for Hijabi Frontline Workers
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, shortages of masks and PPE gear have posed a problem, particularly within the United States. Thanks to generous donations from private organizations and designers making efforts to produce additional supplies, the situation has improved. Still, even when frontline workers have access to the right gear, issues can arise.
Created for short-term use rather than 24/7 wear, traditional masks can quickly become uncomfortable. In fact many hospital workers have reported scarring and irritation due to the restrictive ear straps. For hijabi doctors and nurses the situation is further complicated with standard-issue masks that don’t account for headscarves and facial coverings.
With its debut collection, Anywear attempts to address those issues. Dubbed “Banding Together,” the capsule of specially designed face coverings serve as an extra protective barrier and shield for reusable masks like the N95. Fashion heavyweights such as hairstylist Chris McMillan and makeup artist Daniel Martin were among Anywear’s first collaborators. Now model Halima Aden has come on board with a range of hijab and turban sets.
Many brands have pivoted to mask making, but few have addressed the needs of frontline workers from all faiths. Aden’s custom hijabs add something new to the equation and the market precisely what Anywear’s cofounders Emily Shippee and Adi-Lee Cohen had in mind. Inspired by the needs of real frontline workers, who Shippee interviewed as part of a story for Allure , the project expanded into an ongoing collaboration curated by the magazine’s editors.
“When I started speaking to Adi about inclusivity and the designs, we wanted to make sure we included women who need to cover their hair and do so comfortably,” explained Shippee via email. “Of course, nobody was better for that than Halima because she used to clean hospital rooms when she first started working and had valuable, firsthand experiences.”
Content courtesy of Vogue