Nordstrom partners with Minneapolis designer to sell Islamic head coverings

Nordstrom will now drape some of their mannequins in hijabs, the head covering often required for women under Islam.

Nordstrom debuts its new line of hijabs at the Mall of America last week. (Mall of America/Twitter)

Nordstrom will now sell hijabs, the headscarves often required for women of the Islamic faith, in coordination with a Minneapolis-based fashion company.

Nordstrom’s hijabs are offered in coordination with Henna & Hijabs (H&H), which is described as “a proud Black, Muslim and women-owned American company, based in Minneapolis” by a press release announcing the collaboration. Nordstrom also hopes that selling hijabs will help achieve “equity” and create “a sense of pride, excitement and confidence for an otherwise underrepresented community of women.” H&H was founded and is still operated by Hilal Ibrahim, a Minneapolis woman.

Some of Nordstrom’s mannequins will now feature the Islamic headwear. Such mannequins could be seen at Nordstrom’s hijab debut at the Mall of America last week.

The new headscarves range in price from $40-90 and are now available.

Hijabs are a common sight around Minneapolis due to its remarkably high concentration of Somali immigrants and refugees who are overwhelmingly Muslim. The lion’s share of the 150,000 Somalis in America live in Minnesota, concentrated in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud.

As Minnesota’s Somali population grows so does its political prowess and social influence.

Left-wing publications like the Sahan Journal praise the ever-increasing political power of Minnesota’s Somali population. This Somali demographic is largely responsible for the election of Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first woman to wear a hijab in Congress, and Keith Ellison, a Muslim who served in the Minnesota House and Congress before becoming Minnesota’s attorney general.

Meanwhile, some are concerned about a lack of assimilation. Half of the Somalis in Minnesota cannot speak fluent English, according to the Pioneer Press. This has created issues for local and national governments, as a significant group of people are unable to independently complete civic tasks like filling out a census report.

Somalis have also formed their own insular sub-communities in Minneapolis, adding to concerns about assimilation and integration. The Cedar-Riverside neighborhood is home to Riverside Plaza, a series of apartment buildings occupied almost exclusively by Somalis.