A group of pre-teen female athletes were frustrated that there was no clothing available that met their standards for modesty and performance — so, they developed their own. With the help of University of Minnesota's School of Design, the Lady Warriors from Cedar Riverside Community School embarked on a two-year process to create basketball uniforms for Muslim girls. The goal? Pieces that were non-restrictive, that adhered to the standards of dress suggested by the girls' beliefs, and that looked good.
The Associated Press reports that Fatimah Hussein founded an all-girls sports program in a community center in 2008 while she was still in university. When the program began to include basketball, the girls complained about not being able to easily move in their regular clothing: Their skirts tripped them up and their hijabs would often come undone, slowing down the game.
Chelsey Thul, a kinesiology lecturer at the university, led the project and told AP, "The girls for years have been telling us, 'We would like clothing. We would like clothing.'"
Sketches and samples show that the ladies had some pretty wild ideas when it came to how they wanted their uniforms to look (some of which actually look like they could have come from one of Rihanna's activewear collections for Puma). I'm a little disappointed the players didn't get their bright colors and busy patterns, but they looked totally glowing and proud in the fashion show they put on with the two styles of uniforms they developed.
“I actually focus on basketball instead of our scarf,” Zubeda Chaffe told AP. This is thanks to the breathable uniforms — one for basketball and a one designed for multi-sport use — that feature long-sleeved tunics, thick leggings, and hijabs affixed using velcro to keep them from slipping or falling off. "We can do crossovers, we can do anything with these dresses," added teammate Rayan Ali. Oh, and they meet the girls' other very important standard: style. "I want to look good. It's not for other people. For me," asserted Amira Ali.
Images: UofMDesign/Twitter; Associated Press/Youtube