Most Muslim women wearing hijabs – scarfs that cover the head and chest – have a problem using earphones as they do not want to expose their ears.
They will have to pull back part of their hijab to put on earphones, before covering their ears again with the hijab. Or, they may even slide the earphone wires underneath the scarf, which is uncomfortable and troublesome.
A new earphone-friendly Ninja Echo hijab, designed by Singapore hijab brand Adlina Anis, resolves the dilemma.
The Ninja Echo hijab features special flaps on the side of the hijab that allows the wearer to conveniently plug in her earphones without compromising on style, comfort or accidental exposure of her ears.
Made of a breathable jersey and rayon material, the hijab is also perfect for women who like to listen to music while working out.
Ms Adlina Anis, 32, a former fashion stylist and founder of the self-named e-commerce store that stocks a wide collection of hijabs, was inspired by female Muslim doctors who wore hijabs and found it difficult to use stethoscopes.
Sensing a bigger opportunity, Anis, a graduate of Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Design, decided to cater to the needs of Muslim women who wish to lead an active lifestyle while wearing a hijab.
Says Anis: “I exercise three times a week and understand the struggle and hassle that comes with trying to plug in to music while working out.
“Though it was inspired by my doctor friends, it did resolve a personal need that many other Muslim women face as well.”
She often runs at a park near her home and does CrossFit strength and conditioning exercises at a gym.
The Ninja Echo hijab is available for sale at www.adlinaanis.com and retails at $35.90. For now, it comes only in black and in two sizes, normal and small.
Apart from the Ninja Echo hijab, Anis, who is married with no children, stocks 15 other styles that she conceptualised and designed herself. Her designs include one- way maxi snoods (tubular scarves) that provide more chest coverage. There are also I.C.E (In Case Of Emergencies) Onesies – shawls that can be slipped on easily with minimal adjustments, for times when the wearer has to rush out on a quick errand.
Anis founded Adlina Anis after seven years as a fashion stylist. She has styled for the Singapore version of Italian magazine Amica and worked as a fashion assistant at August Man and Prestige magazines.
When she took on more freelance jobs as a fashion stylist, she started to help sell hijabs for her husband’s aunt, who would import them from Indonesia.
The success of this small online business prompted her to start her own brand and the Adlina Anis label was born in 2012.
While her main customers are Singaporeans and Malaysians, her hijabs have reached different corners of the world. Customers include those from the United Kingdom, United States, France and Uzbekistan.
Dr Elly Sabrina, 45, a family physician, says she had difficulty using a stethoscope when she began wearing the hijab three years ago.
She says: “The Ninja Echo is very useful and intuitive for my line of work as it eliminates the hassle of having to tuck in any loose wires.”
A version of this story was originally published in The Straits Times on January 25, 2016. For more stories like this, head to www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle.