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Macy's is capitalizing on a massive market most retailers ignore - but some customers are furious

Business Insider | Feb 13, 2018, 10.23PM IST

Macy's muslim collection

Macy's

The new collection launches February 15.

  • Macy's has launched a new collection of modest clothing targeted at Muslim women. This includes hijabs.
  • The collection has led to some backlash online as customers claim that the retailer is promoting a symbol of oppression for women. In some Muslim-majority countries, women are required to cover up by law.
  • Others have come to the defense of the brand and praised it for its inclusivity.

Macy's will start selling hijabs online this month, and it's led to some controversy.

The department store just launched its new Verona collection, which features a mix of ready-to-wear "fashionable and modest" clothing, including maxi dresses, cardigans, and hijabs, a traditional headscarf for Muslim women.

Macy's joins other global fashion brands that have started to embrace Muslim fashion. In February 2016, Uniqlo partnered with the fashion designer Hana Tajima to create a collection that included hijabs. In March 2017, Nike created its own version of the headscarf, designed specifically for playing sports.

These retailers are looking to cash in on a market that many retailers ignore. According to the latest Global Islamic Economy report, consumers spent $254 billion on Muslim attire in 2016. It estimates that the market could be worth $373 billion by 2022, The New York Times reported.

But the new line at Macy's didn't get the unanimous fanfare the retailer had hoped for, and some customers are now calling for a boycott of the chain, claiming that it's promoting a symbol of oppression.

The collection is timed with recent news reports of Iranian women publicly removing their headscarves in protest of women's-right violations in the country.

Macy's did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Macy's hijab

Twitter/@GinaMarie497

In some Muslim countries women are required to cover up by law.

Muslim Macy's

Twitter/@pahubb43

Some customers are calling for a boycott of the chain.

Muslim clothing at macy's

Twitter/@DrunkRouge

But, some feminist advocates have leapt to Macy's defense.

Macy's muslim collection

Twitter/@womensmarch

And some have praised Macy's for celebrating diversity and inclusivity.

Macy's muslim

Twitter/@xenonariel Follow Follow @xenonariel

The new collection launches online on February 15, and the pieces cost between $12.95 and $84.95 .

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