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The Hijabi self: authenticity and transformation in the Hijab fashion phenomenon

Noha El-Bassiouny (The Faculty of Management Technology, The German University in Cairo, Egypt)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 11 June 2018




The purpose of this paper is to delve into the intricate relationships between hijab culture and consumption. The research questions whether the hijab consumption phenomenon is an icon of fashion or an authentic blend of religious and cultural tenets.


The research uses a netnographic approach in a qualitative manner similar to ethnography on the internet. An online forum is created on social media for Egyptian hijabista consumers, who reflect on their self-transformations with respect to the hijab phenomenon.


The findings of the study provide insights relevant to the consumer experiences of the hijab fashion phenomenon. The results are analyzed using Holt’s (1995) consumption parabola, where the insights show the consumption as experience, integration, play and classification metaphors in action. Most insights show that the hijab fashion experience combines authentic religious meanings with cultural ones.

Research limitations/implications

The study methodology used is qualitative, thereby putting limitations on generalizing the findings to other consumers and contexts.

Practical implications

The findings are relevant to fashion designers and fashion marketers who aim at understanding the hijabista culture.

Social implications

The results are relevant to consumer culture theorists as well as to macromarketing researchers looking at authenticity in the hijab fashion phenomenon. The research is also relevant in understanding the hijabista culture, which is a growing consumer culture around the globe.


The research combines the literatures on consumer culture theory, self-transformations and authenticity with regards to the hijab consumption phenomenon. Such relationships were not explored previously in the literature. The methodological approach is also novel.



El-Bassiouny, N. (2018), "The Hijabi self: authenticity and transformation in the Hijab fashion phenomenon", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 296-304.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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