Latest release from Ivy & Normanton, the first ever outfitter dedicated to courtwear for women
Two junior barristers from Doughty Street Chambers have teamed up to design and launch a range of hijabs to wear in court.
The product, created by criminal barristers Karlia Lykourgou and Maryam Mir, is aimed towards Muslim advocates who struggle to find appropriate legal headwear. Although hijab-wearing barristers don’t have to wear traditional wigs in court, there appears to be no guidance on what this should look like in practice.
According to the duo, who first met in 2006 as law students at the University of Leeds, the idea came after Mir explained the difficulties she faced in finding a suitable hijab for court. She told Legal Cheek: “My court hijabs were more often than not chopped up scraps of silks from Accessorize. It was a real blow when Tie Rack went bust!”
“It seemed ridiculous to me that Maryam, as a busy and brilliant barrister, should lose any time trying to find something as simple as a hijab for court that’s the right size, shape, colour and design,” recalled Lykourgou.
The pair tested various fabrics before arriving at organic bamboo silk, which according to Ivy & Normanton’s website is “lightweight, breathable and moisture wicking to keep you cool in the summer and comfortable in the winter”. The hijab, which comes in black and white, can be tucked into a collarette, with or without a wig.
As well as meeting the gap in the garment market, Lykourgou hopes the range of hijabs will have a positive impact on inclusion in the legal profession. “To keep encouraging diversity at the bar we have to make sure those who don’t fit the white, male stereotype have the tools they need, so other young people can see them and believe they have a place in the profession too,” she said.
Also commenting on the launch, Mir told Legal Cheek:
“The message I want to send is universal, not just to Muslim women: it’s time for the professional world to celebrate all people in all facets of their identity. You do not have to compromise who you are to succeed. Don’t let anyone dictate what you should look or sound like. Be true to yourself and confident in your identity and success will come to you.”