Recently my friend modeled in a photoshoot for her friend's fashion brand. My friend wore their long colorful coats (her skin is covered) but had her hair out. The photos are being used in social media and brand website to sell the coats. Is modeling this way wrong or haram? Will the person who owns the fashion brand be judged by using a model?
Hair are part of the 'awrah of a woman and should be covered:
اتفق الفقهاء على عدم جواز النظر إلى شعر المرأة الأجنبية، كما لا يجوز لها إبداؤه للأجانب عنها
The jurists are in agreement on the illegality of looking at the hair of a stranger woman, and also that it is illegal for her to reveal them to someone who is a stranger to her
An advertisement can be seen by non-mahrams, more so it is going to be in a place of very high visibility. It can hardly be considered permissible, given the emphasis that Islam lays on concealment:
وقل للمؤمنات ... لا يبدين زينتهن إلا ما ظهر منها ... ولا يضربن بأرجلهن ليعلم ما يخفين من زينتهن
And tell the believing women to ... not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof ... And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment.
وقرن في بيوتكن ولا تبرجن تبرج الجاهلية الأولى
And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance.
غير متبرجات بزينة
[but] not displaying adornment
فاسألوهن من وراء حجاب ذلكم أطهر لقلوبكم وقلوبهن
Ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts.
Using women in advertisements of any kind is Haram, even with Hijab. Not even covering the head and that makes it extra Haram. I realize that this trend could be coming from the liberals of the Muslim society, and that they CAN now be taken as examples "because they are Muslims".
Just sit and ask yourself, at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), if there was a women's clothing trader (and I assure you there were many), would the Prophet allow a woman to go out with her hair uncovered and "advertise" for the brand? I am sure you would say no.
May Allah guide this Ummah.
Is modeling this way wrong or haram?
We have the following Hadith:
Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, came to my house when two girls were beside me singing songs of Bu’ath. The Prophet laid down and turned his face to the other side. Then, Abu Bakr came in and spoke to me harshly, saying, “Musical instruments of Satan near the Prophet?” The Prophet turned his face toward him and he said, “Leave them alone.” When Abu Bakr became inattentive, I signaled to the girls and they left. It was the day of Eid and the Abyssinians were playing with shields and spears. Either I asked the Prophet or he asked me whether I would like to watch and I said yes. Then the Prophet made me stand behind him while my cheek was touching his cheek and the Prophet was saying, “Carry on, O tribe of Arfidah.” I became tired and the Prophet asked me, “Are you satisfied?” I said yes, so I left.
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 907, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 892 Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim
and a commentary by Al-Ghazali:
Al-Ghazali said, “All of these traditions are reported in the two authentic books, Al-Bukhari and Muslim, and they demonstrate that singing and playing is not unlawful. From them we may deduce the following lessons. First, it is permissible to play as the Abyssinians were in the habit of dancing and playing. Second, it is permissible to do this in the mosque. Third, the Prophet’s saying to Arfidah was a command and a request that they should play, so how then can playing be considered unlawful? Fourth, the Prophet prevented Abu Bakr and Umar from interrupting and scolding the players and singers, and he told Abu Bakr that this festival was a joyous occasion and that singing was a means on enjoyment. Fifth, on both occasions he stayed for a long time with Aisha, letting her watch the show of the Abyssinians and listening with her to the girls singing. This proves that it is better to be good-humored in pleasing women and children with games than to disapprove of such amusements out of a sense of harsh piety and asceticism. Sixth, the Prophet encouraged Aisha by asking her if she would like to watch. Seventh, singing and playing with the drum is permissible.”
Source: Iḥyā’ Ulūm al-Dīn 2/278
Given that dancers and singers often dress up we can deduce that fashion itself is not haram; but given that we are in the West, and that fashion there is often immodest; we should add a rider that so long as Islamic injunctions on modesty are followed; I am not going to be precise here as there are a number of interpretations; this is why, for example, vogue Arabia had a recent photoshoot with muslim models who had their hair covered.
Moreover, one should check that Islamic views on ethical trading are followed. For example, checking that a fashion brand doesn't use sweat-shop labour in their supply chain. If so, it would be sunnat to take it up with them.