Have you seen a hijab wearing model on a fashion runway or on the cover of a fashion magazine? If not, then you’ve not heard of Halima Aden.
Halima Aden,19, is a Somali-American. She was boron in Kakuma, a United Nations refugee camp in Kenya, came to the United States at age 7.
One year ago, Denise Wallace, executive co-director of the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, received a phone call from 19-year-old Halima Aden asking if she could compete in the contest wearing her hijab.
“I saw her photo, and I remember I said, ‘Wow, she is beautiful,” Wallace said.
She made headlines as the first hijab- and burkini-sporting contestant in the history of the pageant.
The bold move catapulted her career to new heights involving many “firsts,” including being the first hijabi signed by a major modeling agency.
“I wear the hijab everyday,” Aden, who was in New York for Fashion Week, told Reuters.
Nike Inc. announced it is using its prowess to launch a “sport” hijab in spring 2018, becoming the first major sports apparel maker to offer a traditional Islamic head scarf designed for competition.
Teen apparel maker American Eagle Outfitters Inc created a denim hijab with Aden as its main model. The youthful headscarf sold out in less than a week online.
“She is someone who is so amazingly representative of who we are as America, as a melting pot it totally made sense for us,” Lee said.
she was an A-student and homecoming queen. Now, Aden’s ultimate goal is to become a role model for American Muslim youth.
”I am doing me and I have no reason to think that other people are against me,” Aden said. “So I just guess I‘m oblivious.”
Aden said she is content being a champion for diversity in the modeling industry, but in the future she hopes to return to Kakuma to work with refugee children.