Halima Aden, The Hijab-Wearing Model


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.

Halima Aden on the cover of June edition of Vogue Arabia

Halima Aden on the cover of June edition of Vogue Arabia

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.

The hijab is going mainstream, with advertisers, media giants and fashion firms promoting images of the headscarf commonly associated with Islam in ever more ways.halima3

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.

Allure magazine’s editor-in-chief, Michelle Lee, is also in the mix, describing Aden as a ”normal American teenage girl” on the front cover of the magazine’s July issue.Captureaden-large_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqXLf5rZYUXGKwZgSx01hvqPQI0ZKfw03qC5Ywj9scPQs

“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.


About Author

Akin Akingbala is an international journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. Aside being happily married, he has interests in music, sports and loves traveling.

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