Meet Halima Aden, The Hijab-Wearing Model Who's Slaying Fashion Month
Remember the inspiring Muslim woman who competed for Miss Minnesota in a burkini and a hijab last year? Well, let us update you on her recent accomplishments, because the 19-year old model has been seriously slaying the game. After signing recently with IMG Models (as the agency's first hijab-donning talent on its roster), Halima Aden has been seen on catwalks in New York and Milan this season. Plus, she just landed on a very chic magazine cover. She may have been just shy of the top five in the Miss Minnesota pageant (though she did finish among in the pageant's top 15 contestants), but we're pretty sure she's feeling just fine about that these days.
Aden was one of the gorgeous faces that helped (very marginally) improve the diversity in casting during New York Fashion Week this season where she made her runway debut in a very buzzy way: by walking in the Yeezy show. The Somali-American model currently lives in St. Could, Minnesota; she was born in Kenya before she fled a refugee camp for America at the age of six. When she submitted her photos to the Miss Universe pageant, she inquired about wearing her hijab and remaining covered during the swimsuit portion of the competition on stage. The organization was incredibly receptive, and welcomed Aden to the participate in the pageant.
Last week, Aden joined models Lara Stone, Bella and Gigi Hadid, and even Paris Jackson on the cover of CR Fashion Book's 10th issue. Since then, she's walked major catwalks like Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara. We're bound to see her on some other runways in Europe, since half of Milan Fashion Week and all of Paris Fashion Week still lies ahead. Before taking the stage at Max Mara, Aden posted a photo on Instagram of herself with her friends back home, with the caption "This is for you #MuslimGirlsCan." Aden's message of acceptance and female empowerment is one we've heard echoed throughout Fashion Week this season. But Aden's presence on the catwalk alongside some of today's top models is what true, representative diversity in action looks like.
By: Landon Peoples
Originally published for Refinery29.com