Trailblazing Hijabi Model Halima Aden Shows How You Can Dress Modestly & Be Beautiful


19-year-old model Halima Aden who has taken the fashion world by storm is having a wonderful year. In February, Aden became the first hijabi to be signed by IMG Models; “To be honest, I never really thought I had a place in the world of fashion,” Halima Aden says.“I didn’t grow up seeing women dressed like or who looked like me in magazines or on television or [on] advertising billboards.” In subsequent weeks, Halima has went on to cover the 10th edition of Carine Roitfeld’s CR Fashion Book, make her runway debut for Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5, and walk for Max Mara and Alberta Ferretti in Milan. In an exclusive with Landon Peoples of Refinery29, photographed by Bella Howard, styled by Rosa-Safiah Connell with beauty by Elizabeth Hsieh. Aden revealed more about her rise.By the time Aden walked her first runway in New York City, however, she was already familiar with being the only hijab-wearing woman in the group. “I didn’t know women who wore hijabs could be models,” she said. “My first taste of the modelling world was competing in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant this past November. I entered the pageant because of the scholarships it provides young women, and the experience to step outside my comfort zone.“In addition to the interview [portion], I had to model on stage in the evening gown and swimwear competitions. Throughout the competition I wore my hijab, and for the swimwear portion, I wore a burkini, a modest swimsuit that covers the entire body except the face, hands, and feet. It was because of my participation in the pageant that doors began opening in the modelling world. I think it’s important to be diverse and I hope we continue to see that as a trend in the fashion industry.”Following the competition, Aden says, she was contacted by legendary editor Carine Roitfeld, “[Roitfeld’s team] reached out to the Miss Minnesota USA pageant organisers after the state pageant and invited me to come to New York City to shoot for CR Fashion Book’s tenth issue,” Aden reflects. “I had never been to New York, and having my first ever photo shoot be for such an esteemed stylist and fashion figure like Carine was wild. Not to mention, the photographer was Mario Sorrenti! The CR Fashion Book team has really taken me under their wing; they are like family.”“I am so incredibly grateful for all of the moments I experienced during Fashion Month, she says. “It’s humbling to even think that I have more than one moment to choose from. Carine was styling the Yeezy show and thought it would be a great fit for me to make my runway debut, and when Carine Roitfeld thinks an idea in the fashion world is good, I’ll take her word for it. [Laughs] I then had the chance to travel to Milan to walk for Max Mara and Alberta Ferretti. I loved meeting the other models and again getting the chance to see the one and only Gigi Hadid. I met Gigi on set at the CR Fashion Book shoot, and she instantly took me under her wing. She is such a superstar and yet so kind, caring, and willing to help. She gave me tips on my walk in Milan,” she said. “It’s important for me to show young women in my community and around the world that you don’t have to change yourself or your beliefs to be successful in any avenue. Stay true to who you are and I think you will find that the key players in any industry and those who are out to do big things will have you back and support you every step of the way. Knowing that I have impacted and set an example for young women is what keeps me going.”Credit: Refinery29

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