Halima Aden Makes History As First Hijab + Burkini Wearing Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model


AOC has followed and really promoted hijab-wearing model Halima Aden from her first arrival as a model. Aden also hails from Ilhan Omar's Mpls, Mn. 5th District. Halima has enjoyed tremendous support from none other than Carine Roitfeld herself, and she is just a total goddess and humanitarian. BTW, Halima won the Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant wearing a hijab.

In her latest groundbreaking event, Halima Aden is a rookie in the new Sports Illustrated 2019 Swimwear issue, staying true to her commitment to wear a hijab or glam headress in all her fashion shoots and in the case of swimwear, to don a burkini.

Txema Yeste Eyes Hijabi Models Halima Aden, Ikram Abdi Omar + Amina Adan For Historic Vogue Arabia

Txema Yeste Eyes Hijabi Models Halima Aden, Ikram Abdi Omar + Amina Adan For Historic Vogue Arabia

Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut makes history, devoting the April 2019 issue to the topic of ‘modesty’ and clothes that empower Muslim women living in and out of the Arab world. Three black Hijabi models — Halima Aden, Ikram Abdi Omar, and Amina Adan — are the cover stars, appearing individually and together in a historic group cover and interior shots.

Halima Aden's TEDx Talk From Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya

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Halima Aden's TEDx Talk From Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya

Rising fashion star Halima Aden made another appearance in the pages of Vogue Arabia, posing in the November 2018 for images by An Le. The AOC post prompted me to circle back to watch Halima Aden’s TEDx Talk in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp, now that it’s available online.

Aden expressed profound thanks for getting the opportunity to revisit the Kakuma, which was founded in 1992 and is currently home to more than 185,000 inhabitants. “This camp taught me so many lessons and I’m so grateful I had the chance to return,” the model told her 620,000 Instagram followers. “A lot has changed since I’ve left but we still have along way to go.” 

At this moment when refugees are under assault globally, including in America, Halima’s words are deeply felt here at AOC. I also found this essay expressing in words by Halima many of the concepts expressed in her TEDX talk, posted on Dream Refugee.org.

Immersed in trying to piece together all of the refugee models and their intersections with each other, I momentarily forgot my own words from April 1, in which I already wrote that Halima Aden and Adut Akech were both born in the same refugee camp: Kakuma.

'Wonder Woman' Halima Aden Is Dramatic Gorgeous For ELLE UK November 2018

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Rising model Halima Aden is styled by Solange Franklin as one of ELLE UK’s ‘Wonder Women’, lensed by Clay Stephen Gardner./ Makeup by Grace Ahn; hair by Nai’vasha Johnson

As the first Muslim woman wearing a hijab in the world of high fashion, 21-year-old Halima Aden, a Somali refugee growing up in Minnesota, is hailed “as the role model we need in 2018” by British ELLE. “She’s the model who stays true to her beliefs. The proud refugee embracing American culture — without forgetting where she came from.”

We’ve all noticed a more modest direction in fashion, and ELLE UK quantifies it. “The Islamic fashion industry is set to be worth £267 billion by 2O21*, with modest fashion dominating the AW18 runways of Gucci, Calvin Klein 2O5W39NYC, Alexander Wang, Versace, Chanel, Balenciaga, Dior and more. Here, Halima talks about the journey with Muslim Girl editor-in-chief Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, a fellow hijabi and role model redefining what Muslim women can do. “

Carine Roitfeld has backed Halima from day one, and launched her first girl gaggle photoshoot. Reflecting, Halima shares the experience: “It was for CR Fashion Book. Mario Sorrenti was shooting, there was Gigi [Hadid], Paris Jackson, Candice Swanepoel. I will never forget, Paris was like, ‘Girl, any time you’re in LA, just shoot me a text and we’ll hang out.’ She immediately embraced me and it was the same with Candice. She was like, ‘Don’t ever feel like you need to change yourself.’ “

Gigi Hadid also greeted Halima with open arms. “Yes, it was a Milan show for Alberta Ferretti. She came up to me and said, ‘Welcome to the show. If you need any advice, any tips, just come to me.’ I was freaking out – it’s Gigi! But she is super, super sweet.”

The ELLE interview highlight’s Halima being named with Gigi as new UNICEF ambassadors — all topics AOC has covered previously.