MEET HALIMA Aden, a Somali-American model who made headlines last year by competing in Minnesota’s Miss USA pageant wearing a hijab, and a burkini during the swimsuit portion.
Last night (Feb 15), Halima made her New York Fashion Week (NYFW) debut in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 show.
Her debut was extra special because Halima, a Muslim, did so wearing her hijab.
“I signed with the top modelling agency in the WORLD and still wore my hijab as my crown,” Halima wrote on Instagram after the show. “Don’t ever change yourself…Change the game.”
Since rising to prominence following the Minnesota’s Miss USA pageant, the teen, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, signed a deal with IMG Models, and she’s featured in a spread from the tenth edition of former Vogue Paris editor Caroline Roitfield’s CR Fashion Book.
The article, accompanied by shots from Mario Sorrenti, bills her as “the first beauty pageant contestant to wear a hijab” and a “breakout star”.
For Halima, being cast in the Yeezy Season 5 debut proved incredible both for the experience itself and the chance to see the famous family behind the label.
“I had the opportunity to briefly meet Kanye and Kim at my fitting yesterday, so that was fun!” says Halima, whose previous work with the show’s stylist, Carine Roitfeld, put her at ease backstage. “She and her team are simply the best. Since she styled the show today, I knew I would be comfortable and wearing something that would be acceptable to my beliefs.”
Though finding looks that reflect her standards of modesty can provide a momentary challenge, she said she has been heartened by the way in which stylists like Carine Roitfeld have been willing to work with her.
“Oftentimes, they have to put me in a few things before finding something that I know would be deemed appropriate.”