Halima Aden @modanisa on Instagram

Why Halima Aden Turned Down the Met Gala

Although several celebrities were noticeably absent from this year’s Met Gala, one of the year’s biggest fashion events, Somali-American model Halima Aden’s absence was a point of confusion for many.

Each year, celebrities come to the Gala for a night of fashion to benefit New York City’s art galleries, and this year’s attendees included Rihanna, Timothee Chalamet, Gigi Hadid, and Lorde. After social media users commented on her absence from the iconic fashion event, Muslim Girl spoke to Halima and confirmed that she had turned down the invitation.

Instead, Halima was on the other side of the world — in Istanbul, to be exact — accompanying the Turkish modest wear company Modanisa in her new role as their global brand ambassador. She told a group of attendees, “I would rather be here.”

After stepping away from modeling in November 2020, to adhere to her Islamic beliefs, Halima marks her return with the launch of her new ambassador campaign, Your World To Wear. We caught up with Halima to hear her side on the importance of making space for modest wear in the fashion industry. 

Muslim Girl: What are you hoping to see in the future with your return to fashion?

Halima Aden: I’m so excited to continue my new role as Modanisa’s global brand ambassador. I’m so excited to get back to fashion and all the new styles, but I’m also excited to be behind the scenes and work with the marketing team, commercial side, and learn new skills.

MG: How was your return to Modanisa?

HA: It feels like life is coming full circle. I feel like Modanisa was there for me when I first started out; I wore their burkini in 2016 for the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, which launched my career. It’s nice to grow with the brand and see how  it evolved and matured, and I feel like we are both growing! Now that I’m on this new journey, it’s so nice to be back with a familiar brand that I love and value and to create a collection and see what the girls have to say!

MG: What do you want others to take away from your work?

HA: The biggest thing I want young women to take away from my work is that you do not have to compromise. You can do the things you love while still staying true to your values, while still staying true to your core beliefs. The world will meet you where you stand. 

Be sure to check out Halima’s new collection and follow Muslim Girl on social media for more updates.

salaam! i'm fatimah, a student and writer at Muslim Girl! i'm interested in medicine, anthropology and learning more about the world.