IMG Models has just signed a hijab-wearing model. A Somali-American born in a Kenyan refugee camp, Halima Aden first made waves when she represented Minnesota in last year’s Miss USA competition. Now, she will make her runway debut during this fashion week, walking for Kanye West’s Yeezy show.
IMG has signed Muslim models in the past, but Aden is one that wears hijab and dresses modestly. The 19-year-old wore one all throughout her Miss USA competition, even during the swimsuit portion, where she rocked a burkini.
— Leila Navidi (@LeilaNavidi) November 27, 2016
Aden also captured the eye of Carine Roitfeld, Harper Bazaar’s global fashion director. “Halima is breaking boundaries of beauty and perception by being herself. I find this incredibly inspiring, and I know she will be an icon.” Roitfeld is also the creator of the CR Fashion Book, which by the way, will feature Aden, come March.
It’s a trend that casting directors and fashion designers are slowly following — casting models that make the runway look like the real world. Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models expressed this sentiment, saying, “We need to reflect in fashion who we are as a human race.”
Aden’s goal is the same. “I didn’t really have modeling in mind,” Aden told Business of Fashion. “I wanted to spread a positive message about beauty and diversity, and to show other young Muslim women that there is room for them.” Getting signed to IMG is definitely a means to an end.
On Instagram she wrote, “Don’t ever change yourself. Change the game.” This breakout star might just end up a household name.