Last year, Halima Aden’s name started trending because she wore a burkini (a modest swimsuit) in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. Fast-forward to 2017 and Halima, a first-generation Somali-American, not only signed with IMG Models — the same agency that represents Gigi and Bella Hadid — but also landed a photo shoot for CR Fashion Book, run by renowned stylist Carine Roitfeld, and made her runway debut in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 show. The model then flew to Milan to walk the runways of Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara.
“Halima is breaking boundaries of beauty and perception by being herself,” said Carine, who revealed the 19-year-old caught her eye. “I find this incredibly inspiring, and I know she will be an icon.”
The 10th edition of the book was released on March 2, and Halima graces one of the two covers in her hijab. When asked about her being called a hero, Halima said:
“I wish I could tell them, ‘Hey, I’m not a perfect Muslim.’ A lot of people had a misconception that I would be the perfect poster child for Islam. So I got a lot of Instagram comments like, ‘Oh, you don’t have your neck covered, you’re not a Muslim!’ My thing is, stop judging women, especially if you’re a man, because you don’t know the responsibility that comes with wearing a hijab.”
Keep your eyes on on Halima, because this future top model is just getting started.