Halima Aden — former Miss Minnesota, Carine Roitfeld favorite and IMG’s first (and, for the moment, only) hijabi model — just landed her first American Vogue feature. The Vogue Arabia and CR Fashion Book cover star appears in the glossy’s July 2017 issue. Photographed by Anton Corbjin, styled by Phyllis Posnick and beautified by makeup artist Siddhartha Simone, the nineteen-year-old perfect skin-haver rocks (nearly) the same look worn by Mica Argañaraz on the Dries Van Noten Fall 2017 runway. Halima stuns in a velvety navy and chocolate brown dress, furry magenta jacket and outsize royal blue and purple chain-link choker.
Vogue credits Halima with “redefining the idea of modest style on the runway.” In the article, the Somali-American model asserts that the industry will never sway her values. In her hometown of St. Cloud, Minnesota — which boasts a large, tight-knit Somali community — Halima has been, on at least one occasion, approached by elder Somali women who cautioned that “the longer you spend in that industry, first they’ll want you to wear pants, then tighter and more revealing clothes, and before you know it, no more hijab!’” Her response? “I want girls like that to be able to flip through a magazine and see someone who looks like them,” Halima told Vogue. “So why would I take my hijab off?”
It’s great to see Halima getting more of the mainstream recognition she deserves. While the Muslim model was a logical fit for Vogue Arabia, it’s important for girls in the Western world — and especially Trump’s America — to see confident, unconventional beauties like Halima in the pages of major fashion mags. (In case you’re wondering, the former refugee had this to say of President Trump: “You can say, I don’t agree with all that he says. But you have to be respectful.” Such grace.)
Head over to Vogue to read the full interview. It’s beyond fascinating. Halima’s stories of her early childhood in Kenya, her struggles in middle school and her hopes for the future will leave you high on admiration and inspiration.