Halima Aden Signed by Top Modelling Agency, IMG

Halima Aden, who made headlines last year for being the first fully-covered Muslim woman to compete for the Miss Minnesota title, is now walking the runway for Kanye West.

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Halima is breaking boundaries of beauty and perception by being herself. Click To Tweet

 

Minnesota teen Halima Aden made headlines in November when she competed in the state’s Miss USA competition wearing a hijab and, during the swimsuit portion, a burkini. “I didn’t really have modelling in mind,” says Aden, 19, who is Somali-American and was born in a Kenyan refugee camp. “I wanted to spread a positive message about beauty and diversity, and to show other young Muslim women that there is room for them.”

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Halima Aden, who made headlines last year for being the first fully-covered Muslim woman to compete for the Miss Minnesota title, is now walking the runway for Kanye West.

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“I found that she was just so brave to stick to what she really believed in and yet go after the American dream of being in a beauty contest,” says Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models. While the agency has signed Muslim models in the past, Aden’s commitment to the hijab and modest clothing is unusual in the industry.

“We’ll see how the industry reacts to Halima and works with the restrictions or not,” says Bart. “It doesn’t negate the fact that we want to represent her. And it doesn’t negate the fact that already Carine Roitfeld has found her as appealing as we have.”

Bart says model diversity is a IMG priority. “By representing Halima, I would hope that the next 10-year-old girl wearing her hijab right now will feel included in the experience of fashion, and know that she could do that too,” he says. “We need to reflect in fashion who we are, as a human race.” — Chantal Fernandez

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