Halima Aden named as diversity editor for Vogue Arabia

Halima Aden is “super proud” to be joining Vogue Arabia as the publication’s new diversity editor-at-large.The 22-year-old took to Instagram to announce the news on Thursday, and in her statement, explained to her followers that she will be working wit…

Halima Aden is “super proud” to be joining Vogue Arabia as the publication’s new diversity editor-at-large.

The 22-year-old took to Instagram to announce the news on Thursday, and in her statement, explained to her followers that she will be working with editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut on topics including human rights and racial equality.

“I’m super proud to announce that I’m joining @voguearabia as Diversity Editor at Large. I’ll be working together with the team on the promotion of topics such as human rights, race and diversity, and acceptance,” she wrote. “I’m looking forward to teaming up with @mrarnaut – the magazine’s editor, to bring you content that is meaningful and relevant, based on my own personal experience.”

Halima’s new role will include writing a monthly column that will highlight “hard-hitting social topics, inspiring personalities, and committed organisations with impactful work.”

The Somali-American star was the first person to wear a hijab on a Vogue cover when she fronted Vogue Arabia’s June issue back in 2017.

“I commend Manuel on his work over the past few years in showcasing a wide range of models from all different backgrounds,” she added. “I am most grateful that he is bringing me on, once again highlighting the value that Vogue Arabia continues to place on awareness, especially when it comes to topics that most affect those who are not necessarily represented within their current staff.”

Meanwhile, Manuel explained that he was motivated to hire Halima to help the fashion magazine “better curate topics” and strive to become more inclusive.

“I believe that in order to create content that is truly effective and meaningful, we need extra support from someone who embodies the values of our time and understands the struggles and all the layers of the topics that society is discussing now,” he stated. “I’m excited to continue our journey together.”

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Halima Aden calls on all young people to use social media to promote change

Halima Aden has called on all young people to use their social media accounts to promote anti-racism movements.The Somali-American star rose to fame in 2016 when she became the first contestant to wear a burkini and hijab, or veil, in the Miss Minnesot…

Halima Aden has called on all young people to use their social media accounts to promote anti-racism movements.

The Somali-American star rose to fame in 2016 when she became the first contestant to wear a burkini and hijab, or veil, in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, and in April 2019, made history when she posed in modest clothing for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue.

Now, Aden is using her platform to demand action over racial injustice and police brutality in the U.S. following the shocking death of unarmed African-African man George Floyd at the hands of police officers on 25 May – and has begged her 1.1 million Instagram followers to do the same.

“Like many right now, I keep asking myself what more I can be doing and how I can use my platform to see justice served,” she wrote in a candid op-ed for Harper’s Bazaar magazine. “I’ve been happy to see a community on social media where people are providing hope with calls to action, a show of support, and a pledge to do better.

“Everyone in today’s digital age is a social media influencer, whether you have 20 followers or 20 million; you have the power to update a community of people with the click of a button. If you can commit to using your voice – big or small – right now, that gives me hope!”

Aden went on to share that she and her roommate felt compelled to visit the spot in Minneapolis where Floyd was arrested the day after he died in order to pay their respects and express solidarity with other mourners peacefully gathered there.

And the model was overwhelmed by the sense of community she witnessed in her home state at such a pivotal moment in time.

“I know that Minnesota will be a catalyst for change. There are flaws in our system and I have faith that my fellow Minnesotans will have the difficult conversations and put leaders in place who can unite us. We are seeing necessary calls for reform by government agencies and that is a step in the right direction,” the 22-year-old added.

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Halima Aden creates face masks for hijabi frontline workers

Halima Aden has helped design a range of face masks for those who wear hijabs. The model, who is best known for being the first to wear a hjiab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, has teamed up with Anywear and…

Halima Aden has helped design a range of face masks for those who wear hijabs.

The model, who is best known for being the first to wear a hjiab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, has teamed up with Anywear and Allure magazine’s Banding Together project to create a collection of face coverings and hijab sets.

Before she embarked on her modelling career, the 22-year-old used to clean hospital rooms at St. Cloud Hospital in Minnesota, so she knows what it’s like to try and wear face and head coverings at the same time.

“Early on, I understood the importance of wearing that extra protective gear, whether it was the gloves or the personal protection equipment, so when Covid-19 happened, and there were so many shortages, I felt such sympathy,” she told Vogue.com. “I struggled with my scarf and having to pin it… I can remember wishing that there was a way for the hijab to be a part of the uniform instead of me having to go and match the fabric and never be able to find scarf options to go with my scrubs.”

While traditional face masks are secured behind the ears, Aden’s face coverings come with a “built-in extender” comprised of two buttons so they can clasp around the back of the head. For each purchase, Anywear officials will donate a piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I wanted something that would bring joy to the patients and the healthcare workers,” the model said of the collection. “This is giving people the tools to feel comfortable and do their job to the best of their ability… There are so many hijabi women working in healthcare, and their comfort is as important as anyone else’s in the workforce.”

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Halima Aden using lockdown to experiment with new hijab styles

Halima Aden is using her free time in lockdown to come up with new ways to style her hijab. The model gained notice in 2016 when she became the first contestant in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant to wear a burkini and hijab, and she broke down barriers…

Halima Aden is using her free time in lockdown to come up with new ways to style her hijab.

The model gained notice in 2016 when she became the first contestant in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant to wear a burkini and hijab, and she broke down barriers even further last year when she became the first model to wear them on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Aden was also the first hijab-wearing model to walk international runways and to be signed to a major agency, with her modelling contract stating that the headscarf is a non-negotiable part of her work.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the 22-year-old, who is spending quarantine with her family in Minnesota, shared that she was using the downtime from her hectic schedule to find new ways to style her wardrobe staple.

“For me, this has been the perfect time to experiment and come up with new hijab and turban styles and to get creative with my staple wardrobe item, the headscarf. My followers are always asking for scarf tutorials so you may be seeing some fresh looks soon!” she said.

Aden also revealed that she has been keeping her spirits up and staying hopeful by using her mother’s mantra – “Tough times never last, but strong people do” – and writing thank you notes.

“I think we all have so much to be grateful for and it’s the perfect time to reflect on our blessings and let those who have positively impacted our lives know we appreciate them,” the model explained. “We will get through this. It’s important for everyone to remember that and to have hope that we will come out of this – in some aspects, in a better place than we were before.”

Elsewhere, Aden shared that she has been spreading hope from home by continuing her work with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and advocating for companies and organisations who are helping communities around the world during the pandemic.

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Halima Aden: ‘I wouldn’t have had a place in fashion five years ago’

Halima Aden believes she wouldn’t have been embraced by the fashion industry five years ago. The Somali-American model became the first person to wear a burkini and hajib in the Miss Minnesota USA competition back in 2016, and did the same on the cover…

Halima Aden believes she wouldn’t have been embraced by the fashion industry five years ago.

The Somali-American model became the first person to wear a burkini and hajib in the Miss Minnesota USA competition back in 2016, and did the same on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue last year.

Halima has continued to break barriers for Muslim women by appearing on the cover of magazines, in campaigns and on runways, including the recent Tommy Hilfiger London Fashion Week presentation, in her modest headwear.

But as she didn’t see other hijab-wearing women in the fashion industry, the 22-year-old never thought she would be a model, and now, she’s thrilled to be bringing modest outfits into the mainstream.

“Before (I got the call from IMG Models), if you had asked me in 2015 or 2016 if I could have been a model, I would have told you no, that’s impossible,” she told Harpersbazaar.com. “When you don’t see something, it’s hard to visualise it. A career like that, for someone like me, didn’t exist. But… modesty has been around for so long. It is one of the oldest fashion staples. Modesty is in so many different cultures. It has stood the test of time. So, it is confusing that it took until 2016 to go mainstream, but I am so grateful that it did.”

Halima continued to state that the fact the fashion industry has accepted her, as well as a diverse range of models, goes to show how much it has evolved in recent years.

“It took the entire fashion community to embrace me, wrap its hands around me, and to say that you belong without asking me to conform… And if you really think about it, five years ago, I wouldn’t have a place in fashion – not in the way I do today,” she added.

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Halima Aden refused to walk in Yeezy show due to length of skirt

Halima Aden once refused to walk in a Yeezy show due to a disagreement over the length of her skirt.The Somali-American beauty was due to make her New York Fashion Week debut in Kanye West’s season five ready-to-wear show back in 2017, but in an interv…

Halima Aden once refused to walk in a Yeezy show due to a disagreement over the length of her skirt.

The Somali-American beauty was due to make her New York Fashion Week debut in Kanye West’s season five ready-to-wear show back in 2017, but in an interview with British newspaper The Observer, she recalled how the moment ended up being a watershed moment for her modelling career.

After Halima was presented with an outfit by the rapper’s team, she acknowledged it “was just not going to work” as the skirt sat above her knee.

“Even then I knew: walking away when something doesn’t fit is always better than feeling you need to force something,” the 22-year-old shared, adding that while she was disappointed, she felt empowered as she returned to her hotel. “And then, without having to say anything, they called back: ‘We have a second option.’ I tried it on, and it was perfect. I just knew it was a pivotal moment in my life.

“The people who you want to work with, they’re willing to work with you just the way you are.”

Halima went on to make her groundbreaking appearance in the show wearing a floor-length fur coat.

She also noted that later that same year, she walked for Max Mara in an outfit that was designed just for her.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue star shared her plans to use her career to make a difference and emphasised how she wants to continue mixing her modelling with activism.

“My career in fashion is not just, ‘I want to work with this brand, I want to get on that catwalk.’ We’re not sitting here talking about ‘Buy this heel, because this heel will make you feel sexy,'” she fired. “I’m proud that I can say I combined fashion and activism. I can’t do one without the other.”

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Lewis Hamilton unveils latest Tommy Hilfiger line with star-studded London show

Tommy Hilfiger and Lewis Hamilton recruited many famous faces to model their latest designs at London Fashion Week on Sunday.The American designer unveiled his fourth collection in partnership with the Formula One driver, as well as their capsule colle…

Tommy Hilfiger and Lewis Hamilton recruited many famous faces to model their latest designs at London Fashion Week on Sunday.

The American designer unveiled his fourth collection in partnership with the Formula One driver, as well as their capsule collection with musician H.E.R., at the TOMMYNOW Spring 2020 show held at the Tate Modern in London on Sunday night, with celebrity guests including Billy Porter, Charli XCX, and Meghan Trainor.

The show featured a diverse, age, and size-inclusive mix of models from both sides of the Atlantic, ranging from ’90s British favourites Jodie Kidd, Yasmin Le Bon, and Erin O’Connor to newcomers such as Halima Aden, Alton Mason, and Jasmine Sanders. Other U.K. faces included Jourdan Dunn, Georgia May Jagger, and Karen Elson, while international models included Winnie Harlow, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Candice Swanepoel.

The famous faces on the runway vastly outnumbered those sitting front row, with the show also featuring celebrity relatives such as Helena Christensen and Norman Reedus’ son Mingus, Kate Moss’ sister Lottie, Liam Gallagher’s son Lennon, Bob Geldof’s daughter Pixie, and Christy Turlington’s nephew James.

The genderless ‘See Now, Buy Now’ collection was the most sustainable TommyxLewis release to date, with 75 per cent of the line using more sustainable production methods, including organic cotton, recycled fabric, and low-impact denim washes.

Naomi Campbell opened the show wearing a neon yellow and beige tracksuit with chunky high-top sneakers. A number of streetwear looks followed, before the collection focused on preppy outfits heavily featuring nautical stripes and the stars and stripes of the U.S. flag, with Ambrosio wearing a crisp navy blue blazer over the top of a white and blue striped shirt, worn as a dress, and a white jumper.

Hamilton linked arms with Campbell as he walked down to the catwalk with Hilfiger and H.E.R. to give the final bow.

“Thanks to @thomasjhilfiger, @hermusicofficial, all my amazing models including @naomi and of course to everyone at @tommyhilfiger,” he wrote on Instagram. “It’s been such a journey to create our most sustainable collection to date, but it’s something I’m so proud that we’ve been able to achieve. Feeling very grateful for all our hard work today.”

London Fashion Week continues on Monday with presentations from Burberry, JW Anderson, and Erdem.

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Halima Aden takes her own clothes to fashion shoots

Halima Aden takes her own clothes to photoshoots in case she’s uncomfortable with any of the outfits.The Somali-American model is well known for her strict approach to dressing modestly, and refuses to remove her hijab for shoots, even wearing the head…

Halima Aden takes her own clothes to photoshoots in case she’s uncomfortable with any of the outfits.

The Somali-American model is well known for her strict approach to dressing modestly, and refuses to remove her hijab for shoots, even wearing the head covering for her groundbreaking appearance in last year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

In a new interview with British newspaper The Observer, Halima revealed that she takes her own clothes along to jobs so she can remain comfortable in front of the camera.

“It’s not because I don’t think people are going to listen – it’s more so they know what to expect. I always bring extras – my own set of turbans, turtlenecks, tights – because it’s a collaboration,” she explained. “I also recognise that for a lot of people, in my first year especially, I was the only hijab-wearing girl they’d worked with. So, they’re not going to necessarily know 100 per cent what to expect, just like I didn’t know what to expect with fashion, because it’s not the world that I come from.”

While the fashion industry has been called out by critics over a lack of diversity in the last few years, the 22-year-old, who was the first hijab-wearing model to walk the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, insisted her career should serve as a reminder as to how far the industry has come.

“The fact that I’m able to do runway, the fact that I have graced these magazine covers and wear a hijab on top of that, be who I am, have my identity, wear it proudly… I think fashion is doing a beautiful job,” Halima added.

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Halima Aden fronting campaign for Bottletop

Halima Aden has been tapped to front a campaign for sustainable fashion brand Bottletop.Co-founded by Cameron Saul and Oliver Wayman, the London-based label is known for its handbags and accessories made from upcycled bottle tops lined with leather off…

Halima Aden has been tapped to front a campaign for sustainable fashion brand Bottletop.

Co-founded by Cameron Saul and Oliver Wayman, the London-based label is known for its handbags and accessories made from upcycled bottle tops lined with leather offcuts.

Now, Saul and Wayman have teamed with fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez on a collaboration, including the new Halima and Denise handbags, with Aden starring into the accompanying imagery.

“Our planet is running out of resources so let’s all choose to support brands that are committed to protecting our environment and communities,” the 22-year-old said. “This is why I’m excited to announce I’m the new face and ambassador of Bottletop. Working with Bottletop helps empower disadvantaged women through creation of fashion accessories in Nepal, Brazil, and Kenya. The grassroot organisations and partnerships gives them self-respect and the opportunity to provide for their children and families, they learn a new skill and in turn, it brings the community closer.”

The Halima and Denise handbags are made from Zero Deforestation leather and feature recycled ring pulls. They are available in two sizes and in bordeaux red and black colourways. Halima is priced at $850 (£658), while Denise retails at $650 (£502).

Accordingly, Saul noted that he and the Bottletop team are thrilled to be working with Aden, especially as they both have roots in Kenya. The Somali-American model was born in the Kakuma refugee camp after her family fled Somalia during the civil war, while the first-ever Bottletop collaboration with local artisans also took place in the nation.

“We are so inspired by Halima’s commitment to challenging societal attitudes, empowering women and young people and making change. Much like Halima, Bottletop strives to break barriers by harnessing the power of fashion and creativity to address key issues globally; to create conversation, drive empowerment, and make change. We cannot think of a better person to represent our work and mission,” he added.

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Halima Aden: ‘My mother doesn’t understand why representation is important’

Halima Aden’s mother doesn’t understand why representation is so important to her daughter.The Somali-American model was born in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya before her family relocated to the U.S. when she was seven years old, and she has since go…

Halima Aden’s mother doesn’t understand why representation is so important to her daughter.

The Somali-American model was born in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya before her family relocated to the U.S. when she was seven years old, and she has since gone on to break barriers for Muslim women, by becoming the first person to wear a burkini and hajib in the Minnesota Miss USA competition in 2016 and on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue last year.

While Halima is glad she is helping Muslim women feel represented by her fashion work, she has now revealed that her mother isn’t quite as enthusiastic, and she believes this is because she didn’t have to cope with being in the minority while growing up.

“My mother doesn’t understand why representation is so important to me,” she told Essence magazine. “Of course, she wants the same things for me that all parents want for their children – that I be of service, be a good person, lead an honest life, work hard, and get an education. But, at the same time, she doesn’t know the struggle I faced growing up in America and being in spaces where I was the only hijab-wearing girl or the only girl who looked like me.”

And Halima is thrilled that she has been given a platform to make Muslim women, and women of colour, feel more visible and confident in themselves.

“It’s important for me to be visible and to do whatever I can to let girls know that they don’t have to change who they are,” the 22-year-old said. “I want them to know the world will meet them exactly where they stand.”

Halima is now working with officials at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to speak out on behalf of displaced children. Accordingly, she sees the opportunity as a way to give back to the workers at the organisation who helped her in Kakuma.

“I think if you receive a blessing, you shouldn’t think of it as yours to keep. It’s more like a loan. Like, I got my wish. Now I have to pay it forward. If we all paid it forward, the world would be a much better place… I think this is the reason I am here,” she shared.

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