A refugee born in a camp in Kenya and who was moved to the US at the age of seven has become the world’s first hijab-wearing supermodel, conquering the catwalks of major fashion shows across the globe.
“Anything in life, if it’s not your choice, it’s oppressive. So I’m not going to argue against that. But for the majority it’s a choice. Like for me it was a choice,” Halima Aden, 19, told Reuters.
“I am doing me and I have no reason to think that other people are against me. So I just I guess I’m oblivious,” the Somali-American added.
Aden previously competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in a burkini and hijab, which won her many fans, including Rihanna, who admired her bravery in challenging stereotypes; both about modern fashion and what it means to be an American citizen.
From the Miss Minnesota pageant to taking Kanye West’s Yeezy show in New York by storm in February, Aden recently became one of the 500 most influential people in global fashion.
“For me it was a choice. I was the one asking my mom to give me the hijab and I wanted to resemble her and I wanted to fall in love with my religion,” she said as cited by EuroNews.
“I wear the hijab every day,” Aden said. “It was a no-brainer.”
Aden now shares the catwalk with supermodels Gigi Hadid and Liu Wen. She was also the face of American Eagle Outfitter’s denim burqa, which according to Reuters, reportedly sold out in less than a week.
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