halima aden: the hijabi model of the moment brings much-needed diversity to milan
Alberta Ferretti cast Yeezy star Halima Aden in her autumn/winter 17 show to break down 'cultural and mental barriers'. Read what designer and model have to say about it.
Somali-American model Halima Aden is having a really good fashion month. The long-overdue first breakout hijab-wearing model set social media on fire when she walked for Kanye West in the Yeezy show during New York Fashion Week. She has just been announced as the cover star of Carine Roitfeld's CR Fashion Book, in a shoot lensed by Mario Sorrenti and with an accompanying interview by the iconic Somali model Iman. And she just made her European debut at the Alberta Ferretti show in Milan, a city not well known for promoting diversity.
"I wanted to spread a positive message about beauty and diversity and to show other young Muslim women that there is room for them," Halima says of her catwalk appearance. "I chose love because nations that are not compassionate are destined to collapse," she muses, adding, "Walking for esteemed designer Alberta Ferretti at Milan Fashion Week is sure to be a pivotal moment in my modeling career... The look I will be donning makes me feel powerful. I definitely feel like the best authentic version of myself."
"I am very proud that Halima is one of the stars of my show," designer Alberta Ferretti says in a statement. "She presents one of the many female personalities today, where I wish there was always more room for the coexistence of diversity," she continues, adding, "It was very easy for me to choose her for my runway show: the world must no longer have cultural and mental barriers. I have many international customers and many live in the Middle East where there is no contradiction between wearing a hijab and the concept of luxury."
Halima was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, and has lived in the US since she was six years old. She's a history student at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota, and has been represented since 15 February 2017 by IMG Models, the same agency as Gigi and Bella Hadid, who also walked the Alberta Ferretti show.
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography courtesy Alberta Ferretti