MINNESOTA – Halima Aden, the 19-year-old Somali-American teen who competed in Miss USA, made her New York Fashion week debut on Wednesday wearing a hijab as she continues to break stereotypes about Muslims.
“I didn’t really have modelling in mind,” Aden shared with Business of Fashion on Wednesday, HuffPost Canada reported on Thursday, February 16.
“I wanted to spread a positive message about beauty and diversity, and to show other young Muslim women that there is room for them.”
Aden made history last November 27, by competing at Miss Minnesota competition in her traditional dress and modest swimwear, reaching the semi-finals of the beauty pageant.
She sauntered on stage during the Miss Minnesota USA pageant Saturday night in a “burkini,” a bathing suit covering her from neck to wrist to ankle.
She was the first fully covered Muslim to compete in the state pageant, where she made it to the semifinal round of 15 Sunday, but didn’t advance to the final five.
Donning a hijab on the Yeezy Season 5 runway last Wednesday, Aden’s appearance much stole the show, being a visible Muslim woman.
Though working now on modeling, the young teen stated that her vision is more focused on the bigger picture of shifting fashion’s typical beauty ideals.
Her dedication to her faith has paid off after signing a major contract with IMG models.
“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,” IMG president Ivan Bart told BOF.
Aden recently shared her advice for other women who are looking to break the mould in fashion with Vogue.
“Always stay true to who you are,” she told the fashion pub. “Barriers can and will be broken!”