Last night at New York Fashion Week, model Halima Aden made her catwalk debut at Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5. The Somali-American from Minnesota––who wears a hijab––took to the runway with a packed front row of names, including the Kardashian clan, A$AP Rocky, and Hailey Baldwin, for West’s Fall 2017 lineup in collaboration with Adidas. Amid the diverse cast of models, Aden stood out, wearing a long faux fur coat that was layered over a black turtleneck and her black hijab. Her Instagram following has almost doubled (from 10.8K to 21.6K) in a mere few hours since she appeared on the NYFW runway.
Currently signed by IMG Models, Aden made history by becoming the first hijab-wearing contestant to participate in the Miss Minnesota USA competition, prior to joining the modeling agency. Aden also made waves by becoming the first woman to wear a burkini during the swimsuit portion of the pageant.
Speaking to Vogue US, Aden admitted her ambitions to break stereotypes: “My goal is to send a message to Muslim women and young women everywhere, that it’s okay to break stereotypes and be yourself,” she said. “Always stay true to who you are—barriers can and will be broken!”
The 19-year-old––who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp––joins a lineup up hijab-wearing models who are breaking grounds. London-based Pakistani-Moroccan model Mariah Idrissi made headlines when she starred in H&M’s Fall 2015 video campaign, while Colorado native Nura Afia, who is of Moroccan-Lebanese descent, became the first CoverGirl ambassador to wear a hijab.