Somali-American model Halima Aden has a new role at Vogue Arabia. The former cover star is set to join the team as the Diversity Editor-at-Large, to further the magazine’s commitment to showcasing racial inclusivity at a time when it is so crucially needed.
The model is primed to not only use her longstanding relationship with Vogue Arabia but also her voice as a successful Black, hijabi model to amplify those which often go unheard. Her role as Diversity Editor-at-Large will see Aden contribute a monthly column highlighting hard-hitting social topics, inspiring personalities, and committed organizations with impactful work. More than a column within the magazine’s pages, Aden’s work will be a worthy addition to the publication as a whole, bolstering its progressive history of bringing attention to social and cultural topics, especially concerning race and social imbalances.
On continuing this responsibility with added fervor, Editor-in-Chief Manuel Arnaut remarks: “Although Vogue Arabia has always celebrated an inclusive policy – both in its editorial line and team – 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. That motivated me to invite Halima Aden to join our team as Diversity Editor-at-Large, helping us to better curate topics and continue our history of catalyzing meaningful discussions on themes relating to equality, inclusion, and human rights. I’m excited to continue our journey together.”
“Now, more than ever, using my voice and personal experiences to educate others is at the forefront of my agenda,” says Aden of her appointment. “It is with great pride that I join the team at Vogue Arabia as Diversity Editor-at-Large. I look forward to sharing content ranging from human rights issues to race and diversity, acceptance, and inclusion.”
On working with the Editor-in-Chief and the rest of the team the model added: “I commend Manuel on his work over the past few years in showcasing a wide range of models from all different backgrounds. 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. For me, taking on this project was both important and imperative in order to create bigger conversations within the fashion community.”
The model has a lot to be proud of in her career. Her achievements both on and off the runway have made history, propelling the 22-year-old model to be a role model for many. Aden has been a UNICEF Ambassador since 2018, using her voice to empower young people around the world. Not only was she the first hijab-wearing model to walk at New York Fashion Week, but she also became the first hijab-wearing model to star on a Vogue cover with Vogue Arabia’s June 2017 issue. Three years later, and with another Vogue Arabia cover to her name, there is no one more suitable for this new role than Aden.
As for Vogue Arabia, throughout its three-year existence, inclusivity has never been a mere bullet point in a list waiting to be checked off, but it is a responsibility. As a Pan-Arab title, the magazine has always strived to accurately represent its readers and the region’s creatives, which includes women of all sizes and races with ties to the region.
The world as we know it is seeing sweeping reforms all over, and rightly so. For things to change on a larger scale, that change must come from within and Vogue Arabia is taking all the steps it can in this direction. Aden’s appointment follows that of eco-activist and founder of Eco-Age Livia Firth, who joined the publication as Sustainability Editor-at-Large in January 2020, and has since uplifted the magazine’s sustainability agenda.