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Halima Aden: “We Don’t Want to Just Look Modest, We Also Want to Look Fashionable”

Inayah is a global e-commerce brand that focuses on creating contemporary and luxurious clothing options for women who want to dress conservatively without compromising on style. Meaning “kindness” or “grace” in Arabic, the UK-based label, which was founded in 2010, has recently unveiled its latest range of ultra-wearable abayas and hijabs that cater to Muslim women, breezy maxi dresses, and cozy separates, and has tapped Halima Aden to lead the collection as the brand ambassador.

The former Vogue Arabia cover star appears in a series of campaign images photographed by Matthew Eades wearing a selection of daywear and evening options from the brand’s new offering, including an office-ready pinstripe suit, a sequin-embellished maxi-dress primed for extra-special events, and a hazelnut-colored abaya cinched at the waist. “We don’t want to just look modest, we also want to look fashionable,” reveals the Somali-American beauty. “For a long time, we were excluded from fashion— I’ve never seen a hijab-wearing model — and when you can’t see something, it’s hard to believe you could be that person,” adds the 21-year-old.

“With such an amazing story surrounding her journey, this collaboration is far from just another shoot,” explains Olivia Howes, head designer at Inayah, to “Born in a refugee camp in Kenya, and now walking the runway at fashion weeks around the globe, this girl is going places, and empowering women around the world to be confident in themselves regardless of beliefs. She is the perfect ambassador for our brand, we pride ourselves on providing premium, modern, modest fashion for all women around the world,” she states.

Aden, who was born in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp after her family fled from Somalia amid civil unrest, made history in 2016 as the first hijab-wearing model when she appeared on Kanye West‘s Yeezy Season 5 show donning an oversized fur coat (she actually had her hijab written into her modeling contract with IMG). She would go on to walk for the likes of Max Mara, Alberta Ferretti, and Philipp Plein, and represent Muslim women in a number of editorial campaigns with renowned brands such as Nike, Fenty Beauty, and Sem Sem, simultaneously paving the way for the hijab-wearing models who came after her.

Watch the groundbreaking model open up her views on modest fashion, inspiring journey, and advice for aspiring models in the video above.

All of Halima Aden’s Runway Moments:

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