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Hijabi Cover Stars Highlight the Power of Choice and What Modesty Means Today

Models Halima Aden, Ikram Abdi Omar, and Amina Adan make fashion history, starring in the first ever group hijabi cover for Vogue.

Halima (back) Wears Top, Dior Couture; Ikram (front left) Wears Dress, Givenchy; Amina (front right) Wears Top, Jumpsuit, Dior Couture. Photographed by Txema Yeste for Vogue Arabia April 2019.

The trio, shot by Txema Yeste and styled by Vogue Arabia fashion director Katie Trotter, stars on the cover of the April issue, which puts the spotlight on modesty and a woman’s right to choose – “your body, your rules.”

The cover marks the first for Omar and Adan for Vogue Arabia, and the second for Aden, who says, “I think it’s important to remember that wearing a hijab is a woman’s personal choice. It doesn’t make her any better or worse than another Muslim woman. To me, it symbolizes modesty and gives me a sense of power.”

Ikram (left) Wears Dress, Alexandre Vauthier Couture; Polo Neck Bodysuit, Falke. Halima (center) Wears Dress, Alexandre Vauthier Couture. Amina (right) Wears Coat, Armani Privé. Photographed by Txema Yeste for Vogue Arabia April 2019.

Adan, the first hijabi model signed to a Danish modeling agency, opens up about her personal experiences and the misconceptions she has faced. “Most people are afraid to ask questions and have a conversation about it, even if they are genuinely curious,” she says. “All they know about Muslim people stems from the news or videos on the internet about women not having the same rights as men.”

Omar, who made her London fashion week debut in 2018 after working for The Modist, is hopeful the dialogue is changing around the hijab. “In the past, I would have had to bring extra headscarves with me just in case, but stylists mostly bring some for me now,” she shares. “They find it fascinating and get creative, which warms my heart because they see the beauty of the hijab every time a new look is created.”

The models are determined to help break the stereotypes surrounding not just hijabi women but all Muslim women, encouraging everyone to stand up for what they believe in – #mychoice.

Dress, Alexandre Vauthier Couture; Polo Neck Bodysuit, Falke; Hat, Donia Allegue. Photographed by Txema Yeste for Vogue Arabia April 2019.

Echoing their sentiments is CEO and founder of The Modist, Ghizlan Guenez. Born in Algeria and raised between Dubai and Beirut, Guenez shares how challenges and frustrations only made her more determined to change this narrative, thereby becoming one of the biggest players in the fashion industry in the process.

Exclusive interviews with US congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad and tech entrepreneur Amani Al-Khatahtbeh expose the realities faced by Muslim women living in the US today. Closer to home, Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari reveals her competitive side and how being first is about more than winning on the ice. Equally as impressive are the fashion pioneers leading the way in modern modest wear, including Donia Allegue, the Tunisian-French founder of the eponymous luxury turban label; Melanie Elturk, founder of Haute Hijab luxury hijab brand; and the Emirati abaya designer Hessa Falasian.

Jacket, Top, Pants, Tie, Dice Kayek; Tights, Falke; Shoes, Dolce & Gabbana; Hat, Laurence Bossion. Photographed by Txema Yeste for Vogue Arabia April 2019.

Barely three years ago, there wasn’t a single hijabi on the international runways – but the scene is finally changing. Modest fashion has become more than a religious observance, spreading its wings around the globe to become a billion-dollar industry. Stereotypes are slowly being eradicated, but there’s still a long way to go. As Ibtihaj Muhammad says, “It’s important to have Muslim women be shown in a different light – something we haven’t seen before.”

Coat, Miu Miu; Turban, Donia Allegue. Photographed by Txema Yeste for Vogue Arabia April 2019.

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the issue when it hits shelves on April 1.

Read Next: The Founder Of #MuslimWomensDay On Growing Up in The Most Islamophobic Eras in Modern History

Editor-in-Chief: Manuel Arnaut
Photography: Txema Yeste
Models: Halima Aden at IMG, Ikram Abdi Omar at Premier Model Management, Amina Adan at Unique Models
Style: Katie Trotter
Makeup: Karim Raham

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