Halima Aden Changes Modeling Stereotype
When Halima Aden first stepped out in a burkini during the Miss Teen Minnesota USA Pageant in 2016 she immediately caught the attention of the media. Since then, the 19-year has been flagged down by different modeling agencies and eventually signed with IMG models. This was all thanks to Carine Roitfeld, who saw such potential in the young girl and put her on her first magazine cover for CR Fashion Book. Now Aden has had numerous doors open for her, such as walking in the 2017 Yeezy show, and her star potential only continues to grow.
These opportunities were something the 19-year old never even dreamed about. Halima was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and then later grew up in Bancock, Minnesota. She is thrilled to be able to bring such diversity to the model world and be able to represent her modest style. This whole experience has been so crazy for her and she is thankful for everyone who has helped her along the way, especially Roitfeld, who first reached out to the Miss Minnesota pageant directors. Her shoot with CR Fashion Book was her first one ever and to have it be so professional left her quiet intimidated. Luckily, everyone on set made her feel so comfortable and at home. They all made sure that every outfit she was photographed in made her feel comfortable and appropriate, and let her have her own input.
After this shoot, her luck in modeling continued to grow when her agency booked her a spot in the Yeezy show. Carine was one of the stylists, so having someone who knew the way she dressed made her feel at ease and confident going into such a huge show. Top models were everywhere backstage and everyone treated her like one of them. She recalls the experience being like a new kid in town and having everyone coming up to you and greeting you. To make sure she stood out next to these top models she practiced a lot in anticipation for the walk down the runway. She asked for help from different people and made sure that when she stepped foot out on the runway she was fully confident.
Even though she is one of the biggest growing models in fashion, growing up this is something she had no interest in. She did not know any designers or anything that went on in this industry. But now every day she is learning something new and is having fun with it all. And even though she is getting dressed by topped designers for her walks and shoots, she likes to shop at very casual priced stores. Her favorite places are retail stores such as JC Penney and Macy’s. Her style is completely all over the place and is just something she likes to have fun with. She does not try and go for a particular look, she just likes to keep her modest style and play off her hijab that she wears every day.
Being only 19, she wants to continue to stay true to herself and grow as an inspiration for other young women. She wants others who see her or ones who dress like her to be inspired. She wants any young girl of similar cultures to be able to relate to her as a role model. Halima really wants to bring light to Muslims in the modeling industry because growing up she never saw anyone like her on covers of magazines or on runways. She loves being able to be the person to bring attention to this and show different ethnicity in the modeling world. She is staying true to herself through the entire process and not letting any of this new found fame go to her head. She loves being able to just go to her home town and be a normal teenager but is also excited to experience this modeling world.