Halima Aden Just Made Her Milan Debut Alongside Some Fashion Superstars
The model of the moment walked at Alberta Ferretti alongside veterans including Gigi and Bella Hadid.
This is most definitely Halima Aden’s year.
The Somali-American teen rose to fame last November after donning traditional Muslim dress to compete in a US beauty pageant, but 2017 has seen her become a bonafide catwalk star.
The 19-year-old model walked in Kanye West’s Yeezy show at New York Fashion Week, shortly after being snapped up by top agency IMG Models (which also represents Gisele Bündchen and Kate Moss).
And now Aden has made her Milan Fashion Week debut, walking at the Alberta Ferretti show on Wednesday evening – marking the first time the luxury label has cast a hijabi model.
“Embracing culture and diversity to break norms and change the thinking of modern-day fashion,” the brand posted on its Instagram following the show, alongside a snap of Aden.
The teen was joined on the runway by a host of veteran models, including Bella and Gigi Hadid, Stella Maxwell and Sara Sampaio.
Wearing a chic black hijab paired with a belted coat and wide-leg trousers, Aden strutted her stuff in front of Italy’s fashion crowd.
She also posed backstage with Gigi, writing on her Instagram page that the 21-year-old face of Tommy Hilfiger gave her plenty of great advice.
“Getting great tips from a supermodel sure does help,” wrote Aden. “I can’t thank them enough for the warm hugs, kind words, and most of all amazing tips.”
Sitting front row was former Vogue Paris editor Caroline Roitfield, who handpicked Aden as the cover star for the latest issue of her CR Fashion Book.
The teen, who wore her hijab and a burkini in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant last year, was interview by legendary supermodel Iman for the magazine.
Barrier-breaking Aden spoke about the competition, revealing the positive reaction from the press made her feel “so much gratitude”.
“I felt so proud of the media, because for a very long time they were pushing this negative image of Muslims,” said Aden, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp.
“This is a pageant that goes far beyond physical beauty, so I wanted young women who wear the hijab to realise that you could participate in such a thing.”
Aden also addressed any negative feeback, saying that she’s “not a perfect Muslim”.
“My thing is, stop judging women, especially if you’re a man, because you don’t know the responsibility that comes with wearing a hijab,” she said.
“As Muslims we just need more positive stories. Period.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Images: Halima Aden/Instagram, Getty