Halima Aden Has Gone From Minnesota To NYFW All While Wearing Her Hijab As Her Crown

February 15, 2017  |  

If you can learn anything from Halima Aden, it’s that you don’t have to stray from who you are in order to be successful.

We told you about the 19-year-old, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, late last year. She made headlines after competing in the Miss Minnesota pageant wearing a hijab and a burkini during the swimsuit competition. The Somali-American beauty said at the time about making history as the first woman to compete in that pageant with a hijab, “It’s easy to feel like you have to blend in, but it takes courage to live your life with conviction and embrace the person that you are.”

Embracing herself and knowing that “an extra layer of clothing does not define your beauty” may not have won her the Miss Minnesota title (she landed in the top 15), but it’s helped her make some humongous moves since the pageant. Aden recently signed with well-known modeling agency IMG. Ivan Bart, the president of IMG, said they hope that Aden’s presence in the fashion world can encourage and inspire young women and girls who look like her.

“By representing Halima, I would hope that the next 10-year-old girl wearing her hajib right now will feel included in the experience of fashion, and know that she could do that too,” he told the site Business of Fashion. “We need to reflect in fashion who we are, as a human race.”

And they’ve already set her up with two pretty big gigs. Today, Aden made her New York Fashion Week debut in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 show, rocking her hijab with a floor-length fur like a boss:

Aden is also slated to appear in Carine Rotfield’s popular CR Fashion Book, which comes out in March. An image from that shoot has already been shared, and per the usual, Aden looks stunning:

When speaking on her recent success, Aden shared a very important message about her journey: “I signed with the top modeling agency in the WORLD and still wore my hijab as my crown,” she wrote on Instagram. “Don’t ever change yourself ..Change the game.”

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