#ModelCrushMonday: All eyes on Halima Aden

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New entrant into the Vogue family, Vogue Arabia  features 19-year-old Kenyan-born Somali-American model, Halima Aden, the first Muslim model to wear hijab on the cover of Vogue Magazine.

Vogue Arabia has been on newsstands for less than three months, yet it’s already pulled off a number of captivating cover models. First was Gigi Hadid on their debut issue (which made a splash for a few reasons) and now they’ve cast Halima Aden as their June 2017 cover model and it’s arguably the magazine’s best shoot yet.

Halima Aden made history last year after becoming the first Hijabi model to sign with a major agency, IMG. She thereafter skyrocketed to fame having debuted & walked for Kanye West‘s Yeezy Season 5 show during New York Fashion Week in February.

Now elevated, Halima has broken yet another barrier in her budding career; becoming the recently launched publications fourth cover model and the first, black Hijab-wearing model to land a solo Vogue cover.

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In the accompanying editorial, titled “Celebrating Identity”, Halima delivers swan-like poses as makeup artists reach into frame to touch up her face while wearing delicate Spring 2017 looks from Dior, Max Mara and Norma Kamali Collections.

Lensed by photographer Greg Kadel and styled by Paul Cavaco, Halima brands a powerful cover story. Styled in a romantic black floral dress complete with hijab, the rising model captivates. Inside the issue, Vogue offers a candid view into the personality of the groundbreaking starlet.

The five-foot, five-inch model also described the celebratory moment as “surreal” & highlighted her mission to break barriers for Muslim women in the modeling industry. In a video on the magazine’s website, she spoke about the importance of broader representation in the world of fashion.

“Every little girl deserves to see a role model that’s dressed like her, resembles her or even has the same characteristics as her,” says Halima. “I think beauty is for everyone and I think everyone can look beautiful, you just have to be confident.”

UntitledBeyond the media frenzy of being a hijab wearing fashion model, Halima carries a powerful story. Born in a refugee camp in Kenya, the Somali model moved to the States at age 6. Despite cultural barriers, she does something no one expects. At age 16, Halima becomes the first model to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. Although she didn’t win, it gains her media attention and an eventual contract with IMG Models.

This is a win for Vogue Arabia with Aden as a logical fit for the magazine, especially given that she has been celebrated as the first major model to be known for wearing a hijab on the runway. Tapping a Muslim model who wears the garment in her daily life is a smart move for the publication, especially in light of some backlash that resulted in “religious appropriation” when Gigi Hadid graced the publication’s debut issue in the traditional Muslim headscarf.

Dear fashion magazines of the world: More of all of this, please.

The June 2017 issue of Vogue Arabia is available on newsstands now. Keep scrolling below for a closer glimpse of the powerful hijab clad Vogue shoot.

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Photos Courtesy: Greg Kadel

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