Hijab-Wearing Model Halima Aden Covers Vogue Arabia

(Photo: Instagram/kinglimaa)
(Photo: Instagram/kinglimaa)

Vogue Arabia has been on newsstands for less than three months, yet it’s already had 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 ’17 cover model. Aden has skyrocketed to fame since walking in Yeezy’s Season 5 show in February.

The magazine shared the news via Instagram in a video featuring the stunning model — who has braces and wears a hijab, by the way. “Who is #VogueArabia’s June cover star? Be the first in the know. Press play to find out now…” the magazine captioned the video.

“Every little girl deserves to see a role model that’s dressed like her, resembles her or even has the same characteristics as her,” Aden says in the video, wearing a black and white head wrap over her hijab and a black and white floral blouse with a peter pan collar. “I think beauty’s for everyone and everyone can look beautiful, you just have to be confident,” she continues in the Instagram.

The 19-year-old Somali-American, who is signed with IMG Models, is obviously pointing to the fact that recently the runway has expanded for models of all shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds and characteristics, which was proven during the multiple shows she booked during Milan Fashion Week — including Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara. “When I’m walking the runway I want people to see that, yes, I’m wearing a hijab – but I’m also a million other things. I want us to get to a place where we just see women,” she told the magazine.

Aden’s career started when she became the first contestant to wear a hijab and burkini during the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in November 2016. Then, she booked the cover of CR Fashion Book and has been taking the fashion world by storm ever since.

This is a win for Vogue Arabia, which took heat after Hadid’s cover and spread featuring her in a veil and hijab. It was called “religious appropriation.” Others were concerned that they were glamorizing something that is definitely not a fashion statement. And many were upset the magazine didn’t cast an Islamic model.

“CAN GIGI HADID STOP WEARING HIJAB AS A FASHION STATEMENT !!!! MUSLIM WOMEN ARE SHAMED FOR IT YET SHE CAN PARADE AROUND ON THE COVER OF VOGUE,” one person wrote on Instagram. Someone else asked, “why not hire an islamic model[?]” Others claimed “they clearly don’t understand Arabs.”

After this, Manuel Arnaut replaced Saudi Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz as Vogue Arabia’s editor-in-chief. The princess told Business of Fashion she was fired because she refused to compromise on her vision for the magazine.

Luckily, Aden’s cover has gotten glowing reviews so far. “YASSS MY SWEET SLAYS,” one follower commented on IMG Models’ Instagram post sharing the news. On @VogueArabia’s post, someone wrote, “YAAASSS!!! FINALLY VOGUE ARABIA IS BECOMING INTERESTING!!!” Someone else asked, “can you release the cover now ? We can’t wait !” However, the best comment has to be: “Gorgeous! And more importantly inspirational!”

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