Rihanna and Gigi Hadid express their support for Halima Aden, who says she was “too scared to speak
US fashion model Halima Aden – who has fronted campaigns for the likes of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Kanye West’s Yeezy – is quitting runway shows, saying the industry has forced her to compromise her religion.
When Aden made her modelling debut at New York Fashion week in 2017, aged just 19, she became an overnight star after being hailed as the world’s first Muslim hijab-wearing supermodel.
The 23-year-old, who was born to Somali parents in a Kenyan refugee camp, is considered a trailblazer after featuring on the covers of British Vogue, Vogue Arabia and Allure.
However, despite the success, Aden said the high fashion industry had made her lose sense of “the real Halima” and made her re-evaluate her modelling career.
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Aden – who is signed to IMG Models – posted a series of Instagram stories detailing the struggles that came with her line of work while balancing her identity as a practicing Muslim woman.
She told her 1.2m followers that the COVID-19 pandemic gave her the opportunity to reflect on her values and helped her realise that had she continued down her current path, she may have stopped wearing and embodying the values attached to her hijab “completely”.