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Meet the Kenyan Muslim model who has worked with Kanye West and Rihanna (Photos)

From Kakuma to the world.

Born at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya,  Halima Aden moved to the USA at the age of 7 where she later became her high school's first Muslim Homecoming queen.

Aden caught the attention of the modelling world when she competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant and became the first contestant to wear a hijab and a burkini (full-coverage swimsuit) during the swimsuit round in the history of the pageant.

She didn’t win the pageant but the following year she had another first after she became the first hijabi  signed to a major modelling agency, IMG Models.

And since then, the sky has been the limit for the beautiful model that has gone on to appear on the covers of major global publications like Grazia, Vogue Arabia and Allure.


This year, Aden made her debut at the New York Fashion Week as one of Kanye West’s models in the 2017 Yeezy edition. Before her NYFW debut, Halima had strutted down the runway at Milan Fashion Week and London Modest Fashion Week.

But perhaps her most famous project yet has been her involvement in the Rihanna Fenty Beauty campaign video which the internet has gone wild over.

However, for Halima looking pretty and appearing in major beauty campaigns and fashion shows is not her end goal, her goal is to empower women.


“ I want to show people there’s not just one way of being Muslim. Mostly I want to show all women: You don’t have to conform to one standard of beauty. And to all the other Muslim girls: If you’re into something and you don’t see other Muslim people doing it, that’s your job. Open the doors for others. I don’t think I’ll be the only hijabi model. I think it’s going to be so normal from now on.” She told Glamour Magazine.


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