You’ve probably seen her face on a TV or print ad somewhere, or heard her name in conversations regarding modest fashion models making a name for themselves in the industry today. Mariah Idrissi exploded onto the scene only a few years ago, in 2015 to be exact as the face of H&M’s “Close The Loop” campaign, making her the world’s first Muslim hijab-wearing model. Today, the 25-year-old continues to gain international recognition across the globe, not just as a model but s an activist as well.
Born Lalla Maria Derissy, Idrissi is the daughter of Pakistani and Moroccan parents and has two brothers, Moulay Ahmed Derissy and Sidi Yasin Derissy. Born and bred in England, the British model began her time in the limelight at the age of 14. According to Emirates Woman, that was the age Idrissi performed alongside poets at a local theatre, marking the start of a successful career on stage. A decade later, Idrissi found herself modeling for H&M’s sustainable fashion campaign, pictured outside a fish and chip shop in East London, wearing a pink coat, carrying a black handbag, donning aviator sunglasses, and rocking a checked hijab.
Since then, Idrissi has modelled for a myriad of fashion labels, magazines, and beauty brands, from Rihanna’s Fenty to catwalks in Istanbul’s Modest Fashion Week. Today, Idrissi continues to break boundaries and shatter stereotypes, using her career and her platform to highlight how beautiful diversity can be in the world of fashion and beauty. She’s also an active humanitarian, advocating for Syrian women, endorsing Human Care Syria's 'Women's Hygiene and Sanitation' project. In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, the young model talked about her journey to success, the struggles she faced on the way, and the power of positivity.
“As one of the many women who had paved a way for diversity I feel a great pleasure in my work, as well as a sense of responsibility. There's always going to be work to do and sometimes it's about doing what's right rather than what you want to do. I feel areas of my adversity have been more mental than physical. I felt very alone on a professional level as I tried to build a brand. It was a struggle for me to have a clear vision and a strategy. But that's where incredible friends and family came into play, and I can’t stress how important it is to have positive people in your life to help shape you to becoming the best version of yourself,” she said in the interview.