US-based Somali model Halima Aden took to Instagram to announce that she was taking part in a shoot for Tommy Hilfiger as she posed next to him and captioned the image, “Shooting a super special project with one of my favorite designers @tommyhilfiger.”
At 23 years old, the hijabi model has quite the inspiring story. Aden was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, before she moved to the United States with her family at 9. She grew up in Minnesota and became a semi-finalist in the Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant where she was noticed for her modest image and style and made national headlines before being signed to modelling agency, IMG Models.
Halima’s return to fashion with Tommy Hilfiger isn’t the first time she has worked with the brand, and is clearly easing herself back into work this year. The Somali model, never compromising on her modesty, made history in 2019 when she became the first model to wear a hijab and burkini in the pages of Sports Illustrated – and also appeared in the magazine’s 2020 issue wearing a custom Tommy Hilfiger burkini.
Add Tommy Hilfiger, which recently unveiled its first-ever hijab, to your modest fashion inventory.https://t.co/2O1iwhDS58— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) August 18, 2020
Ever the humanitarian and philanthropist, she also worked with Hilfiger in October 2020 to design a limited-edition t-shirt for a good cause! The garments made from recycled fabrics were then auctioned online with proceeds going to the WWF water stewardship program in China’s Taihu River, the Mekong River basin in Vietnam, and the Buyuk Menderes River basin in Turkey.
Later in 2020, Halima announced that she was to quit modelling to re-evaluate her image and her own values as a practicing Muslim woman, following some comments and backlash about particular shoots she had participated in. She had written on Instagram, “I can only blame myself for caring more about opportunity than what was actually at stake.” She also spoke about the lack of Muslim female stylists within the fashion industry to cater to a Muslim model who could understand the significance of the hijab.
Her decision was supported by fellow models Gigi and Bella Hadid, as well as Rihanna, who had selected Halima to feature in her first Fenty Beauty video campaign.