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|Born||September 19, 1997|
|Alma mater||St. Cloud State University|
|Height||5 ft 5.5 in (1.66 m)|
|Eye color||Dark brown|
|Agency||IMG Models (New York, Paris, Milan, London)|
Halima Aden (born September 19, 1997) is an American fashion model. She is noted for being the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she was a semi-finalist. Following her participation in the pageant, Halima received national attention and was signed to IMG Models.
Early life and education
Aden was born in the Nairobi refugee camp in Kenya. She is Somali and at the age of six moved to the United States, settling in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She attended Apollo High School where her classmates voted her as their school homecoming queen. She is a student at St. Cloud State University.
In 2016, Aden received national media attention after competing in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, becoming the first contestant in the pageant to wear a burkini and a hijab. Some analysts saw this as a move towards diversification in the modeling industry.
The following year, Aden signed a three-year contract with renewal with IMG Models. In February 2017, she made her debut at the New York Fashion Week for Yeezy Season 5. She later served as a preliminary and telecast judge of the Miss USA 2017 pageant.
She has since walked for numerous designers, including Maxmara and Alberta Ferretti. She has also participated in the 2016 Milan Fashion Week and London Modest Fashion Week. Aden posed for American Eagle and British Glamour, and has a CR Fashion Book cover.
Aden was the first hijab-wearing model to walk international runways and to be signed to a major agency. In June 2017, she became the first hijab-wearing model on the cover of Vogue Arabia, Allure, and British Vogue.
In 2018, Aden became a UNICEF ambassador. Her work is focused around children's rights.
This was not the first time in her career that she broke boundaries, further diversifying the industry to be more inclusive of Muslims. Aden stated on her Instagram that her appearance in Sports Illustrated sends a message to both her community and the world that "women of all different backgrounds, looks, upbringings...can stand together and be celebrated."  Halima became the first black woman with hijab to be featured on the cover of Essence magazine, in 2020’s January/ February issue.
Now[when?] entering the fashion-designing world, Aden has collaborated with modest clothing brand Modanisa to design her own turban and shawl collection. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Aden stated that her collection is for everyone, whether they wear the hijab or not.
Aden’s modelling contract includes her hijab, as she has made it a non-negotiable part of her work.
Aden has spoken out about difficulties she faces in booking modeling jobs that are not accommodating to the fact that she wears the hijab. She described positive experiences as with Maxmara, where looks were specifically designed for her considering her clothing choices. Aden reaffirms that she does not need to conform to society’s standards in order to be a successful model.
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- Shakeri, Sima (June 6, 2017). "Halima Aden Makes History As First Hijab-Wearing Model On Vogue's Cover". Huffington Post Canada.
- Sarah Young. "Hijab-wearing model Halima Aden makes history as Allure magazine cover girl". The Independent. Retrieved 2017-06-24.
- Pithers, Ellie. "Meet Halima Aden, The First Hijabi Model On The Cover Of Vogue". Retrieved 2018-10-15.
- "Halima Aden". UNICEF USA. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
- Dixon, Emily (2019-04-29). "Halima Aden becomes first model to wear hijab and burkini in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue". CNN Style. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
- Saunders, Nicole (2019-04-30). "Halima Aden is the First Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model to Wear a Burkini & Hijab". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
- "Essence features first black woman with hijab on cover". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2019-12-25.
- Lauren, Rearick. "Halima Aden on Designing Her Modanisa Collection of Turbans and Scarves".
- Ghanem, Khaola (2018-09-03). "Halima Aden Opens Up About Her "Deeply Personal" Decision to Wear the Hijab". Vogue Arabia. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
- Sauers, Jenna (2017-11-06). "Model Halima Aden Refuses to Remove Her Hijab for Fashion". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved 2019-05-08.