Nineteen-year-old Halima Aden made headlines last November when she competed in her Minnesota’s Miss USA competition wearing a hijab and sporting a burkini for the swimsuit portion. Now, Aden’s taking her talents to another kind of stage — the runway.
The Somali-American teenager was just signed to modeling agency IMG and made her fashion week debut at Kanye West’s surprisingly tame Yeezy Season 5 show, where she walked for a front row that included Anna Wintour, Insta-girl Hailey Baldwin, and La La Anthony.
West’s show was a relatively low-key affair, following a tumultuous year that included him canceling the remainder of his Saint Pablo tour dates, and being hospitalized for exhaustion after professing support of President Donald Trump during a November concert. West chose not to take a final bow; his wife, Kim Kardashian West signaled the end of the show by standing up at its conclusion.
In an interview with the Business of Fashion, IMG president Ivan Bart said that the agency was impressed with Aden’s commitment to her beliefs, which includes wearing the hijab and dressing modestly.
“I found that she was just so brave to stick to what she really believed in and yet go after the American dream of being in a beauty contest,” he said.
Aden will also be featured in the next issue of high fashion publication, CR Fashion Book, which is helmed by French style doyenne Carine Roitfeld.
“Halima is breaking boundaries of beauty and perception by being herself,” Roitfeld told Business of Fashion. “I find this incredibly inspiring, and I know she will be an icon.”
See Aden’s runway debut below.