MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 22: Model Halima Aden walks the runway at the Alberta Ferretti show during Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017/18 on February 22, 2017 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pietro D'aprano/Getty Images)
Pietro D'aprano—Getty Images
March 3, 2017 2:04 PM EST

Model Halima Aden, who is breaking fashion barriers by walking the runway for top designers in a hijab, says the industry has embraced her.

“I have not had any pressure to be anything but myself,” she told Cosmopolitan in a new interview. “They’ve been very accepting of my faith. I have strict wardrobe requirements and that’s something they’ve upheld.”

The model, who made history last year as the first woman to compete in a burkini at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, said that she’s proud to represent Muslim women — especially given the political climate. But she doesn’t let her faith define her.

“When people put labels on us it doesn’t always enclose everything that we are,” she said. “So even though I’m proud to be Somali, I’m proud to be American, at the end of the day, I’m still Halima and I take things from both sides and combine them and I make my own little category. I’m me!”

Read the full interview at Cosmopolitan.


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