Kenyan-born model Halima Aden makes history on the cover of Sports Illustrated
Somali-American model Halima Aden is the first Muslim model to appear in Sports Illustrated magazine wearing a hijab and burkini. The Kenyan-born model, who was born at the Kakuma refugee camp where she lived until she moved to the United States, appeared in the swimsuit edition, out in May, wearing a number of different colourful burkinis.
“Young girls who wear a hijab should have women they look up to in any and every industry. We are now seeing politicians, business women, television reporters, and other successful hijabi women in visible roles and that is the message we need to be sending,” shared Aden.
Aden went on to add, “The response has been incredible and I’m so honoured that Sports Illustrated has taken the step to showcase the beauty that modestly dressed women possess.”
The SI team with fashion photographer Yu Tsai decided to do their photoshoot in Watamu Beach, a significance was not lost on Aden who said: “I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp. So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya – I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”