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From refugee camp to runway, Hijab-wearing model breaks barriers

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 02:10

Halima Aden, the first hijab-wearing model signed by a major agency walking in international shows is redefining beauty. Elly Park reports.

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She is not your average nineteen-year-old. Meet Halima Aden, the world's only hijab-sporting supermodel. A Muslim symbol of modesty, the teen instantly became famous donning the headscarf during last year's Miss Minnesota pageant, the first contestant ever to do so. Aden says it's an integral part of who she is as a person. SOUNDBITE: Halima Aden, Model Wearing Hijab, saying (English) "I wear the hijab everyday you know. So it's like, if I'm to try something new I'm going to take the part with me. And it was just a no brainer." Soon, the Somali-American became the most buzzed about model in the industry, kicking off her career at Kanye West's Yeezy show in New York last February. Since then she has been in constant limelight, booking magazine covers to runway shows in Milan. But this is actually a far cry from her humble beginnings. This is where Aden started life - Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, a place that 60,000 people call home. Life here was simple but full of laughter. SOUNDBITE: Halima Aden, Model Wearing Hijab, saying (English) "Different people different refugees from all over Africa came together in Kakuma. Yet we still found a common ground. The kids like me we played, all of us." And it's this inclusive spirit that Aden takes with her everywhere she goes, winning over designers and editors. SOUNDBITE: Michelle Lee, Editor In Chief, Allure Magazine, saying (English) "I think that for us, our mission being we want to redefine what beauty standards are, she is someone who is so amazingly representative of who we are as America, as a melting pot it totally made sense for us." Today, Aden continues to march on, breaking barriers. SOUNDBITE: Halima Aden, Model Wearing Hijab, saying (English) "Call it naive. But I just think you know I'm doing me and I have no reason to think that other people are against me." Aden says her ultimate goal is to lift the veil on stereotypes, one runway show, one photograph at the time.

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From refugee camp to runway, Hijab-wearing model breaks barriers

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 02:10