Who is Halima Aden? Former burkini supermodel calls Meghan Markle 'beyond inspiring' after selfie with the royals
LONDON, ENGLAND: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were seen posing for pictures with the former runway star Halima Aden. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were at the One Young World Summit to give out the keynote address. Meghan was also seen hugging the burkini model.
Halima, the Somali counselor was born in a Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. However, she then moved to the US when she was seven years old. Halima was the first hijab-wearing woman to take part in the Miss Minnesota pageant.
The One Young World Somalia counselor quit the runway because it "compromised her religion." She shared a set of images on her Instagram handle on Monday, September 5 with the caption, "This is what One Young World is all about!! Championing young world leaders as they embark on this journey to transform the world! Also, meeting Meghan and Prince Harry was so incredible. She is beyond inspiring." According to DailyMail, Halima rose to worldwide fame at the age of 19 when she was hailed the first supermodel to don a hijab.
In 2021, the star revealed why she quit the fashion industry to give it after claiming they treat models like they are "disposable" and "replaceable." Though she took a break from modeling in 2017, she has appeared on the covers of British Vogue, Vogue Arabia, and Allure.
She spoke to The Times, "So I wanted to give the fashion industry a taste of its own medicine," she continued. "Thank you for these incredible four years, but just like you churn through all these bright, young people, I'm going to move on with my life and replace [modeling] with something better." Further, she stated that she has fallen out of love with fashion, "Despite me saying, "Don't change yourself, change the game, that was exactly what I was doing."
She also stated, "I'm not saying it's not right for other Muslim, hijab-wearing women, I'm saying it was not right for me. I wear a hijab, I'm a Muslim, I'm Somali, so yes, all these identities set me up to be the perfect token to check all the boxes. I felt like one of the biggest tokens in the industry. I always felt like an outsider in my own career."
Halima broke boundaries as the first hijab-wearing model to sign with a major modeling agency. She also signed with IMG Models in February 2017, and that same month she made her runway debut in Kanye West's Yeezy show. During her modeling stint, she has modeled for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Alberta Ferreti, and Fenty, and has covered Vogue Arabia, CR Fashion Book, Allure, and British Vogue in a hijab.