For the first time in history, three Hijabi models of colour have been featured on the April 2019 cover of Vogue Arabia. This is a huge step forward towards inclusion of muslim women who wear hijab, in the world of fashion and modelling.
The models featured are Halima Aden, Ikram Abdi Omar, and Amina Adan and they were photographed by Txema Yeste. The focus was to have a better representation of Muslim women in the fashion industry.
In the Vogue Arabia article that accompanies the cover story, Aden said, “I think it’s important to remember that wearing a hijab is a woman’s personal choice. It doesn’t make her any better or worse than another Muslim woman. To me, it symbolizes modesty and gives me a sense of power.”
While this is the first cover feature for Abdi Omar and Amina Adan, Halima Aden has previously been featured on cover for the very magazine’s June 2017 issue.
Speaking about their experiences as young Muslim women and the discrimination that comes with that identity, Adan, who is the first Hijabi model signed to a Danish agency, said, “Most people are afraid to ask questions and have a conversation about it, even if they are genuinely curious. All they know about Muslim people stems from the news or videos on the Internet about women not having the same rights as men.”
Social media showers love
One Twitter user wrote, “Vogue Arabia is really out there showing people how it’s done.”
Vogue Arabia is really out there showing people how it's done.
— Mika (@mqkween) March 27, 2019
While another tweeted, “Somali girls single handedly putting Vogue Arabia on the map the power and international implications!!!”
Somali girls single handedly putting Vogue Arabia on the map the power and international implications!!!
— Idil (@iiddiil) March 27, 2019
Cover receives praises on Instagram too.
One user posted “Happy #MuslimWomen’s Day! Today We celebrate with the historic all-hijabi/Somali women Vogue Arabia Cover!”
Another user posted the photo of the cover with the caption, “Use the power of fashion and magazines to make society more inclusive.”
Adan is now grabbing spotlight in her native country Denmark, for becoming the first hijab wearing woman signed to a modeling agency.
“To think that just three years ago there was not a single Hijabi model and now fast-forward to the first Vogue Hijabi group cover,” Aden wrote on her Instagram.
“I think most hijabis have met the same misconceptions: ‘Do you shower in it?’ ‘Were you forced by your parents?’ ” Adan, who also broke barriers by becoming the first hijabi to walk at Milan Fashion Week last year, explained to the magazine.
“I haven’t experienced any challenges wearing the hijab as a model, apart from the occasional question asking if I was forced to wear it – which I wasn’t,” Omar told Vogue Arabia.
Omar made her modeling debut at last year’s London Fashion Week.
Aden, on the other hand, said, “It’s important to remember that wearing a hijab is a woman’s personal choice. And I never claimed to be the perfect Muslim girl.”
She also works as a UNICEF ambassador.
Ushering in the much needed diversity
“Barely three years ago, there wasn’t a single hijabi model on the international runways,” Vogue Arabia wrote on Instagram. “Models Halima Aden, Ikram Abdi Omar, and Amina Adan are here to change that, bringing much-needed diversity to the industry.”
The love this cover feature is receiving on social media is a proof that people are appreciating the initiatives the fashion industry is taking to be more inclusive and diverse.
Feature Image Credit: idiva.com