Halima Aden says she is returning to fashion to “inspire” the world.
The 26-year-old became globally famous as she was the first woman to star in a hijab on the cover of Vogue – twice – and made history when she appeared in Sports Illustrated wearing a burkini, but stunned her industry by quitting it during the pandemic.
She told Grazia: “I was fortunate that I entered this industry with a massive bang and it was just go, go, go! But I didn’t have the chance to pause and reflect.
“The advice I would give to anyone is that it’s OK to slow down. Sit down. Take a breather. Meditate. Recentre.
“I think being grounded is the greatest gift you could give yourself.
“I’m so grateful that I gave myself that time to step back from the industry and focus on what really drives my heart, which is wanting to represent my refugee community and wanting to be a good role model to young Muslim
girls looking up to me.”
Former Somali refugee Halima – born in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, before emigrating to the US at the age of seven – caught the world’s attention in 2016 aged 19 when she became the first contestant to compete at the Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant in traditional modest Muslim attire.