Halima Aden: British Vogue Hijabi Cover Star

Halima Aden went from a refugee camp to the cover of British Vogue. She’s also the first hijabi to be featured on the magazine’s cover.

“After being the first Muslim homecoming queen, that’s when I knew, like, ok, I think I want to do more of this. I want to show girls that they can be the first,” she explained. “I want them to see somebody who’s done it, so it will motivate them to go out and do whatever they wanna do,” she said.

Aden was born in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, after her family’s house was set on fire in the 1992 Somali civil War. But her family eventually go out of the camp and moved to Minnesota.

In 2016, she became the first Miss Minnesota USA contestant to wear a hijab and burkini in the pageant. Today she models for runways and magazine covers around the world. She also recently visited Kakuma for the first time since leaving.

“I think it made me a strong person,” she explained. “I think it gave me great characteristics. And I’m so proud to be from this camp. Whether it’s growing up in a refugee camp, or, like, an area that’s very impoverished, whether it’s being from a small town, and making it into the fashion industry. There’s so many people that can relate to my stories.”