Hijab-wearing model Halima Aden made her Milan debut during Alberta Ferretti’s show which also saw fashion sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid on the runway.
Clad in a navy-and-black striped belted coat with flared pants styled underneath, the 19-year-old Somali-American walked the runway like a pro, reported New York Post.
Aden recently signed with the IMG agency and walked the runway at Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 show during New York Fashion Week earlier this month.
Ferretti’s fashion show comes a day after the model made her fashion magazine cover debut for CR Fashion Book.
In the magazine, she is interviewed by David Bowie’s widow Iman, a fellow Somali fashion icon, and discusses the importance of wearing her hijab on the cover.
“I always tell (people), ‘Just look around you, there are Muslim women who wear it and Muslim women who don’t’,” she said.
“We have to break the stereotype. I think often the West does not understand the history and the privilege of wearing a hijab. They always think of oppression.”
The model is focused on her fashion career, but she also has plans to become a UN Goodwill Ambassador.
“I just think that there’s so much work to be done. I remember when I lived in a refugee camp, it was the people who weren’t Somali, the people who came from Western countries, who helped the most. I remember being six and thinking, ‘I want to be one of those women because I knew how much they helped us’.”
And she understands the pressure that comes with representing Muslims.
“I wish I could tell (people), ‘Hey, I’m not a perfect Muslim’. A lot of people had a misconception that I would be the perfect poster child for Islam,” she said.
“So I got a lot of Instagram comments like, ‘Oh, you don’t have your neck covered, you’re not a Muslim!’ My thing is, ‘Stop judging women, especially if you’re a man, because you don’t know the responsibility that comes with wearing a hijab’.