Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

‘style Can Be Very Exploitative’ – Halima Aden On Why She Quit Modelling

Halima Aden, the Muslim version who became a trailblazer for carrying her hijab on the catwalk and in photoshoots, has hit out at the style enterprise and its exploitation of young models.

Aden stop the industry in November 2020, bringing up compromised ideals and feeling like a “minority within a minority”.

In a brand new interview for the BBC World Service with Tommy Hilfiger, Aden says that closer to the end of her modelling career she felt she had misplaced manage of her identification. “The ultimate two years, I trusted the crew on set to do my hijab and that’s when I bumped into problems,” she says, “like jeans being positioned on my head in area of a regular headband. The manner they styled it, I turned into so far eliminated from my very own photograph. My hijab kept shrinking and were given smaller and smaller with each shoot.”
US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US
In 2016, Aden changed into the primary fully protected Muslim contestant to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA contest. She later signed with IMG Models.

“When I commenced I thought: ‘This goes to open the door for so many girls in my community,’” she says. “I never got to flip thru a magazine and notice a person in a hijab, to be able to be that man or woman for different girls become a dream come true. But the remaining two years [of my profession], I had a lot inner struggle.”Halima Aden at the catwalk during the Tommy Hilfiger show at London fashion week in 2020. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/PA

One initial clause of her modelling contract changed into a guarantee that she could have a blocked-out container to change in. But as time went on this brought about problems, she says. “I became on a shoot with every other Muslim version and I was given a container to exchange in and he or she wasn’t. It didn’t sit down well with me,” she says.

Reacting to stories of different fashions being exploited on set, Aden says inside the interview that humans within the industry suppose the fashions are “smooth to exploit. Fashion can be an enterprise that is very exploitative.” Speaking out approximately the mistreatment of the hair and makeup of fashions of coloration on the units of favor shoots, Aden says: “There desires to be range in the makeup team, hair (and) stylists. It’s not pretty much having a diverse catwalk. It’s additionally about the people behind the curtain.”Aden on the Sherri Hill display in 2019. Photograph: Sean Zanni/Getty Images for Sherri Hill

In 2019, Aden made records by way of becoming the primary version to wear a burkini, designed with the aid of Tommy Hilfiger, in Sports Illustrated magazine.

“It changed into such an outstanding revel in whilst you bear in mind the records of [the burkini],” she says. “We have people banning it on public beaches. We made quite the declaration for it to be featured in Sports Illustrated. We driven the needle.” Despite it making a announcement, she said that the revel in wasn’t all high-quality.

“I felt find it irresistible become a thin line I had to stroll,” she says. “I’d be scary members of the Muslim community. [I might hear] remarks like, ‘This burkini is manner too shape fitting’ and ‘Why might you shoot for a booklet [like that]?’ It felt like I was continuously trying to appease my Muslim fanatics however also maintaining it very elegant. Because young lovers were messaging me saying: ‘We want to look you in new appears; we want to peer your scarf [tied] differently.’”

Aden says that by using leaving the industry she hopes she has inspired younger models. “If I’ve executed anything I’ve given fashions the opportunity to speak up,” she says. “I felt notable strain being the primary hijab-wearing Muslim version in the enterprise and I felt a experience of obligation to the women coming after me.”