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Somali-American model Halima Aden is woman of many firsts as she becomes the first hijab-wearing model to grace Paper Magazine‘s “Transformation” digital cover.

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Aden was born in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to Somali parents who fled their home country when it became war ravaged. The family later settled in Minnesota, America when she was age 7. At 19, she competed in the 2016 Miss Minnesota USA Pageant, where she was the first contestant to wear a hijab as well as a burkini in the swimsuit portion. Footage of Aden in the pageant circulated around the Internet and got picked up by outlets like the Today Show and USA Today, leading to her becoming the first-ever hijabi to land a major modeling contract (with IMG) and since then her career blossomed.

For the cover story, she talks about being the new face of modest fashion, her roots, and the next big generation.

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On modest style

Halima Aden recommends two staples for women who practice modest fashion: a nude-toned hijab and a turtleneck. “You know how you need a good nude shoe? You need a good nude hijab,” the model says.

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On her passion

“I want to be known for encouraging other girls to go out and have their own success stories,” she says. “I’m focused on the next generation. I want to one day see a hijabi at the Met Gala. I want to see a hijabi being a lead actress. Think of all the many firsts that are still out there. What can I do to encourage girls to dream big, to bring it home?”

Read the full feature on www.papermag.com

See Halima in high-fashion beauty shots for the cover

By Sarah Oyedo

Read also: From Refugee Camps To Fame – Adut Akech Covers Le Monde Magazine

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