Hijab-wearing Muslim Halima Aden is star of Kanye West’s NYFW show: “He was so nice!”

She made headlines for becoming the first Muslim woman to compete in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant while wearing a hijab.

She didn’t win the coveted crown back in November, but the 19-year-old continues to make headlines around the world and now she’s caught Kanye West’s eye.

Halima Aden hit the runway for Kanye’s latest Yeezy show, while still rocking her hijab.

The beauty, who signed to IMG Models less than a week ago, has revealed how her whole life has changed in the last few weeks.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck

“It’s unbelievable. I never thought that I would see a hijab-wearing model walking in such a prestigious event, but it makes it even more exciting that it was me,” Aden told People magazine.

Revealing how she reacted when she heard the news of her modelling contract, she said: “I literally screamed, I was just so excited, I couldn’t believe it. I felt like: Finally. I get to represent. I get to be the change I wanted to see for other young Muslim women, and just for women in general, to never change and stay true to themselves.”

Aden claims that she never grew up wanting to be in front of the camera as a model but that she saw the pageant as an opportunity to create a voice for Muslim women and be the role model that she felt she never had.

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“I didn’t really have modeling on my mind, I just wanted to do the pageant because I wanted to spread a positive message about Muslim women,” she said.

“For a really long time I felt misrepresented, even growing up, I had no one to look up to, there weren’t any hijab-wearing models that I knew, or people in the media that you could relate to.”

But while her appearance for Kanye was impressive, it actually wasn’t her first official modelling assignment.

Instead, the teen beauty has reckons it’s one of several jobs that she’s been jetting around the US for.

“I think this is my fifth job, it’s really exciting. The fact that a Muslim woman could have media attention — and it being positive — has been amazing,” she said.

“It drove home the message that diversity is American, it’s beautiful, and it’s something that we should be proud of.”


“I didn’t win the pageant, but I’m winning big now. Thanks to the relationships I formed at the pageant, I am where I am now.”

On meeting the Power rapper, she said: “He was so nice, and I just remember being like, ‘Oh my god! I’m standing in front of Kanye! Who would’ve ever thought. He was just making sure I was welcomed into the show.”

About the author

Claire Rutter

Entertainmentwise Staff Writer