Sports Illustrated Photographs Their First Hijabi Rookie

Since making her runway debut in 2017, Aden has used her career to change perceptions about women who dress modestly for religious reasons.

This marks the first time modest swimwear is represented in the issue.

On Monday, Sports Illustrated announced that Halima Aden would be the first ever Muslim model to appear in their annual swim spread.

Aden – a Somali-American – appears in the spread twice, wearing a hijab and two different burkinis while doing so.

In the shoot, Aden is photographed wearing a black burkini by No Ka’Oi and a multicolour style by Cynthia Rowley.

The piece was shot in Kenya, where she lived at a refugee camp before immigrating to the United States when she was 7.

"We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Halima Aden is the newest member of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit family, making history as the first Muslim model to wear a hijab and burkini in the magazine," the brand said 

"The Somali-American model was born in Kenya at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, where she lived until the age of seven before moving to the United States. For her SI Swimsuit rookie spread, we couldn’t think of a more perfect place travel than her birth country, where she shot at Watamu Beach with photographer Yu Tsai."

“I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,” Halima said during her shoot.

“So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya – I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”

The team at Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has, in recent years, worked to make its pages more inclusive. It began diversifying the sizes of the models it featured in 2015 when Ashley Graham became the first plus-size model to appear in it.

Sports Illustrated's 2019 Swimsuit Issue drops on 8 May.

Images by Sports Illustrated 

READ MORE: What on Earth is Modest Fashion?

READ MORE: 2019: The Year Fashion Got Serious Daddy Issues

You May Also Like