Somali-Australian model Hanan Ibrahim takes the cover story of Vogue Australia Magazine‘s January 2023 edition lensed by fashion photographer Bananas Clarke. In charge of styling was Miguel Urbina Tan, with beauty from hair stylist Nisha Van Berkel, and makeup artist Isabella Schimid. For the cover story Hanan wears selected pieces from top brands such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, Chanel, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alaïa, and Balenciaga.
Eight months ago, I made the decision to start wearing my hijab part-time. In making this choice, I have found myself between a rock and a hard place. The rock being the lifelong comfort of wearing hijab, of it identifying me as a member of the Muslim community, and the pride I felt as being Australia’s first hijabi model. The hard place being fear of how people would interpret this act, using it to either view me as a woman who has lost her way or as one conforming to Western beauty standards.
Choices are so often made for women that do not allow them to speak for themselves. To deny a woman’s choice goes against a core principle of Islam – that there is no compulsion in religion. Muslim women should be free to make their own choice whether it’s to honour the belief that covering the hair and body is always necessary, or if it is a decision that allows them more flexibility around how they dress. To assume that there can only be one form of practising the hijab denies women of their right to autonomy, agency and ultimately their freedom to practise religion. – Hanan Ibrahim
Photography © Bananas Clarke for Vogue Australia, read more at vogue.com.au