Top model Halima Aden takes the cover story of Vogue Arabia Magazine‘s May 2023 edition lensed by fashion photographer Youssef Oubahou. In charge of styling was Amine Jreissati, with beauty from makeup artist Karima Maruan. Production by Sam Allison. For the session Aden is wearing selected pieces from Stephane Rolland, Chanel, Gucci, Lama Jouni, Taller Marmo, 1309, Bottega Veneta, Schiaparelli, Dior, Ferragamo, Moschino, Elie Saab, and Valentino.
During lockdown, there were no distractions, so I had to be at one with my own mind, and that was tough. I thought that I hadn’t done enough when it comes to showcasing the hijab in a proper way; I thought it went off the deep end and I could no longer relate to this identity of wearing a hijab. Towards the end of my career, in my photoshoots, my hijab became more adventurous… It was very experimental, and I confess I also had a part to play in that. Nobody forced me to put jeans on my head instead of a traditional veil, to do a shoot being fully decked out with jewelry, and very sexy even though it was modest…
I noticed that there are gaps in the movie industry, and there are not many Muslim writers, showcasing what a modern Muslim woman is like. It’s easy for people to have misconceptions of Muslim females when they only see on the news very extreme examples of women in a hijab. We are not oppressed. We have dreams and ambitions, and we make mistakes. We’re human, we’re not perfect, we’re flawed. We are so misunderstood… I’m aware I’m not in Hollywood, but I know what I’ve been able to accomplish in fashion, and the truth is that nothing is impossible. So, you must dream, you have to believe in yourself – and I do believe in myself. I have this newfound confidence in my ability and my story, and film is the perfect medium to share it with the world. – Halima Aden
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