Model Halima Aden has had plenty of firsts over the course of her short career. She was the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, the first hijabi model to cover British Vogue, and, most recently, she became the first person to wear a burkini in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. But if you thought she was going to stop breaking barriers at those three very major accomplishments, you were luckily mistaken. On April 20th, during Modest Fashion Week in Istanbul, the 21-year-old IMG model showed off a brand-new collaboration with modest fashion retailer Modanisa.
The 47-piece collection includes everything from turbans to shawls, some including an embroidered “Halima” logo. In an interview with COOLS, Aden explains her inspiration for the collection: “It was important to me that my collection work for any woman,” she says. “I am most excited about the pre-tied turbans. They are easy for the modern woman on the go. You literally just plop them on your head in a matter of seconds and can run out the door. There are styles for any occasion—work, casual running to the store, a fancy night out…I kept all women in mind. There is also a range of scarves in a variety of colors and patterns for a more traditional hijab look. It’s a collection for everyone!”
Despite the fact that there are thousands of women who choose to wear hijab or dress modestly, this type of style still isn’t marketed to the mainstream. “I think it’s hard to imagine yourself in an item of clothing when you have never seen a woman who looks like you wearing it,” Aden says of her work to de-stigmatize modesty in fashion. “I’ve set out to change that. I think there are pieces by most every mainstream designer out there that will work for today’s modestly dressed woman. It’s just a matter of putting the look together by layering or incorporating pieces like a turtleneck to make it work for you and your comfort level.”
When it comes to her personal style, Aden finds that modesty has given her the space to do more with her look. “Dressing modestly is so powerful to me,” she says. “I love to look classy, but modern. I love to put something on and feel like a boss lady who can walk into a corporate meeting room and make heads turn with my style.”
The Halima X Modanisa collection is available now on modanisa.com.