This just in: “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.”
Born in a refugee camp in Kenya, Ms. Aden is a first-generation Somali-American. She first made headlines in 2016 when she was the first Miss Minnesota contestant to wear a hijab during the pageant. Soon after, she signed with the prestigious agency IMG Models and walked in Kanye West’s Yeezy fashion show.
For the swimsuit spread, Sports Illustrated chose her birth country, Somalia, 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,” remarked Ms. Halima. “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.”