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Minnesota’s pioneering Muslim model featured in new Nike ad campaign

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Minnesota fashion model Halima Aden has done it again.

The 19-year-old who has challenged attitudes about the wearing of hijabs has broken yet another barrier — this time appearing in a new Nike ad campaign celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Air Max sneaker.

She joins an elite group of Nike spokespeople that includes tennis champion Serena Williams and supermodel Bella Hadid.

Aden was photographed in her hometown of St. Cloud earlier this month at a batting cage and go-kart racing course. The photos first surfaced last week on Aden’s Instagram account. She posted two photos of herself dressed from head to toe in Nike apparel. In both photos, she is wearing a gray skirt with a slit and black Nike leggings underneath, a white Nike sweatshirt, Air Max 97 sneakers and a black sports hijab.

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A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on

Minnesota fashion model Halima Aden has done it again.

The 19-year-old who has challenged attitudes about the wearing of hijabs has broken yet another barrier — this time appearing in a new Nike ad campaign celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Air Max sneaker.

She joins an elite group of Nike spokespeople that includes tennis champion Serena Williams and supermodel Bella Hadid.

Aden was photographed in her hometown of St. Cloud earlier this month at a batting cage and go-kart racing course. The photos first surfaced last week on Aden’s Instagram account. She posted two photos of herself dressed from head to toe in Nike apparel. In both photos, she is wearing a gray skirt with a slit and black Nike leggings underneath, a white Nike sweatshirt, Air Max 97 sneakers and a black sports hijab.

Along with the new photos, Aden posted this message on Instagram: “There’s always room for improvement. My life philosophy is: If I did good yesterday, I could do better today. Even with these shoes, Nike is not thinking for the customers today, they’re keeping in mind the customers 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 60 years from now. What is that brand going to be remembered for? I’m excited to share with you these images created for @NikeSportswear’s #ad #AirMax97 Ultra. #Movement97”.

The campaign comes as Nike prepares to launch the Pro Hijab, a high-performance athletic hijab, early next year, according to Vogue magazine.

Aden first made history last fall as the first Miss Minnesota USA pageant contestant to compete wearing a head scarf and burkini. Her entry in the pageant led to her discovery by the larger fashion world. (Read our full profile on Aden here.)

She signed with IMG Models and walked the runway for Yeezy and Max Mara lines in New York and Italy. In addition, she has appeared in the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Glamour magazines. Recently, she landed on the cover of Allure magazine.

The plucky Somali-American teenager, who kept her housekeeping job at St. Cloud Hospital after becoming a cover girl, has had an eventful month — she just had her braces removed last week.

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Fashion

18-year-old artist uses social media to display her craft (VIDEO)

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Here’s a story of an 18-year-old Somali make up artist who is using social media to make a name for herself and her work. CGTN’s Abdulaziz Billow caught up with Maryan Ahmed Ali, Mogadishu’s finest bride and makeup artist.

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Diaspora

Hamdia Ahmed Is the First Miss Maine Pageant Contestant to Wear a Hijab

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TEEN VOGUE — Hamdia Ahmed took to Twitter to share history-making news. She’s the first Miss Maine contestant to wear a hijab and burkini during the pageant.

According to her profile, Hamdia was “born in Somalia,” and “raised in a refugee camp in Kenya.”

She took part in the pageant this December and wore exactly the looks that she wanted to. In one photo, she donned a gold long-sleeve gown with a light pink hijab, and in another, likely for the swimsuit portion, she wore a burkini. She tweeted: “I competed in Miss Maine as the first Muslim girl with a Hijab. I slayed my hijab.”

While this is a milestone achievement for the Miss Maine competition, this isn’t the only pageant where a woman embraced modest fashion, and made headlines. Last November, Halima Aden wore a hijab in the Miss Minnesota competition, and went onto become a celebrated high-fashion model.

Later, Muna Jama made history by refusing to wear a bikini during the swimsuit portion of the Miss Universe competition, opting to don a kaftan instead.

Though a few brands like Nike and American Eagle are now including hijabs in their repertoire, and incredible young women like Hamdia and Halima are pushing for them to be more visible in pageants and fashion magazines alike, we still see stories of discrimination against Muslim women — specifically related to their hijabs — every single day. There’s no denying that Hamdia did, in fact, “slay” her hijab and we loved every minute of it.

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Fashion

Halima Aden Explains Why Somalia Needs Your Support

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TEEN VOGUE — The country of Somalia means a lot to me. It’s the home I never got to see, but feel so connected to. My family is from Somalia and my mother fled due to the civil war, which has been ongoing for decades. Although I was born in Kenya, I will always be a Somali first.

My mother was the one who told me about the bombing that occurred in Mogadishu on October 14. A few weeks prior, she had just gotten back from Kismayo, a different city in Somalia. When we talked about her trip, she had so much hope and wanted to go back as soon as possible. She was absolutely devastated. My heart broke for the victims and their families.

Thankfully, my family is safe and were not in Modgishu. We checked in with family and friends and everyone is safe — but far from alright. We are still mourning for the hundreds of innocent lives lost. Those killed were people, not numbers. This was a horrible tragedy that affected Somalis around the world. It is the deadliest bombing in the country’s history. A lot of innocent lives were lost.
There was a lack of media coverage about the bombing, which was disheartening, but I’m grateful for all the people who have shown their support for Somalia.

France dimmed the lights on the Eiffel Tower to remember the victims, Turkey has shown support, as has Canada.


Tragedy is tragedy, no matter where it happens in the world. I think it’s important that we pray for all the victims. Show compassion to your Somali coworkers and neighbors.

You don’t know if that person just lost a parent, a friend, or their entire family. Teens have the power of reaching people an ocean away by simply using their social media to raise awareness. Your thoughts and prayers will let them know that they are not forgotten about.

I want the world to know that Somali people are resilient and will overcome this tragedy. I have always had hope for my country and I know this evil will not be how our chapter ends. Above all, I want people to know that Muslims are allies against terrorism — not the enemy.

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