BEYOND the HI­JAB

AS the WORLD’S 1.8 BIL­LION-PLUS MUS­LIMS WILL ATTEST, THERE IS FAR MORE to IS­LAMIC DRESS THAN HEAD­SCARVES

ELLE (UK) - - Elle Voice -

IN FEB­RU­ARY OF 2O17,athen19-year-old Hal­ima Aden quite lit­er­ally changed the face of fash­ion. Aden, an Amer­i­can-So­mali teenager, and a Mus­lim who spent her early child­hood liv­ing in a refugee camp, pounded down Kanye West’s Yeezy Sea­son 5 cat­walk. It wasn’t the clothes that caught at­ten­tion, it was the fact that Aden was wear­ing a hi­jab. Two sea­sons later, and a wave of hi­jabi mod­els have been pro­pelled into the main­stream, ap­pear­ing on the cov­ers of glossy mag­a­zines and walk­ing for fash­ion’s star la­bels.

Cov­er­age has been breath­lessly en­thu­si­as­tic, with Aden the first hi­jabi model to sign to a ma­jor agency (IMG), quickly fol­lowed by Shahira Yusuf (Storm, scouted by the same agent who signed Kate Moss), and Ikram Abdi Omar (Premier). Yet it seems the pro­jected bur­den of ev­ery­thing they rep­re­sent al­most eclipses the rea­son they were signed to be­gin with – that they, like the mod­els who walk with them, are beau­ti­ful. Knock­out stun­ning. Their re­li­gion shouldn’t be the point. But it‘s be­come a defin­ing fea­ture at a time when Is­lam elic­its so much cov­er­age fu­elled by a lim­ited un­der­stand­ing of what it re­ally is – par­tic­u­larly now, against the back­drop of Trump’s black­ball, anti-im­mi­gra­tion pol­i­tics.

‘We weren’t rep­re­sented for ages,’ says Dina Torkia, a pi­o­neer and break­out star of a wave of In­sta-fa­mous Mus­lim fash­ion blog­gers, with over 1.4 mil­lion fol­low­ers. ‘So­cial me­dia al­lows us to have our own voice, and some

NEW MODELARMY Ikram Abdi Omar walk­ing for Molly God­dard (right)Words by IN­STA-STAR Fash­ion blog­ger Dina Torkia (be­low) is chal­leng­ing normsNOSHEEN IQBAL

ALL HAIL HAL­IMA The trail­blaz­ing model at Max Mara (above)

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