Pin It
halima aden sports illustrated burkini hjiabi model

Halima Aden makes history as Sports Illustrated’s first hijabi model

The Somali-American beauty is on the cover of the publication’s swimsuit issue wearing a burkini

By now you’ll likely be familiar with Halima Aden, the 21-year-old model and former Dazed100-er who has walked for the likes of Yeezy and GCDS – all while staying true to her Muslim faith by wearing a hijab. Now, she’s made history by appearing on the cover of the annual swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated.

Photographed by Yu Tsai in Kenya where Aden spent her early years, instead of a regular bikini – as is usually the case with the swimsuit issue – the model appears in a shiny blue burkini. “Don’t change yourself... Change the GAME!!” she said in a post on her Instagram. “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,” she told Vogue

Although this is a first for SI, it is not the first time Aden has pushed boundaries. She previously wore a hijab and burkini in the swimwear competition for the Miss Minnesota pageant in 2016. Her appearances in the fashion industry have paved the way for fellow hijabi models like Dazed100 model Ugbad. “Being in Sports Illustrated is so much bigger than me,” Aden says. “It’s sending a message to my community and the world that women of all different backgrounds, looks, upbringings... can stand together and be celebrated.”