UgbadPhotography Nicolas Bloise

The Somali-American teenager is the first hijabi model to walk for Fendi

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LocationNew York, United States

    Following in the footsteps of groundbreaking hijabi runway models – and former Dazed100 names – Halima Aden and Ikram Abdi Omar Ugbad Abdi is the latest Muslim model making space for her faith in fashion. Her catwalk debut at Valentino’s celebrated haute couture 2019 show in Paris has proved an auspicious start for the Somali-American model; since then, she has emerged as one of fashion’s most exciting new faces, opening the Marc Jacobs show and walking for Miu Miu, Simone Rocha, Burberry, and Fendi (becoming their first hijabi catwalk model) for AW19, her first ready-to-wear season.

    “I sometimes have trouble believing that this is really happening,” Abdi says. “My life over the past nine months has been absolutely wild, so I can only imagine what the future will hold!” Born in Somalia during the civil war, Abdi grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya before her family moved to Iowa when she was nine.

    The bright-eyed, gap-toothed teenager is rightly proud of her achievements: “I have been given the opportunity to have a career in the spotlight and I have been able to use my voice and educate others while having the coolest job ever!” she says. “Many people have misconceptions about Muslim women and why we choose to wear the hijab so I have been able to share my story and my journey. I am proud of who I am and I am excited to see what the future holds.”

    Charlotte Gush