New York Fashion Week continued to make cultural statements Wednesday as hijab-wearing model Halima Aden walked in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season Five presentation.
It’s not the first time the recently-signed IMG model has hit the headlines and sparked conversations about diversity in fashion.
Last year, the 19-year-old was the first Miss Minnesota contestant to wear a hijab for the entirety of the state’s Miss USA competition. She also wore a burkini in the swimsuit portion of the contest.
“It’s unbelievable. I never thought that I would see a hijab-wearing model walking in such a prestigious event, but it makes it even more exciting that it was me,” Aden told People on Thursday.
“For a really long time I felt misrepresented, even growing up, I had no one to look up to, there weren’t any hijab-wearing models that I knew, or people in the media that you could relate to,” she continued.
As for working with West, she told People “he was so nice, and I just remember being like, ‘Oh my god! I’m standing in front of Kanye!”
West has been a controversial figure for years, but has been in the news lately for his meeting with President Donald Trump. He recently deleted all of his tweets defending the meeting.
Aden, a Somali-American born in a Kenyan refugee camp, is the first of her family to come to the United States, Vogue reported.
President of IMG Models Ivan Bart recently told Business of Fashion “by representing Halima, I would hope that the next 10-year-old girl wearing her hijab right now will feel included in the experience of fashion, and know that she could do that too,” he said. “We need to reflect in fashion who we are, as a human race.”
See video of Aden on the catwalk below.