Halima Aden is no stranger to making waves and she’s done it again as the first model to don a hijab and burkini for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit issue.
Born in a Kenyan refugee camp and raised in St. Cloud, Minn., the Somali-American made headlines in 2016 as the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant where was a semi-finalist.
Since then, the 21-year-old phenom has coveted numerous international modeling gigs, including covers for British Vogue, Vogue Arabia and a New York Fashion Week debut in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 show in 2017.
Her groundbreaking SI debut was shot on Watuma Beach in her birthplace of Kenya. “To grow up to live the American dream [and] 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,” Aden told SI during her shoot.
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She added, “I never really felt represented because I never could flip through a magazine and see a girl who was wearing a hijab. Don’t be afraid to be the first.” She’ll appear in the May 8th issue.
To see more of the SI shoot, go here.