Sports Illustrated has today revealed that Halima Aden will be the first Muslim model to wear a hijab and burkini in the magazine’s swimsuit edition.
According to Sports Illustrated, the 21-year old Somali-American model was born in Kenya at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, where she lived until the age of seven before moving to the United States. For the SI Swimsuit spread, Aden returned to her birth country for the historic shoot at Watamu Beach.
“I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,” Aden told SI during her shoot. “So 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.”
“Having Halima as a part of SI Swimsuit is yet another example of the range and scope of the type of beauty that exists,” says MJ Day, Editor of SI Swimsuit. “Her participation and inclusion further highlights the brands commitment and belief in supporting women to own who they are and what makes them unique and ultimately reaffirms what our messaging has been — that you are worthy.”