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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit features first model in hijab and burkini

The Somali-American model was born in Kenya

Reporting | - Posted: Apr 29, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Apr 29, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit features first model in hijab and burkini

Photo: Yu Tsai/ Sports Illustrated

This year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is going to feature the first woman to sport a hijab and burkini in the magazine – Halima Aden. 

The issue hits newsstands on May 8, SI revealed Monday.

In a photo shared to the official Instagram page for the issue, Aden, 21, smiles while submerged in the water.

The 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 her SI Swimsuit rookie spread, she travelled to her birth country and shot at Watamu Beach with photographer Yu Tsai.

Related: Pakistani-Scottish Imtiaz Dharker to become UK’s next poet laureate

In the states, Aden found success and broke barriers. She signed to IMG Models after making headlines for competing in hijab at her state’s Miss USA pageant in 2016. She became the first woman to wear her traditional Muslim headpiece for the entire competition, also opting to wear a burkini for the swimsuit round.

Aden revealed the shoot was emotional on Monday’s “Good Morning America.”

“We definitely had a lot of moments where everybody was, like, breaking down crying because it’s a huge moment,” she recalled.

MJ Day, SI Swimsuit editor, promised an issue with “a wide range of age and race and levels of modesty that really is a first for us” during the “GMA” segment.

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