First hijab wearing model Halima Aden designs face masks for hijabi frontline workers - GulfToday

First hijab wearing model Halima Aden designs face masks for hijabi frontline workers


Halima Aden, who is breaking boundaries as the first hijab wearing model poses during a shoot at a studio in New York City. File

American fashion model, Halima Aden has donated her time to create stylish masks for hijab-wearing medical professionals that are working on the front lines of COVID-19.

The modest fashion model says she wanted to make sure hijab-wearing women had a comfortable option for wearing a mask while still keeping their hair covered.

The 22-year-old model has created seven different mask and hijab sets that women can wear comfortably while staying safe.

The masks have been created for short-term use as opposed to 24/7 wear to provide hijab-wearing healthcare workers with something more comfortable to wear given that standard-issue masks don’t account for headscarves and facial coverings.


Aden is one of several high-profile fashion names to create a series of masks for the project, labelled “Banding Together”.

Hairstylist Chris McMillan and make-up artist Daniel Martin are among those who have also contributed stylish alternative face masks that come with matching headbands.

“Having worked in a hospital, even several months into my modelling career, it was important for me to support this project,” Aden said in a statement, referring to her own experiences of previously working as a hospital cleaner.

“As many hijab-wearing women are working at health care facilities, I wanted to make sure they have a comfortable option for wearing a mask while keeping their hair covered,” she continued.


“It can also get hot running around at the pace health care employees are right now, so a breathable fabric was a must.

“And I really wanted the pieces to give a feeling of tranquillity and calm, so I went with soft shades that bring a feeling of peace.”

The sets come in pastel shades of blue, lilac and yellow. Additionally, there are sets in grey and green.


Aden went on to explain how the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted her life.

“Like everyone, my livelihood has been turned upside down,” she said.


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“I just keep reminding myself of something that my mom always says: ‘Hard times don’t last, but strong people do.’”

Halima Aden is noted for being the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she was a semi-finalist. Following her participation in the pageant, Halima received national attention and was signed to IMG Models. Aden was born in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

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