St. Cloud model Halima Aden makes history by wearing burkini in Sports Illustrated

The model moved to St. Cloud as a 7-year-old after being born in a refugee camp.
Publish date:

St. Cloud's Halima Aden continues to make history in the modeling world, this time becoming the first Muslim model to ever appear in Sports Illustrated wearing a hijab and burkini.

Born to Somali parents in a refugee camp in Kenya, Aden moved to St. Cloud at the age of seven, and has established a successful career in modeling after coming to prominence competing in Miss Minnesota.

On Tuesday, she was revealed to be the "newest member of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit family," posing for a spread on a Kenyan beach.

The issue will be released next month, with SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day saying of Aden: "We both believe the ideal of beauty is so vast and subjective. We both know that women are so often perceived to be one way or one thing based on how they look or what they wear.

"Whether you feel your most beautiful and confident in a burkini or a bikini, YOU ARE WORTHY."

Aden's rise in the modeling world has been meteoric and historic.

She became in 2016 the first woman to compete in the Miss Minnesota pageant while wearing a headscarf (specifically a hijab). She also wore a burkini for the bikini portion of the event.

Aden made it to the semifinals, and since then her career has taken off.

She signed with IMG (one of the biggest modeling agencies in the world), helped debut Kanye's Yeezy Season 5 on the runway, and in June was on the cover of Vogue Arabia.

Several more landmarks have followed, including featuring on the cover of British Vogue and taking to the runway at New York Fashion Week.

You'll be able to see her photos in SI when the issue is released on May 8.

Next Up