Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Star in the Making

Halima Aden

The wave of international headlines praising Halima Aden began last year. That’s when the St. Cloud model, 19, became the first Miss Minnesota USA contestant to compete wearing a hijhab and a “burkini.” The fashion world took serious notice. In February, Aden got signed to IMG Models, the worldwide talent agency that also reps Gisele Bündchen, Kate Moss, and Gigi Hadid. Just days later she scored ink from Glamour, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar after hitting the runway in a fur coat and hijab during Yeezy Season 5, the hyped New York Fashion Week show from Kanye West. Aden — a Somali-American who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp — is taking time off from her studies at St. Cloud State University, as a jet-setting model with nearly 200,000 Instagram followers is wont to do. “My goal is to send a message to Muslim women and young women everywhere that it’s OK to break stereotypes and be yourself,” she recently told Vogue. “Always stay true to who you are — barriers can and will be broken!”