Halima Aden announces Tommy Hilfiger project: could she be making a return to modelling?

The Somali-American model quit the industry in November saying her career path does not align with her faith

Six months after Halima Aden made the shock announcement that she was quitting the fashion industry, could the trailblazing Somali-American model be set to make a return?

Aden, 23, uploaded a photo of herself smiling with US designer Tommy Hilfiger on Instagram on Tuesday, with the caption: “Shooting a super special project with one of my favourite designers.”

This would not be the first time Aden has worked with Tommy Hilfiger. In October, a month before she announced she was quitting the modelling industry, she also worked with the brand to create limited-edition T-shirts for charity.

While this is not a definitive proclamation of her return, the idea of a "special project" with a top designer in the US has gotten people excited that the Vogue cover star may be poised to re-enter the industry.

Her post received plenty of supportive comments.

“She working! Love this for you,” wrote make-up artist Keita Moore, while Nigerian-American beauty vlogger Jackie Aina said she was “incredibly proud always” of Aden.

Hilfiger also commented, writing “exciting times ahead", but hasn't offered any other details on the project in this message or on his Instagram account.

Aden is widely credited as being the first hijab-wearing woman to appear in mainstream fashion shows.

She shot to fame in 2016 when she competed in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant, becoming the first contestant to compete in a hijab. She was a semi-finalist and chose to wear a burkini for the swimwear sequence.

Afterwards, she signed with modelling agency IMG and made her foray into the fashion world in 2017.

She has since enjoyed a history-making modelling career in which she was the first person to wear a hijab and burkini (one created by Hilfiger) in Sports Illustrated and also became the first hijab-wearing model to grace a number of magazines covers, including Allure and British Vogue.

However, in an Instagram post in November, Aden announced she would be quitting runway modelling. She later said in an exclusive interview with The National that she could no longer align her career path with her faith.

"I don't regret my career, there were so many positive things I was able to accomplish, but I am so excited to take a step back and do things differently," Aden said.

"The first two years of my career, I was the stylist and came to set with hijabs, of all different types of fabrics, leggings, turtlenecks and I would be in charge of doing my own hijab," she said. "I let them style me and got comfortable.”

However, because of this, the lines grew increasingly blurred, she explained. “I had Gucci pants as a hijab once, and jeans put on my head. It was becoming questionable as to where the hijab is."

She said she "had to leave, because you either stand for something or you will fall for everything".

Updated: May 27, 2021 01:15 PM

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