Halima Aden designs matching face mask and hijab sets to help front-line workers

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

Model Halima Aden arrives for the 2019 CFDA Awards at The Brooklyn Museum in New York, U.S., June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has seen numerous fashion houses, brands and designers address the crisis by producing and donating face masks to front-line workers.

And now it looks like Halima Aden is joining the fray. The Somali-American model recently announced that she was part of #BandingTogether – a project in association with Allure magazine and Anywear Design, which will see her designing fashionable face masks and hijab sets – while giving to a good cause.

“When you purchase one of my limited-edition face covering and hijab sets, @AnywearDesign will donate an adjustable headband, hijab set or medical hat to a doctor, nurse or healthcare professional working tirelessly on the frontline,” the model announced in a post on Instagram.

Anywear Design is an AI tech company that was scheduled to launch this summer but pushed back the opening date due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, after "seeing images of the skin irritation front-line workers are experiencing from wearing face masks during long shifts while fighting Covid-19", the company decided to start the #BandingTogether project.

It worked with medical professionals in the US to create headbands with buttons that can hold mask straps and ease discomfort. This resulted in comfortable sets made from upcycled fabrics.

The company then reached out to members of the fashion community to channel their creativity into designing the sets. They ended up with fashionable and eco-friendly products, with proceeds going towards a noble cause.

“Having worked in a hospital, even several months into my modelling career, it was important for me to support this project," Aden said in an official statement on the brand’s website. "As many hijab-wearing women are working at healthcare facilities, I wanted to make sure they have a comfortable option for wearing a mask while keeping their hair covered.

“It can also get hot running around at the pace healthcare employees are right now, so a breathable fabric was a must. And I really wanted the pieces to give a feeling of tranquility and calm, so I went with soft shades that bring a feeling of peace. Like everyone, my livelihood has been turned upside down. I just keep reminding myself [of] something that my mom always says: ‘Hard times don’t last, but strong people do'.”

Some of the designers behind these limited-edition sets, alongside Aden, include Chris McMillan, a Los Angeles-based hairstylist, Nikki Nelms, a hairstylist, and Mei Kawajiri, a New York City-based nail artist.