Model behind 'hands off my hijab' post named editor of 'Vogue Scandinavia'

Rawdah Mohamed will be the first hijabi person of colour to become fashion editor of the magazine in the west

Somali-Norwegian model Rawdah Mohamed has been named fashion editor for the upcoming 'Vogue Scandanavia'. Getty Images
Somali-Norwegian model Rawdah Mohamed has been named fashion editor for the upcoming 'Vogue Scandanavia'. Getty Images

Rawdah Mohamed, a Somali-Norwegian model who coined the hashtag #handsoffmyhijab earlier this year, was named fashion editor of the upcoming Vogue Scandinavia.

The model announced the news on social media, stating that she was proud of her new role. “I’m hoping to be a cultural force with lots of learning, growing and facing challenges that comes with it,” she said.

Vogue Scandinavia, the 28th global edition of Vogue, will launch this August, with the aim of curating fashion, beauty and culture from Scandinavia and the Nordics. Mohamed’s new role will make her the first hijab-wearing person of colour helming the fashion magazine in the west.

Known for her eclectic, colourful style, Mohamed is often seen mixing streetwear with high couture, and has collaborated with a number of big fashion brands in the past.

Lately, she’s also developed a reputation for her activism. In April, she shared a picture of herself with the words “hands off my hijab” with her 133,000-plus followers on Instagram, which went viral, sparking an international outcry, and a trend on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

The purpose of the hashtag was to protest the proposed French ban on minors wearing the hijab in public.

“I strongly believe the only antidote of hate crime is activism. Many governments have been on the wrong side of liberation and equality before. It is our duty as the people [to] stand up and fight for each other's rights,” she said.

She also recalled incidents of being bullied in school, with teachers suggesting she stop wearing her hijab as a remedy, and being rejected for jobs because of her head cover.

“I have lost count of the many times I was rejected for a job because of my hijab and not because of my lack of skill. The many times French clients share their worries about booking someone who looks like me while assuring me they are [supportive] of me.

The campaign struck a chord with people around the world sharing the hashtag in solidarity with Muslim women. To date, the hashtag has been used over 5,000 times on Instagram, while its French version #pastoucheamonhijab has been posted over a 1,000 times on the social media platform.

Updated: May 31, 2021 10:44 AM

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