Sports Illustrated to feature burkini-clad model in famous swimsuit issue

Somali-American model Halima Aden's rookie spread for Sports Illustrated will be set in Kenya, where she was born in a refugee camp and lived until the age of seven.
Somali-American model Halima Aden's rookie spread for Sports Illustrated will be set in Kenya, where she was born in a refugee camp and lived until the age of seven.
Image: Rich Fury/Getty/AFP/File

Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue, best known for its racy covers of scantily clad bikini models, will feature for the first time a Muslim model wearing a hijab and burkini, the magazine said on Monday.

Somali-American model Halima Aden's rookie spread will be set in Kenya, where she was born in a refugee camp and lived until the age of seven.

"Growing up in the States, I never really felt represented because I never could flip through a magazine and see a girl who was wearing a hijab," Aden said in a video tweeted by the magazine.

Sports Illustrated also posted a picture of her posing lying down in shallow water, wearing a turquoise hijab, long yellow earrings and a deep blue burkini - the full length swimsuit favoured by some Muslim women.

Halima, 21, made headlines at age 19 when she was the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant, where she made the semi-finals in 2016.

She has previously featured on the cover of British Vogue and walked on the New York Fashion Week runway.


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