The Kanye West fashion show was all about the rapper standing up to Trump by using a hijab-wearing Muslim model.
According to USA Today, the 39-year-old showed what he thought of his former friend’s travel ban when he hired Halima Aden for the Yeezy Season 5 Show. The 19-year-old Somali-American, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, mesmerized on the runway in a giant fur coat. However, what everyone noticed was the African-American model signed to IMG in a black headscarf.
— V Magazine (@vmagazine) February 16, 2017
The Kanye West fashion show is a confirmation that the Jesus Walks rapper has dialed back his support for President Trump. The 70-year-old president had signed an executive order banning people from seven majority countries from entering the U.S., including Halima’s home country of Somalia. The father-of-two has since distanced himself from Trump, who he once openly supported at his concert. Observers say Kanye’s stance at the Yeezy Season 5 Show was a great way to preach about respect and tolerance, irrespective of creed or culture.
Halima Aden had garnered plenty of attention before the Kanye West fashion show when she competed in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant. The 19-year-old woman showed plenty of poise when she competed in a hijab and burkini. The Somali-American wowed the crowd as she cut a confident figure of a woman committed to her beliefs and willing to challenge industry norms.
I signed with the top modeling agency in the WORLD and still wore my hijab as my crown. Don't ever change yourself ..Change the game❤️ I can't thank @evelienjoos, @carineroitfeld , @ronnie_hart , and @benperreira enough for believing in me. Thank you so much @usastatepageants for opening this door ❤️ I am so excited to join the @imgmodels family and spread the message that diversity IS beauty ????
A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on
“I wanted to spread a positive message about beauty and diversity and to show other young Muslim women that there is room for them.”
The Kanye West fashion show and modeling was the last thing on Aden’s mind, the young woman revealed in an interview with Glamour. She did not win the beauty competition, but she caught the eye of IMG president, Ivan Bart. Bart pointed out that it was Halima Aden’s courage that won him over, adding that he excited about working with the 19-year-old woman.
“I found that she was just so brave to stick to what she really believed in and yet go after the American dream of being in a beauty contest. We’ll see how the industry reacts to Halima and works with the restrictions or not.”
A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on
The Yeezy Season 5 Show, alongside the signing of Halima Aden, is not just a potent message of acceptance and inclusivity. It also lends credence to the fact that the fashion landscape is changing, and the Muslim market can be a profitable one if properly harnessed. In a 2016 report, Muslims worldwide were said to have spent $266 billion on footwear, clothing, and food in 2013. The figure is expected to spike up to $488 billion by 2019.
Besides her appearance at the Kanye West fashion show, Halima Aden also features in the next issue of fashion-high flyer CR Fashion book. She is definitely a model on the rise, and big fashion brands have taken notice of the massive market that she represents. According to CNN, Italian luxury fashion house, Dolce & Gabbana, launched hijabs and ankle-length robes known as abayas last year, targeting Muslim shoppers in the Middles East. Trend forecasters say most fashion labels would take the cue in 2017.
— Rude Dawg (@RudiKidd) February 16, 2017
The Kanye West fashion show was modest by all standards as the often self-aggrandizing rapper preferred to remain backstage. Many pundits are saying Yeezy Season 5 would go down as one of the rapper’s most humble fashion events ever.
The Yeezy Season 5 Show hinged on West’s latest Adidas collection and the models who flaunted them. The Yeezy Season 5 casting employed a diverse group of male and female models; a far cry from Yeezy Season 4, which drew a backlash because the rapper only used “multi-racial” women.
The Kanye West fashion show was held Wednesday in a pitch-black auditorium at New York’s Pier 59 Studios and mostly played out on enormous screens that formed a 3-D rectangle at the center of the hall. The show, which lasted around 13-minutes, saw the models eventually emerge from backstage in the same outfits that they bared on screen. The event featured threadbare hoodies, camouflage pants, and the eagerly anticipated Yeezy Season 5 sneakers.
— XXL Mag (@XXLMag_) October 7, 2016
Kanye West fashion show in 2017 easily trumps his previous fashion shows. According to the New York Post, Yeezy Season 4 was a disaster. Models had stumbled on the catwalk in clumsy stilettos that practically cracked under their feet. In addition, the event started two hours late after the 39-year-old rapper staged the event at an abandoned hospital on Roosevelt Island.
The shabby event had left fashion editors fuming and some models fainting from the heat.
The Kanye West fashion show was a huge success and the reason why his wife, Kim Kardashian, tweeted that she was so proud of her husband.
[Featured Image by Walik Goshorn/MediaPunch/IPX/AP Images]