Designer Cynthia Merhej talks overcoming hurdles to craft new collection


Former model Halima Aden to speak about finding your authentic self at One Young World Summit

DUBAI: US-Somali model Halima Aden is set to be a speaker at this year’s One Young World Summit, a global forum that brings together the world’s youngest leaders for a series of keynote speeches, panels, workshops, networking and more. This year’s edition will be taking place across different venues in Munich, Germany, from July 22-25.

“I’m so excited to be attending this year’s One Young World, it’s going to be magical, so I can’t wait to see you,” she said in a video posted on her Instagram account. 

She will join the jam-packed program alongside other speakers such as US-Somali model Sabrina Elba, British rapper Tinie and television personality Shane Jenek.

Memorably, Aden was a speaker at the 2019 edition of the One Young World Summit that took place in London.

During her talk, the humanitarian and former model will be speaking about finding your authentic self, a topic that she is passionate about.

In November 2020, the 23-year-old made the decision to walk away from the fashion industry, claiming that the career did not align with her faith.

A Muslim, the UNICEF ambassador, who made her runway debut in 2017 at the Yeezy Season 5 show, added a clause to her contract with IMG Models to ensure the agency agreed that she would never have to remove her hijab. 

“My mom asked me to quit modeling a LONG time ago. I wish I wasn’t so defensive,’’ Aden wrote in a lengthy Instagram post detailing why she decided to take a step back from modeling. “Thanks to COVID-19 and the breakaway from the industry, I have finally realized where I went wrong on my hijab journey.’’

After a long hiatus from the fashion industry, Aden, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp before relocating to Minnesota with her family, revealed in May that she is set to make a return. 

Writing to her 1.3 million Instagram followers, alongside a photo of herself posing with American designer Tommy Hilfiger, she said: “Shooting a super special project with one of my favorite designers @tommyhilfiger.”

Details on the project are still under wraps.

She is also set to host the annual Fashion Challenge for Kenyan non-profit organization RefuSHE in October.


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