Somalis have come to be known for their business acumen and honesty in their dealings. However, people often forget the rich Somali culture and the beauty of its people. Their resilience and ability to adapt to situations and make an impact wherever they go is unmatched. In fact, Somalis are very good at grabbing opportunities and that is evident by the number of businesses they control .
When it comes to the world of fashion, Somalis have produced some of the most beautiful women to ever walk on the runway. There are so many but this list mentions few of the top famous models of Somali descent.
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Jawahir is a Somali American model born in 1991 to Somali parents. Her family moved to the US before she was born and shortly after the civil war in Somali started. She signed to the Stars Talent Group modelling agency and in 2013 represented Somali in the Miss Africa Utah pageant. She was also Miss Somalia in the 2013 Miss United Nations USA pageant.
Born on 17th December 1986 in Mogadishu, she grew up in the country with her mother and two sisters. At the age of 7, she underwent Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the civil war in Somali claimed the lives of her two sisters. Prompting her mother to flee with her to the United States.
She was number three at America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 10. She has also worked with different model agencies in Germany, Greece and the United States.
Yasmin is a Somali Canadian model born on 5th May 1976 in Somali. When she was 15, the family moved to Toronto and in 1997 she began modelling. She has worked with some of the biggest modelling agencies including SHOK models, NEXT Paris, IMG New York and View Barcelona.
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Warsame was also a judge at Canada’s reality TV show Canada’s Next Top Model.
Halima Den was born on 19th September 1997 in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. They moved to the United States when she was six years old. She is one model who has broken grounds in the fashion industry. She was the very first model to wear a hijab and burkini at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant and also in a sports illustrated swimwear.
In 2019, she became a UNICEF ambassador and in 2020 announced she had quit modelling as it compromised her religious beliefs. She stated she would only ever model again on her own terms.
Her claim to fame was when she was the face of Ralph Lauren’s S/S campaign in 2009. Born on 27th August 1987, she immigrated to Canada in the 90s and was discovered by a photographer in 2006. She started modelling on runways in different shows from then on and is also known for being an avid philanthropist.
Born in the late 80s, she is a veteran model at the New York Fashion Week. She has modelled a number of ready to wear designs and haute couture designs such as Mark Le Bihan, Richard Rene, Gavin Rajah and Yahya. She has also been signed by some of the top modelling agencies.
Discovered at the age of 18 by celebrity photographer Terence Donovan, she was born in 1965 in Galkayo in a family of 12 children. She escaped from home in order to avoid an arranged marriage to a very old man and later convinced one of her uncles who was the Somali UK ambassador to hire her as a maid. She moved with him to London and worked for him until his term ended. She remained in London and learnt English while working as a cleaner at McDonalds.
She was discovered by Terence who helped her put her portfolio together but most agencies were not ready to hire a black model. In 1987, Terence photographed her for the Pirelli calendar alongside Naomi Campbell and her career took off. She then worked with big brands like Channel, Revlon and L’Oréal.
Apart from modeling, she has acted in a number of films including James Bond’s the Living Daylight and is an author and women rights activist.
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