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Movers & Shakers

We see you: Ikram Abdi Omar

The hijab-clad model is breaking down barriers and challenging the fashion landscape.

The people—young, old, and everyone in between—who most intrigue us.

Why we’re watching her: The British model Ikram Abdi Omar, 27, is breaking boundaries as the first model to walk the red carpet, the catwalk and land a Vogue cover wearing a hijab. Recently she graced the February 2024 cover of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and walked the runway for Prabal Gurung’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection at New York Fashion Week.

Pedigree: The smoldering-eyed beauty was born in Stockholm to Somali parents, and moved to England when she was seven, where she was discovered when a modeling agent spotted her at a shopping center. Her parents were initially skeptical. According to Vogue Arabia, Omar said, “The older generation do not approve of anything to do with modeling or involving women being at the forefront in the public eye, but it’s important to educate them and highlight that if you have morals and values, the western society respects you.”

Fashion statement: Omar started wearing the hijab when she was 11. “I wanted to showcase that you can be modest and be into fashion because the hijab itself—apart from representing Islam—represents beauty,” she told the BBC. “It shows that women have the choice to dress however they like, whether that includes showing skin or not, and still feel brilliant.”

Memorable moment: According to the BBC, the model experienced a “major adrenaline rush” when she walked alongside her ride-or-die icon Naomi Campbell on the Tommy Hilfiger runway. 

Catch her in the wild: Omar was spotted striking a pose on the red carpet at last year’s Cannes Film Festival in an eye-catching Nina Ricci black and white sequined gown and (very) wide-brimmed hat before jetting off to Monaco for the Grand Prix, according to Arab News.

Weird obsession: “I love cabbage so much,” she proclaimed on YouTube. “Chicken curry with cabbage inside? I love it too much.”  

Won’t leave home without: Lip gloss. A girl’s gotta shine, after all.

Party spirit animal: The Swan, beloved for its purity, beauty, elegance  and power.  

Prediction: While the fashion world still struggles with diversity, Omar is determined to lead the charge and will surely land more international covers. “There are so many different kinds of beauty and I hope to see a broader range of it celebrated on the catwalk.” 

Hero photo of Ikram Abdi Omar by Marco Bahler/

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