Dutch-Arab model Imaan lands Vogue Arabia cover with supermodel Iman

For Vogue Arabia’s anniversary edition, the pair appear side-by-side in contrasting black-and-white looks. (Vogue Arabia)
Updated 01 March 2018
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Dutch-Arab model Imaan lands Vogue Arabia cover with supermodel Iman

DUBAI: She is somewhat of a legend in the world of modeling and now Iman Abdulmajid, who goes by her first name only, is gracing the cover of Vogue Arabia’s March edition alongside Dutch-Moroccan-Egyptian beauty Imaan Hammam.
For the magazine’s anniversary edition, the pair appear side-by-side in contrasting black-and-white looks, dressed in Saint Laurent and Brooklyn-based brand Wrap Life turbans.
The publication shared one of three covers on Instagram, writing: “Two generations of icons unite for the anniversary issue of Vogue Arabia, with not one, but three covers.”
American-Somali star Iman is one of the most iconic supermodels in fashion history. The 62-year-old model is widely praised for having led the way for the many models of color who have followed in her path.
In her interview with the magazine, she shares how she was discovered by photographer Peter Beard in Kenya in 1975 and recalls how she fought for equal pay as a model in the US.
Iman also spoke about reconciling her religion with her career.
“It is an oxymoron to have your foot in the modeling business and to call yourself a Muslim, but at the end of the day, you need to look in the mirror and feel good when you ask, am I doing the right thing?”
Meanwhile, Hammam, of Egyptian and Moroccan descent but born in Amsterdam, was discovered at Amsterdam’s Central Station when she was 13-years-old and is now a world-renowned advertising, editorial and runway model.
In her interview, the 21-year-old model shared how her Egyptian-Moroccan heritage still inspires her and how she is proud to be the “modern poster girl for the diversity movement.”
“Fashion is all about having a personality — and nothing is as inspiring as the power of being you,” she said.


Muse: Life lessons from Instagram sensation Amena Khan

Updated 24 September 2018
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Muse: Life lessons from Instagram sensation Amena Khan

  • Amena Khan is making a name for herself on Instagram
  • She talks candidly about her struggle to the top as a hijab-wearing influencer

DUBAI: The British blogger talks candidly about her struggle to the top as one of the first hijab-wearing influencers in the UK.

As a child, I was inspired by the arts and entertainment — it was a form of escapism for me. Somewhere around my teens, the penny dropped, and I realized there weren’t very many brown faces on TV, so it probably wouldn’t be financially smart for me to study journalism, or media or acting.

When I started out, I heard insiders in the beauty industry say there was no place for a hijabi, that it was too divisive of a symbol and that I should just give it up. But I didn’t – I’m proud of being the first woman of color in a hijab to be in mainstream beauty campaigns across television, magazines and billboards. Seeing my dream materialize was like seeing the power of passion, perseverance, struggle, creativity and positive thinking.

I think that there are a lot of misconceptions tied to the hijab as it makes you visibly Muslim, and because most of the media representation is negative, it rubs off on people.

The cause that I believe in – which is freedom of choice for everyone — benefits everyone because we are all objectified. It’s this journey that all women are on and it’s this journey that binds us, so we have to find a way to accept people for who they are instead of trying to control, manipulate and force women into being what we want them to be.

My focus has become more inclusive. I personally have become more inclined toward fostering an environment where women feel safe to express themselves however they want.

In regards to online negativity, I think dealing with it, you need a really strong support system, and really thick skin and you have to really know who you are and stick to it.

I once got a doll that looked like a voodoo doll and I don’t think it was, but I was too afraid to even touch it.

For me, simply existing within a sphere where beauty is currency as a woman of color who is identifiably Muslim is groundbreaking, it’s revolutionary. For me, to thrive in this space and make the relationships that I’ve made with big brands is testament to the fact that there is a space for us. This is not just a space where I have fun with make-up. I want my presence to stand for something.