Burberry unveils Ikram Abdi Omar as first hijab-clad model to star in festive campaign

Ikram Abdi Omar first hit the runway in 2018. (File/Getty Images)
Updated 02 November 2019

Burberry unveils Ikram Abdi Omar as first hijab-clad model to star in festive campaign

  • Ikram Abdi Omar is the first hijab-wearing star to feature in Burberry’s annual festive season campaign
  • The model is part of a cohort of fresh faces who will appear in the campaign

DUBAI: UK-raised model Ikram Abdi Omar has just been revealed as the first hijab-wearing star to feature in Burberry’s annual festive season campaign.

Born in Sweden to Somali parents and raised in the UK, the model is part of a cohort of fresh faces who will appear in the campaign, which is set to be unveiled on Nov. 13.

Omar is joined in the campaign by the likes of Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu, artist Boychild, filmmaker Wu Tsang, Brazilian model Lea T, Russian model Sasha Pivovarova, South Korean actor Yoo Ah-in and footballer Ruben Loftus-Cheek, as well as musicians Mahmood and Carla Bruni.

Burberry’s creative director Riccardo Tisci teased fans with a sneak peak of the adverts over the weekend, with fairies and fauns seeming to be the theme for the magical campaign.

Omar was the first hijab-wearing model to be signed to elite London agency Bookings Models and made her fashion week debut with designer Molly Goddard in 2018. Since then, the model has graced the covers of international magazines and worked with luxury e-retailer The Modist.

She took to Instagram to share her excitement about the upcoming campaign.



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“Do you know what’s crazy, last year I met @naomi ‘s mum @valeriemorriscampbell and congratulated her for being featured in the 2018 Burberry festive campaign with her daughter,” she said, referring to iconic British model Naomi Campbell and her mother.

“I can’t believe that I’m part of this year’s @burberry festive campaign omggg! It’s out Nov 13th and I can’t wait to show you guys the images (sic),” she added.

“I have always looked at magazines and I’ve always seen not enough representation and thought ‘I can be that person to change that,’” Omar told the BBC in 2018.

“We need to be more inclusive in the industry, there are a lot of different faces out there that need to be recognized,” she added.

“I want to be the hijabi model that walks for brands like Givenchy, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. I want to be at a stage where when they think of a hijabi model, they think of me,” she later told The Modist’s monthly magazine.

Past stars of Burberry’s famously creative festive campaigns include Cara Delevingne, Matt Smith and Romeo Beckham — indicating that this year’s shift toward diversity is a conscious choice by the British brand.


Amr Diab is the first Arab artist to get his very own Times Square billboard

Arabic music star Amr Diab features on Times Square billboard. (Photo: AFP)
Updated 12 November 2019

Amr Diab is the first Arab artist to get his very own Times Square billboard

  • Amr Diab is the first Arab artist to appear on a Spotify billboard in Times Square
  • The move is a bid to promote the music and culture of the Middle East and North Africa

DUBAI: Amr Diab is the first Arab musical artist to get his face plastered on a Spotify billboard in New York City’s iconic Times Square. 

The streaming giant projected a smiling portrait of the Egyptian crooner in one of the most-visited landmarks in the Big Apple in a bid to promote the music and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.

The Egyptian singer has become the first Arab music artist to be featured on a billboard in Times Square. Supplied

“Today we are celebrating Diab’s legacy and we are proud to see him shine so brightly - literally - on the global stage,” says Claudius Boller, Managing Director, Spotify Middle East and Africa in an official press statement. 

According to Spotify, the legendary singer’s music is most streamed in the United States, followed by Sweden, Germany, the UK and Canada.

His album “Nour el-Ain” (Our Eyes Beam) brought him global success and earned him the title of “The Father of Mediterranean Music” for his style of blending Egyptian and western rhythms. 

Diab received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Big Apple Music Awards in 2009. At the 2014 World Music Awards, Diab was also awarded Best Egyptian Artist, Best Male Arab Artist, and World’s Best Arab Male Artist Voted Online.

He was also one of the first artists to headline a concert in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the Saudia E-Prix in 2018. He was part of a superstar lineup that included the likes of Enrique Iglesias, Jason Derulo, the Black Eyed Peas, One Republic and David Guetta. 

The 58-year-old singer is set to take the stage of the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre in Jan. 20, 2020.