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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@farfetch x @burberry

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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.


Lack of spirit leaves World War II saga hanging midway

Roland Emmerich’s just-opened “Midway” comes nowhere close to the 1950s and 1960s war adventures. (Supplied)
Updated 14 November 2019

Lack of spirit leaves World War II saga hanging midway

CHENNAI: Movies on World War II have delighted cinema audiences for years. Nobody can forget the daring Allied escape in the 1965 “Von Ryan’s Express” with Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard driving a train through Nazi-occupied territory.

There were others in that decade and earlier such as David Lean’s “The Bridge on the River Kwai” about British prisoners of war building a railway in malaria-infested Burma (now Myanmar). These were great classics, but recent efforts have not been as memorable.

(Supplied)

Roland Emmerich’s just-opened “Midway” comes nowhere close to the 1950s and 1960s war adventures. Despite audiences still being thirsty for WWII sagas and a star-studded cast (Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Mandy Moore, Ed Skrein and Nick Jonas), the film is unmoving, mainly because of the shallow characters. If the dialogues are stiff, the dramatic potential – including the relationship among the men – appears to have been left midway.

The film begins with Japan’s December 1941 air attack on the US naval base in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, which dragged America into the conflict, and the flick follows America’s revenge mission culminating in the June 1942 Battle of Midway.

(Supplied)

For the US, it was a victory against all odds giving them control of the Pacific’s Midway atoll. It was also a major triumph of human spirit, but the film does not quite capture it.

Most of the exploits relate to real-life fighter pilot Dick Best (Skrein), whose devil-may-care attitude earns him the title “cowboy.” His wife Ann (Moore), the only female character, urges him on but seems a washed-out figure. However, there is plenty of action in the air with dog fights, bombings and pilots ejecting from burning planes high above the ground.

(Supplied)

For fans of singer Jonas, his small but significant part may appeal. He is sailor Bruno Gaido whose spontaneous and heroic action during a Japanese raid earns him promotion.

“Midway” plays at three levels, including one about Japanese military officers, and was shot in Hawaii and Montreal with a lot of computer graphics thrown in. The camera work (Robby Baumgartner) is impressive, but somewhere the soul is missing, and the characters fail to come across as real people.

Despite this, the film opened atop the North American box office last weekend with a reported $17.5 million in ticket sales.