Halima Aden jets to New York after whirlwind Riyadh visit

Updated 06 November 2019

Halima Aden jets to New York after whirlwind Riyadh visit

  • The model was in Saudi Arabia for the first Fashion Futures event Riyadh
  • She’s scheduled to speak at Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit in New York this weekend

DUBAI: Halima Aden bid goodbye to Riyadh on Tuesday as she’s scheduled to speak at Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit in New York this weekend.

The Somali-American model uploaded two videos on her Instagram Stories that showed her driving down a palm-tree lined street.

“Bye bye, Riyadh,” she wrote in a text that accompanied the first clip. “Inshallah, I can’t wait to come back,” she added, implying that a visit back to the Kingdom could come in the future. 

Though she’s previously been to the Middle East — she’s visited the UAE on numerous occasions —it was the 22-year-old’s first time in Saudi Arabia. 

Aden first made international headlines by competing as the first veiled contestant in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant, before making her New York Fashion Week debut at Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 show in 2017. The model was in Saudi Arabia for the first Fashion Futures event Riyadh. 

The event, which kicked off on Nov. 4, is a fashion-focused conference in the Kingdom that features interviews, seminars, panels, masterclasses and workshops.  On Tuesday, the hijab-wearing model conducted a talk and a Q&A session during the three-day extravaganza.

Her keynote address was entitled “Don’t be afraid to be the first” — and the model certainly knows all about firsts.

In addition to being the first-ever model to appear on a Fashion Week runway wearing a hijab, Aden also made history when she appeared on the 2019 issue of Sports Illustrated wearing a scarf and burkini.

“Don’t change yourself… Change the GAME!! Ladies anything is possible!!! Being in Sports Illustrated is so much bigger than me. It’s sending a message to my community and the world that women of all different backgrounds, looks, upbringings... can stand together and be celebrated,” the model posted on Instagram at the time.

Meanwhile, she is the first hijab-wearing model to grace the cover of a Vogue magazine edition with her June 2017 Vogue Arabia cover.

It’s impressive for someone whose first chapters of life couldn’t be more far removed from the fashion industry. She was born in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, before relocating to the US with her family when she was six-years-old. 

She would go on to cinch bookings at renowned international brands, such as Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara, land major campaigns with the likes of Nike, Fenty Beauty and MAC Cosmetics and appear on the pages of prestigious publications.


‘Control Z’: A high school sleuth sets out to find a vicious hacker

Updated 7 min 31 sec ago

‘Control Z’: A high school sleuth sets out to find a vicious hacker

CHENNAI: Hacking — whether into bank accounts, mobile phones, or email accounts — is an unfortunate reality of the modern age. The new Mexican eight-part series “Control Z”, available on Netflix, focuses on those who find themselves victims of hackers and who have their deepest secrets and weaknesses exposed as a result.

The subject has been dealt with before in films, but “Control Z,” created by Carlos Quintanilla, Adriana Pelusi and Miguel Garcia Moreno, gives its plot a Sherlockian feel, taking the audience inside a high school populated with affluent students sporting designer clothes and driving luxury cars. The environment is fraught with its own problems, which range from defiant and disrespectful youth to sexual misconduct. Not even the head of the institution is above scandal, and he yields to temptation — a misdemeanor that is soon out in the open.

“Control Z,” created by Carlos Quintanilla, Adriana Pelusi and Miguel Garcia Moreno, gives its plot a Sherlockian feel. (Supplied)

The hacker disseminates his juicy gossip — often true — among the students, taking advantage of a weak school wi-fi system to upload his messages through the account @allyoursecrets. Sofia (played by Ana Valeria Becerril), is a social outcast at her school, considered a freak because of her troubled past, having lost her father and spent time in a mental health facility. She has no friends until Javier (played by Michael Ronda), son of one of Mexico's biggest soccer stars, joins the school and befriends her.

Sofia has a knack for solving crimes, and when the hacker’s text messages take on a nastier and more personal tone, she decides to find out who is behind the account. Javier uses his social skills to help Sofia in a campus atmosphere where chaos prevails and relationships between students go haywire. Couples break up, and new personal ties are tested. But soon, Sofia too falls victim to the hacker. 

Three things that work in favor of “Control Z” are its developed characters, compelling performances and suspense. (Supplied)

Three things that work in favor of “Control Z” are its developed characters, compelling performances (Becerril and Ronda in particular) and suspense. The creators withhold the identity of the culprit until the very end.

The hacker’s motive, however, is a weak point to the series. Although the setting is a high school, there is very little classroom activity. Instead, rowdiness and sexual flings seem to dominate. Is this the norm in Mexican schools? If not, a bit of subtlety and authenticity could have lifted “Control Z” higher. But I suspect that in the name of artistic liberty, the creators opted for a dramatic portrayal of a school “detective” and her efforts to unravel a mystery.