Halima Aden, the Somali model who has been making waves in the fashion industry for wearing a hijab, has been announced as the new face of sustainable bag brand Bottletop.
In images captured by Yuri+Ana, Aden introduces two new handbags from the British luxury brand, the ‘Halima’ and the ‘Denise’, both made from Zero Deforestation Leather. They are part of a continuing collaboration with New York designer Narciso Rodriguez.
“We are so inspired by Halima’s commitment to challenging societal attitudes, empowering women and young people and making change. Much like Halima, Bottletop strives to break barriers by harnessing the power of fashion and creativity to address key issues globally; to create conversation, drive empowerment and make change,” said Cameron Saul, co-founder of the brand.
The 22-year-old model was born in Kenya, a country that also played an important role in Bottletop’s history. It was with local Kenyan artisans that the brand developed its signature bag made from recycled bottle tops, launched in collaboration with Mulberry in 2002.
She is also known for challenging the stereotypical vision of beauty within the fashion industry, becoming the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in 2016. She went on to make her catwalk debut during New York Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2017 with Yeezy, later adding Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara to her portfolio.
Bottletop also recognised her work as a Unicef ambassador for children’s rights, which it said aligns with its hope to challenge attitudes and encourage change whilst supporting people living in difficult circumstances.
In addition to working with artisans to create its collection, the fashion brand supports health education projects empowering young people in Kenya, Brazil and Nepal through the Bottletop Foundation.
“Sustainability is so important and we connect through fashion. However fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Everything created impacts our people and planet. Our planet is running out of resources so let’s all choose to support brands that are committed to protecting our environment and communities. This is why I’m excited to announce I’m the new face and ambassador of Bottletop,” said the Somali model.
The bags, made at the Bottletop atelier in Brazil by artisans who are paid 45% above the national industry average, come in two sizes and colours. Prices start from £495.