By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — A Minnesota woman who made it big in the modeling industry says she’s picking faith over fashion. Halima Aden appeared on “CBS This Morning” Thursday morning.

She pioneered the fashion industry with several firsts. The Somali-American was the first model in a hijab on the cover of Vogue, with an Arabian issue in 2017.
And she was the first to model a burkini in Sports Illustrated’s 2019 Swimsuit Issue.

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In November, she said she was walking away from it all because it didn’t align with her faith and future goals. She also resigned as an Ambassador for UNICEF.

“It should be able education, not UNICEF’s personal brand. That is my fight with UNICEF, it’s (to) stop photographing the world’s most vulnerable children at their most hungry, at their most scared, at their most lonely … They need protection, and who’s going to protect the children from these very organizations that were made to protect them, that were made to help them?”

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Born in a refugee camp in Kenya, she moved to the United States with her family at age 7 and was the first Muslim homecoming queen at her high school in Minnesota, the first Somali student senator at her college and the first hijab-wearing woman in the Miss USA Minnesota pageant.

“My mom asked me to quit modeling a LONG time ago. I wish I wasn’t so defensive,’’ the 23-year-old model wrote last November. “Thanks to COVID and the breakaway from the industry I have finally realized where I went wrong on my hijab journey.”

Aden did give a quick shout out to Minnesota in her interview, saying people should come visit when it’s safe to do so.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)