Fashion week runways have long sparked the debate around discrimination, but with the increasing push for POC models like Somali hijabi Halima Aden and British Ghanaian Adwoa Aboah—who have both landed numerous Vogue covers—to name but a few, it’s safe to say that diversity and inclusivity are at the forefront.
And last month, it was emerging Algerian veiled model Feriel Moulaï who took the industry by storm, making her Paris Fashion Week debut walking for Parisian label Koché, wearing an embroidered hijab.
Having an Algerian hijabi model walking at Paris Fashion Week is a big deal. Namely because Moulaï hit the runway in a country where “ostentatious religious signs” are banned in public, making Moulaï’s appearance nothing short of revolutionary. In a country where Islamophobia is still rife and where women are the first to be subject to hate crimes (reports from the Collective Against Islamophobia in France indicate that 85% of islamophobic aggressions concern women), Moulaï stands as a beacon of change for a new generatin of young Muslim and Arab women.
The young model is signed to Bame Models in the UK and Dominique Models in Brussels, but her being cast for the Koché show was actually down to Instagram. Having already modelled for IA London and Muna Khalif, Moulaï is determined to continue her global quest.