Burberry Casts its First Hijabi Model for Holiday Campaign

Ikram Abdi Omar joins Italian-Egyptian singer Mahmood in the diverse cast

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With Ricardo Tisci at the helm of Burberry, the fashion house is undergoing a major revamp, starting with the logo that was revealed just days ahead of his debut last year. And by the looks of things, Burberry’s new era is also more diverse than ever. The label just cast its first hijabi model for its annual holiday campaign.

21-year-old model Ikram Abdi Omar was tapped by the label to star in the campaign with  some of the industry’s biggest heavyweights. Alongside her is Italian-Egyptian singer Mahmood, supermodel Carla Bruni, South Korean actor Yoo Ah-in, British models Fran Summers and Cecilia Chancellor, Russian model Sasha Pivovarova, among others marking the brand’s most exciting cast yet.

Born in Sweden to Somali parents, Abdi Omar was raised in London. She later joined the ranks of fellow Somali model Halima Aden as one of the industry’s most sought-after models. She’s just one example of how the fashion world has come to finally embrace the idea of hijabi models taking on the runway. Her appointment to be part of Burberry’s campaign only cements the idea further, normalizing visible displays of inclusivity in the industry. 

Mahmood’s casting is equally momentous, the Italian-Egyptian singer, who rose to stardom after being chosen to represent Italy for the Eurovision song contest, found himself embroiled in criticism by the nation’s right-wing populist Deputy PM Matteo Salvini, who criticized his win and called it “perplexing”, due to Mahmood being half Egyptian. 

Tisci took to Instagram to announce the cast, with a video post featuring them that was captioned “what is love?”. The campaign is set to drop on November 13.

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