6 Things To Know About Rising Hijabi Model Ugbad Abdi

BY Harper's BAZAAR Arabia / Oct 2 2019 / 09:17 AM

From high school grad to runway model, meet the 18-Year-old Somali-born model who has already walked for Fendi, Valentino, Lanvin and Burberry

6 Things To Know About Rising Hijabi Model Ugbad Abdi

1. She's the first-ever hijabi model to walk for Fendi...

Ugbad walked alongside the Hadid sisters in the late Karl Lagerfeld's last show for Fendi in Milan and made history by taking to the runway in her hijab.

Ugbad Abdi and Gigi Hadid at the Fendi autumn/winter 2019 fashion show

2. She and her family fled the Somali Civil War when she was just nine-years-old...

The Somali-born model and her family relocated to Kenya during the Somali Civil War. They lived in a Kenyan refugee camp for nine years before relocating to the picturesque rolling plains and cornfields of Iowa. It was there where she was discovered by Next Models and swapped her mortarboard for Valentino, as she begun walking the runways in New York, Paris and Milan.

3. She has walked in 14 shows since being signed in August 2018...

And opened for Marc Jacobs during New York Fashion Week, no less!

Since January, Ugbad has also walked for Anna Sui, Simone Rocha, Victoria Beckham, Max Mara, Roberto Cavalli, Moncler, Off-White, Sebastien Meunier and Marc Jacobs.

Instagram / IAmUgbad

Marc Jacobs autumn/winter 2019 show in New York

4. She's only 18-years-old...

Yep. You heard us right: the on-the-rise model, Ugbad Abdi, has accomplished all the above in just her teens. Just months after finishing high school in Iowa, Abdi was signed by Next Models Worldwide and was flown to Paris to walk for Maison Valentino in her first runway show.

Instagram / IAmUgbad

Ugbad Abdi walking in her debut show for Maison Valentino's Haute Couture spring/summer 2019 collection

In an Instagram post, Abdi described her debut for Maison Valentino's Haute Couture spring/summer 2019 collection as "out of this world" and "bizarre". The teen model walked alongside Naomi Campbell and other famous faces.

After the show, in another Instagram post, Ugbad said, "Am I dreaming?!! Can someone pinch me please? This is the most breathtaking and emotional show I’ve been soooo fortunate enough to be a part of. You are such an unbelievable visionary @pppiccioli and I cannot thank you enough for this opportunity."

I have never been more happier in my entire life until today. My very first show is @maisonvalentino Haute Couture SS ’19 and I am out of this world right now!!!! Valentino has been my absolute favorite show to look forward to every time because it never fails to take my breath away. I’ve ALWAYS dreamt of walking for Valentino and to think that it is the first ever show I’ve walked for is sooo bizarre!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU @pppiccioli , #JoeMckenna , @italia3bis and the entire Valentino family for believing in me and letting me walk for your breathtaking show, it is my greatest honor to have walked for @maisonvalentino. I am eternally grateful for everyone who was involved in making my dream become a reality today. THANK YOU @nextmodelsparis for making my first time in Paris so special and unforgettable.

A post shared by Ugbad (@iamugbad) on

5. She's super down to earth and we love it...

Despite having walked alongside the Campbells and Hadids, Ugbad keeps it real on social media with playful and funny Instagrams. This model might just be the most relatable one around. 

6. She got named one of the BOF 500...

Hand-selected by the editors of the Business of Fashion; the chosen '500' are included into the professional index that shapes the Dhs 8.8 trillion fashion industry. 


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