Somali-American model Halima Aden was recently tapped by Allure magazine to join forces with Anywear, an AI tech company that has designed headbands and medical caps with buttons for comfortably holding in place face coverings and medical masks. As part of the #BandingTogether initiative, Aden’s capsule collection includes a range of matching mask-and-hijab sets and turbans. With each purchase, Anywear will donate an adjustable headband, hijab set or medical cap to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.
Aden, who serves as an ambassador to UNICEF, knows firsthand the challenges of being a hijab-wearing healthcare worker. As she got her start in the modeling industry, Aden worked as a housekeeper at the St. Cloud Hospital in Minnesota. “Having worked in a hospital, even several months into my modeling career, it was important for me to support this project,” says Aden. “As many hijab-wearing women are working at health care facilities, I wanted to make sure they have a comfortable option for wearing a mask while keeping their hair covered. It can also get hot running around at the pace health care employees are right now, so a breathable fabric was a must. And I really wanted the pieces to give a feeling of tranquility and calm, so I went with soft shades that bring a feeling of peace.”
The Anywear team was there to help solve the issue from the design side. "Instead of the medical masks clasping behind the ears, they clip securely (and still safely, providing the right amount of coverage necessary) to the buttons on the headband or medical cap. We wanted to be inclusive as that's the main pillar of our values as a brand...all of the items are made to order because we are striving to eliminate textile waste in the industry, which contributes to climate change, both things that align with Halima's values," says Emily Shippee, co-founder of Anywear and managing editor at Teen Vogue.
Shared Aden: “Like everyone, my livelihood has been turned upside down. I just keep reminding myself [of] something that my mom always says: Hard times don’t last, but strong people do.”