Halima Aden shops in Karmel Square with her friend Shamsa on March 9, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minn. (Leila Navidi/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

Somali Model Walks Runways In Milan — And Cleans Hospital Rooms In St. Cloud

By Allie Shah
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As writer Allie Shah points out in this terrific article out of the Star Tribune, “no matter how incongruous the notion of a model moonlighting as a housekeeper may seem, to [Halima] Aden, 19, there’s nothing at all unusual about it. Both are part of who she is.”

ST. CLOUD, Minn.

Halima Aden made her way down a dark hallway at St. Cloud Hospital on a recent afternoon, her slight figure obscured by the cleaning cart she pushed.

Dressed in her housekeeping uniform, she headed to the room of a recently discharged patient.

She stripped the bed, removing the bedsheets and pillowcases. Then she tackled the bathroom, bending low to scrub the toilet. She stood up briefly to admire her work, a satisfied look on her makeup-less face.

This might seem like a strange transition for someone who was last seen wearing a shimmering trench coat while strutting past a bevy of photographers at the Max Mara show for Milan Fashion Week. That came right after she dazzled the audience, packed with faces that regularly turn up in People magazine, at Kanye West’s glitzy Yeezy show during New York Fashion Week.

But no matter how incongruous the notion of a model moonlighting as a housekeeper may seem, to Aden, 19, there’s nothing at all unusual about it. Both are part of who she is.

“I’m proud of my modeling job, but I’m also proud of this job and that this was my start,” she said. “You go home and you feel good, especially if you’ve done a lot of rooms that night.”

Aden was back at her old job for the first time since she was discovered by modeling scouts last fall and swept up in the jet-setting world of high fashion. She was making a weeklong visit home before jumping on a plane to her next stop, London.

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