Fashion News Alert: Top Model Halima Aden Quits the Runway, Kenzo and Kansai Yamamoto Collaborate, and Nobis and Basketball Star Serge Ibaka Collaborate on New Collection

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Top model Halima Aden has been an inspiration; particularly as one of the few Muslim models that has gained international success while wearing her hijab. In an industry that has traditionally embraced mostly white models and models that come from backgrounds where they don’t visually wear their religious convictions and beliefs, Halima Aden not only breathes fresh air into the fashion industry but is also breaking down barriers and restraints.

That said; Aden has faced a lot of criticisms and backlash in the fashion industry for refusing not to take off her hijab on runways and during photoshoots. And there have been situations where Aden had been asked to wear clothing that went against her religious beliefs, or where photographers used interesting ways to photograph here where her hijab was not shown.

All this controversy and pressure has forced Aden to abandon fashion runways, as she announced this decision on Wednesday. Aden is not walking completely away from fashion but is laying down strict guidelines of conditions she will work under.

“If my hijab can’t be this visible—I’m not showing up,” she wrote under a photo of her in a full unadorned hijab that covered her chest and shoulders. Under another photo, showing her full hijab, scarf and covered chest and shoulders, she wrote, “This is the standard moving forward if you want to work with me. Come correct or don’t come at all. Nothing less, nothing more, as reported on”

“These spaces were always predominantly white,” she added. “So, you are already at a disadvantage for simply being YOU in a workplace that never considered someone of your background. We can’t give up, but it’s good to remain mindful.”

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Kenzo and Kansai Yamamoto, united in death

Sadly, two powerful and groundbreaking Japanese fashion powerhouses, Kenzo Takada and Kansai Yamamoto died earlier this year. Kansai Yamamoto in July and Kenzo Takada in October. Still, their legacy lives on. And particularly in this new collaborative effort launched by the house of Kenzo.

The new collection combines the prints and aesthetics of both legendary designers. The collection will center mostly of Yamamoto’s animal obsession and Kenzo’s predilection for nature prints which produces a collection of punk-inspired garments with feline artworks by Kansai Yamamoto.

“When I joined Kenzo in July 2019, I immediately started thinking about artists, designers and creatives with whom I wanted to collaborate. One of the first ideas I had was a collaboration between Kenzo and Kansai Yamamoto. Although their body of works are very different, the links and common traits between the two are manifold,” explained Kenzo’s creative director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, as reported in a article.

“What really convinced me to start this idea was their common charge of joy, intuition and freedom. What a wonderful idea to start a dialogue between these two pioneers and fashion punks. Their energy and bite have remained intact, against the backdrop of Movida, the Spanish cultural movement of the early 1980s,” added Oliveira Baptista, who received the blessing of both designers as he met them both in 2019.

There are 30 womenswear pieces and 24 men’s garments in this collection, accompanied by 22 accessories. Prices from 105 euros to 1, 050 euros.

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Serge Ibaka and Nobis pair up

If you are not familiar with Canadian basketball star Serge Ibaka, you should be. Ibaka is an NBA champion and is a master blocker for the Toronto Naptors. Ibaka is also very quickly becoming style icon.

Ibaka has been seen at many major brand fashion shows—Hermes, Kenzo, Thom Browne, and Balmain—and sets the front row afire at Paris Fashion Week with his unique fashion sensibility. (Remember, we wore a kilt with a suit to Thom Browne’s Paris Fashion Week show.)  So, it is no surprise that Canadian outwear brand Nobis would choose Ibaka as a collaborator for their new outerwear collection.

“I’m thrilled to collaborate with Nobis on my first fashion collection. Nobis is very simple and chic, which made me really fall in love with the brand, making them the perfect partner,” says the multi-lingual Ibaka, as reported in “Getting dressed to me is an art, and I wanted to express myself through this collection and share it with my fans.”

This capsule collection collaboration is genderless and includes nine limited-edition garments, ranging from a bomber jacket, parka, and anorak to vests, hats, and scarves. Prices range from $60 to $995 and each piece is home-launderable. 

“We couldn’t be prouder to take our partnership with Serge Ibaka, one of our Global Brand Ambassadors, to the next level with the release of this collaborative collection. Serge represents the best of professional sport and international fashion and we are absolutely delighted to be working together in bringing his vision of Nobis x Ibaka to life,” added Nobis co-founder and vice-president Robin Yates.

The Nobis/Serge Ibaka limited-edition capsule collection will be available online and in stores at the end of this month.

—William S. Gooch

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