Muslim model encourages others to blaze their own path

A guest speaker at UW-La Crosse this week is talking about her experience in breaking stereotypes and chasing dreams.

Mariah Idrissi is a professional model from England and has been called the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman to be featured in a Western ad campaign.

She says she was shopping when she was scouted by a modeling agent, before eventually being featured in a global campaign for retailer H&M.

Idrissi hopes her story can inspire women and men from all backgrounds to make the most of unexpected opportunities and not be afraid to blaze their own path.

“The whole concept of a Muslim, hijab-wearing model didn’t exist, and I didn’t have anyone to kind of follow, so I had to create it myself, and I think that in itself just shows don’t wait on an opportunity, you can make your own opportunities happen,” said Idrissi.

She will be speaking again Tuesday night at UWL in a presentation called ‘Changing the Face of Fashion.’ It starts at 6 p.m. in Room 1309 at Centennial Hall.