Ugbad Abdi is an American fashion model, born in Somalia. Her family fled to Kenya because of the civil unrest in her home country. She debuted as a Valentino haute couture model, then opened shows for Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors at New York Fashion Week. She is the first model to walk shows for Fendi and Lanvin while wearing hijab.
Miss Abdi was discovered on Instagram. Though friends and acquaintances had encouraged her to pursue modelling since she was a preteen, the ground breaking model wanted to wait until she finished high school in Des Moines Iowa (where her family finally steeled) and then take a gap year to test the fashion waters in New York. When she received a direct message from Next Models scout Lacey Hevern two months after graduation, it felt like destiny.
“It was the biggest shock because I never thought it would happen so fast,” she recalls.
We’re rooting for you Ugbad!