As one of the top supermodels of the moment, Halima Aden has no shortage of brands knocking on her door.
But the Somali-American who was recently announced as the face of sustainable luxury handbag brand BOTTLETOP, tells Grazia that she’s now only interested in using her platform, and her voice, to support brands that really matter to her.
“I’ve done my best in making it a point in my career to combine fashion and activism,” she explains. “I’ve worked with companies that are doing very important things to make the world a better place. I think it’s key that we recognize that high fashion can also be sustainable.”
BOTTLETOP’s bags, in collaboration with Narciso Rodriguez, which are hand-crafted in Brazil by skilled artisans who are paid 45 percent above the national industrial average, feature signature Mistura braiding, and weave together upcycled aluminium ring-pulls collected from the streets of Salvador with certified Zero Deforestation leather in structured panels.
Inspired to work with BOTTLETOP after she learned of its participation in the #TOGETHERBRAND initiative, a campaign devised by the United Nations, aiming to build a sustainable future by 2030 by engaging one billion people with 17 global goals, Halima is also a #TOGETHERBRAND ambassador for Global Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth, something close to her heart.
“I was born in a UN refugee camp in Kenya so I know first-hand the importance of the work that organizations committed to making a global impact is. Learning that BOTTLETOP’s roots are in Kenya, like mine, was the first exciting alignment,” she explains. “Then to learn that they work hard to empower people in communities by providing work opportunities is something I’m a firm believer in… if we invest in the world’s most vulnerable children, they will go on to do big things. It’s important that we give them the confidence and guidance to be productive and live to their full potential. And to see how they uplift the women they employ is so in sync with my messaging.”
However, she’s not under any illusion that simply lending her name and image is enough. On the contrary, it sounds like she’s just getting started. “There’s always more that we can be doing, but I think there is so much that is being done to welcome people from all backgrounds into the industry,” she continues. “It’s a great time to be in fashion and I’m so proud to be able to work with brands like BOTTLETOP who have made it their business model to provide products that have both a story and heart.”
And we think you’ll agree, it’s hard to argue with that.
- The bags named Denise and Halima retail at Dhs2,342 and Dhs3,289 respectively. Visit BOTTLETOP.com to shop the collection.