It’s beginning to look a lot like diversity

As Riccardo Tisci debuts Burberry’s festive campaign, Grazia meets the brand’s first-ever hijabi model
It’s beginning to look  a lot like diversity

Once upon a time, fashionable festivities courtesy of Burberry meant the likes of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Cara Delevingne wrapped in metallic-hued macs with scarfs laden in the iconic check, surrounded by snow, tinsel and merriment – escapism at its best.

But then, enter Riccardo Tisci. For 2018, December at Burberry erred on the side of realism as the likes of M.I.A. and Kristin Scott Thomas dreamt of days gone by in its campaign entitled Close Your Eyes And Think Of Christmas.

For 2019, the tale gets even more tangible, as an all-star cast of the industry’s most diverse names stand together in a story that feels less fashion and more frank. Carla Bruni joins an inclusive cast alongside Swedish-British newcomer Ikram Abdi Omar. Grazia meets her to discover more…

Ikram Abdi Omar

Congratulations on your role in Burberry’s Christmas campaign. What were your initial thoughts when you got the call?

I was so surprised and excited because last year I met Naomi’s mum and congratulated her for being featured in the 2018 festive campaign! So it was a shock to me, but it has always been one of my dreams to work for Burberry.

Tell us about shooting the campaign, what did it mean to you?

Being in that moment, it was so magical and meant the world to me. It showed me that I can dream and achieve things that I put my mind to.

The campaign slogan is ‘What Is Love?’ What is love to you?

Love means being around family, being yourself, unity, happiness and much more.

Before you secured the campaign, what did Burberry mean to you? What do you most love about the House?

Burberry represents the best of British design. It is very classic, but also very trendy. When the new print came under Riccardo [the Thomas Burberry Monogram], it took the brand to a whole other level.

In what ways does Riccardo Tisci and his work inspire you?

He is very professional and has a vision of what things should look like, and you can tell how fascinated he is through his words. I aspire to be as hardworking and involved as he is.

You made your runway debut in February 2018; what do you think this moment meant for hijabis the world over?

I cried backstage – this meant many things for headscarf-wearing women. The headscarf doesn’t limit us from achieving what we want.

Who are your role models?

My mother, in general, and in the fashion industry I am a huge fan of Naomi Campbell and Iman.

When Halima Aden made her runway debut, what did it mean to you?

It meant that more doors were opened to headscarf-wearing women in this industry, including me.

Photos: Supplied