THE POWER OF INFLUENCE | Halima Aden, Zainab Salbi Share Heartfelt Stories On Porter’s New Podcast Series

Porter magazine’s new podcast is exactly what we’ve been missing during self-isolation.

The Net-a-Porter-owned magazine launched a weekly podcast series, ‘Pieces Of Me: My Life in Seven Garments’, that features a number of influential women, who tell their stories through clothing items they wore at defining moments of their lives.

Through the seven part series, models, writers, activists and social media stars – including Somani-American model Halima Aden and Iraqi-born women’s right activist Zainab Salbi – dive into intimate and memorable conversations with the host, Porter magazine editor-in-chief Sarah Bailey.

During the podcast, Aden spoke about how she found the confidence to create a career in fashion, without compromising her beliefs. ‘I say it to my girlfriends all the time: ‘Don’t change yourself…change the game’, the world-famous, hijab-wearing supermodel said.

The 22-year-old, who has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2018, was a former child refugee. She lived at the Kenyan Kakuma refugee camp for seven years with her parents before immigrating to the U.S.

‘I get so emotional talking about this, because those six letters (UNICEF) symbolize my life’, the model said, speaking about her childhood with the non-governmental organization. ‘As a kid, I couldn’t spell my name but I knew what each of those letters meant – and I knew what they represented for my family and my community. I hope one day we get to a place where we don’t need organizations like UNICEF, because every child will have exactly what they deserve’.

She spoke about the wedding dress she was forced to wear for her ‘abusive arranged marriage’.

‘My mother ordered the silk from Thailand, which had all these embroideries of Arabic poems and Arabic designs. I have to say, I actually did like the dress – even though I had no say in it. The man I ended up marrying was a horrible, horrible man’, the activisit.

Ironically, Salbi said it was working with so many women in war zones that taought her to embrace the power of beauty and female adornment.

‘In the beginning, I used to go to war zones wearing baggy pants and baggy shirts. I was embracing the warrior look. But I would go to these countries and the women there were beautiful … and I became sort of embarrassed of myself – this shabby-looking person. And I felt that, out of respect for them, I should have nice clothes’.

Other guest to feature in the weekly podcast series include actress Tracee Ellis Ross, activist Sinead Burke and womenswear designer Roksanda Ilincic. You can listen to the podcasts online.

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