Read our interview with fashion model Mariah Idrissi |The world’s first Muslim model to wear a hijab in an H&M campaign

Mariah Idrissi might be new to the fashion world, but she’s already causing a stir, having become the world’s first Muslim model to wear a hijab in an H&M campaign.

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  • Since starring in the high street brand’s video this year to promote its Close the Loop recycling initiative, the 23 year old, who is of Pakistani and Moroccan heritage, has received worldwide attention, appearing on CNN, BBC News, ITV, and NBC, and featuring in publications including The New York Times, The Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and Evening Standard, where she has discussed the issues of Muslims in Western fashion.

  • The London based star, who runs a Moroccan themed beauty salon, has also appeared in fashion magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Dazed, and Grazia. With this talented newcomer pushing and breaking more boundaries with her modelling career and motivational speaking, Idrissi looks set to make quite an impression.

We are very grateful to Maria for taking time out of her busy schedule for this interview.

What 5 things to do you like to do if you want a ‘great’ day?

Every day is different for me, I like to be very organised so if I can tick off my to do list and eat well it’s a great day.

How do you cope with travelling and work? Do set routines help you?

I have a routine for some things like working out and doing my beauty regimes but generally if I’m travelling I will organise work  around it so I don’t have to take too much work with me abroad.

What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight so far would probably be being able to speak on something I’m passionate about on most news channels globally however this is just the beginning I don’t feel I’ve reached a major highlight just yet…

For good health what do you think it is important to eat?

I definitely try to have a balanced diet and I drink a lot of water and Moroccan tea.

What advice would you give to a school child that wanted to be model?

This is quite a complex question but I would say to make sure they study hard as modelling isn’t just about how you look or how tall you are, it’s opportunity so it’s so important to have another focus. I would use myself as an example as I went to university and got a degree and worked as a retail manager but only now I’m doing modelling.

What are the main challenges in modelling today?

It’s a very competitive industry and its hard to stand out. It’s all about who you know these days.

What is next for you? What aspirations do you have?

I’m actually creating a nail polish which is still at very early stages and I’ve also written a children’s book called “Adam’s Adventures” which I’m hoping to get published. I’m also hoping to be able to have a positive influence on the hijab ban across Europe eventually coming to an end.

What things do you do every day to maintain your health?

Physically I drink a lot of water and eat a good amount of fruit everyday and I’m always on the move. Spiritually and mentally I pray 5 times a day and have a positive attitude about everything.

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Interview by David Ridings