Nova Scotia

Kanye West hires Halifax model for Yeezy fashion show in New York

Discovered on Instagram, Hafiia Mira has just returned from New York after modelling for Kanye West's Yeezy fashion line for the third time.

Hafiia Mira appeared in front of thousands at Madison Square Garden during New York Fashion Week

Model Hafiia Mira, who was born in Kosovo and came to Nova Scotia as a refugee in the early 2000s, stands in front of a photo for Kanye West's Yeezy fashion line, in which she appears. (Hafiia Mira/Instagram)

A 24-year-old Halifax woman has gone from slinging beers in a local pub to slipping on the clothing creations of famed music producer Kanye West, showing them off at one of the most famous fashion shows in the world.

Hafiia Mira arrived at the Halifax airport Tuesday after being one of the faces of West's Yeezy fashion line for the third time in a year.

She's home from New York Fashion Week in which she appeared in front of thousands on stage at Madison Square Garden.

"I still sometimes feel like it hasn't hit me just because it's been so fast," Mira said.

She's gone from tending bar at the Foggy Goggle in downtown Halifax to meeting the likes of Drake, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and Justin Bieber. 

She even snapped a selfie with West's wife, Kim Kardashian West.

"It's just been so overwhelming. It's opened a lot of doors for me, in Europe as well," she said. 

The Yeezy fashion line was introduced last year and features various clothing and footwear. 

Nothing says 'made it to the big time' quite like a selfie with Kim Kardashian West. (Submitted by Stoo Metz)

From Instagram to insta-glam

Mira says she's always had a strong interest in fashion and grew up sewing — something she learned from her family before they came to Nova Scotia as refugees from war-torn Kosovo. She was eight years old when they arrived. 

Last February, Mira was contacted through her Instagram account by West's representatives. But it took them four email attempts for Mira to believe it wasn't spam. 

"Then I decided to give it a chance and they went online and they proved they were who they said they were," she said. "I got flown to New York and that's where it started." 

After the first show, she gathered with other models for a photographic compilation — or lookbook — of West's debut fashion season. Mira, who has six brothers, says she seized the opportunity to show she was tough and not afraid to be different.

She defaulted to boxing classes she'd taken in Nova Scotia. Mira began doing sit-ups and push-ups in front of the camera.

"I wanted to come off strong," Mira said, which she believes has led to being called back for seasons two and three. 

This year, she was shocked to discover she'd been picked to be on the cover of this year's lookbook.

Mira remains one of only two models who have modelled West's fashions since season one. 

Supported by 'amazing family'

It's all been whirlwind for her and her family, she said. 

"I have the most amazing family in the whole entire world. I wish everybody could meet my mom. She should be the one getting interviewed because she has given me the support that I need to go so far. She's the reason why we are in Canada." 

Mira, who's worked as an interpreter for non-profit Nova Scotia Interpreting Services, now plans to launch her own swimsuit line. 

Her experiences, from arriving in Nova Scotia as a refugee to working 13-hour days alongside Kanye West, are held in equal measure.

"Canada has given us so much opportunity," she said. "It's given me a second chance at life, is what I always say to people." 

"You can do anything you absolutely want to. You just have to keep positive." 

The stage at Madison Square Garden on which Mira stood for this week's fashion show. (Hafiia Mira/Instagram)


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