With her radiant smile and effortless charm, it could be easy to mistake Ubah Hassan for a positivity magnet. In fact, Ubah’s story is an unconventional one, marked by challenges that are now testimonies to her true strength. When you learn that, as a Somalian refugee in Kenya, Ubah had to wait in line 6 hours for fresh water, you realise that her strength comes from more than the positivity that she embodies, but from her captivating ability to make those around her feel loved.
From founding her own give-back company, Maji Umbrellas, in partnership with Oxfam, then collaborating with TOMS, to publicly discussing race and fashion in a video alongside Iman, Ubah’s efforts are all driven by love and genuine concern for humanity and the individual. Today, Ubah continues to champion causes for helping Somalia and other countries combat water shortage. Ubah may have fallen into modeling serendipitously, but her work as a philanthropist is driven, inspired, and a part of the natural radiance she gives off like a magnetic field – that same radiance that she is eager to share with everyone.
The people I love. And I love to be in love!
How you started your career as a model and philanthropist
At 15, I was scouted in the park by a photographer in Vancouver. The rest was just a snowball-effect.
What you’re working on now
I’m grateful my work is keeping me busy, so I have trouble finding time for personal projects, but I have a few that my heart desires to accomplish that I’m spending as much time as possible on.
Ubah’s caption reads: “The same little girl who walked 5 miles in search of water is the same little girl sitting at the plaza in 5 inch heels. @harpersbazaarus –#bazaarICONS #grateful”
Always be kind, because you don’t know what the other person is going through that day.
I shower, wash my face, and brush teeth. Then, I enjoy a pot of ginger tea, and I try not to touch my phone until one hour after I wake up. I love to read a book; I read a lot of different books and leave them all over the apartment half-read, so I can pick one up at any time. Sometimes I meditate depending on my day, if I’m busy I’ll find 25 minutes to meditate, and if I am not busy I’ll read.
A tuna sandwich.
In the evenings
I love to dress up, it really depends on where I’m going, but I’m always over dressed (or under dressed if caught by surprise!).
I love to love. I get such pleasure from loving others. And I love to teach! Anything I know, I like to share. Makeup, books, etc…
Favorite travel spots
I visited Morocco once and I’ve never stopped obsessing over it since! It’s top of my list!
Your “you” time
In the summer it’s all picnics and outdoor patios, and in the winter it’s the movie theatre, alone or with friends.
Plans for the future
Looking forward to being a mother so I can teach everything I know.
YOUR BEAUTY & WELLNESS
Must-have skincare/body care products
Coconut oil and water.
Favorite makeup products
Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow pencil, Benefit ‘They’re Real’ Mascara, Nars blush in Orgasm, Make Up For Ever HD foundation, (quick tip: stay away from the powder HD formula if you are not a professional).
Anything by Tom Ford! I usually mix 2 or 3 perfumes.
A driven philanthropist and influential model, Ubah Hassan embodies the modern woman, seeking the change she wants to see in the world one moment at a time, one individual at a time.
Taylor is a recent honors graduate of Rhode Island School of Design’s Painting and Art History Department. A dual-citizen in Belgium and the U.S. with frequent wanderlust, a passion for editorial, and an affinity for sketching, she is now exploring the connection between art and beauty.