Hafiia Mira was just eight years old when she fled war-torn Kosovo with her family. With bombs raining down from above, and having already lost everything, it was Canada that offered a safe haven.
She would land in Halifax, a place she’s become to appreciate more than anywhere else in the world. “The one thing I wish I could tell people is, I wish they could appreciate everything they have here. They’re so fortunate here,” she recently said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Last year, her story became even more incredible: Kanye West got in touch.
“It was just, ‘Hey, on behalf of Kanye West, we would like to invite you to New York and possibly work with us’,” she said. That work unfolded a full year later last week when Mira modelled Kanye West’s recently unveiled Yeezy Season 3 collection at New York City’s Madison Square Garden alongside some of the biggest names in fashion.
It’s not just modelling that caught the eye of West’s team, however. Mira is also an aspiring fashion designer and sews her own clothing; it was her creations on Instagram that initially sparked interest.
Though she’d love to still pursue fashion design, there’s only so much time between being an A-list model these days and hanging out with some of the world’s most recognized celebrities.
“I thought I would be the one creating the clothing and that is my ultimate plan. I just got very fortunate,” she said, before name-dropping the likes of Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and the Kardashians as after-party companions.
Mira is now a proud Canadian citizen and keeps a special place in her heart for the city that granted her a new life: “Halifax is always my peace and my calm. I get to come back and relax and unwind and see my family and friends. Whether I go back home to Europe or to New York, anywhere I go I’m always glad to come back to Halifax.”