#TDSVoices: African Models dominating the Fashion Scene Part I

The modelling industry is one tough cookie to crack; especially if you want to play in the big leagues. However, we’ve seen the likes of Alek Wek, Iman, and Oluchi Onweagba not only walk the runways for the biggest fashion brands and feature in lucrative campaigns in the U.S or Europe, but they were also successful at it.  These models paved the way for the rise of the new set of African models making waves in fashion.  TDS wraps up the modelling series with highlights of some of the top African models in high demand globally today. Ladies First:

Nykhor Paul

IG: @nykhor | Twitter: @NykhorP

The 5’11 Sudanese model has worked with powerhouses such as Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, Issey Miyake, Rick Owens and Balenciaga. But she’s more than just a beauty. From her commentary on H&Ms response to a customer’s open letter about their lack of diversity in their campaigns to her Instagram open letter, ‘Dear white people in the fashion world!’ to the Makeup Artists in the industry, she voices her thoughts and fights for inclusivity. She also has a foundation, We Are Nilotic, which aims to promote peace among the over 60 communities in South Sudan.

[Image: Courtesy of Elle Mexico]
[Image: Courtesy of Elle Mexico]
[Image: Vogue Germany /Iango Henzi and Luigi Murenu]
[Image: Vogue Germany /Iango Henzi and Luigi Murenu]
[Image: Vogue Germany /Iango Henzi and Luigi Murenu]
[Image: Vogue Germany /Iango Henzi and Luigi Murenu]
[Image: Vogue Germany /Iango Henzi and Luigi Murenu]
[Image: Vogue Germany /Iango Henzi and Luigi Murenu]
[Image: Courtesy of i-models]
[Image: Courtesy of i-models]
[Image: Courtesy of Elle Mexico]
[Image: Courtesy of Elle Mexico]
[Image: Courtesy of Elle Mexico]
[Image: Courtesy of Elle Mexico]
[Image: Ulrich Hartmann/Marie Claire South Africa]
[Image: Ulrich Hartmann/Marie Claire South Africa]
[Image: Federico Cabrera/Rev magazine]
[Image: Federico Cabrera/Rev magazine]
Maria Borges

IG: @mariaborges28

The Angolan born bombshell is a perfect representation of star power, having head lined campaigns for big names such as Givenchy, Tommy Hilfiger, and Banana Republic. Most recently, she made news by rocking her natural afro at the anticipated Victoria’s Secret fashion show that is known for its trademark long wavy tresses. She had recently cut her hair upon request from creative director Riccardo Tisci for a Givenchy show. Side not: she refers to Tisci as her ‘godfather’ if that’s not connections, I don’t know what is!

[Image: Courtesy of Número]
[Image: Courtesy of Número]
[Image: Courtesy of Victoria's Secret]
[Image: Courtesy of Victoria’s Secret]
[Image: Courtesy of Maria Borges]
[Image: Courtesy of Maria Borges]
[Image: Courtesy of Maria Borges]
[Image: Courtesy of Maria Borges]
[Image: Rory Payne/Mixt(e) Magazine]
[Image: Rory Payne/Mixt(e) Magazine]
[Image: Courtesy of Maria Borges]
[Image: Courtesy of Maria Borges]
[Image: W Magazine]
[Image: W Magazine]
[Image: V Magazine/ Steven Klein]
[Image: V Magazine/ Steven Klein]
Herieth Paul

IG: @heriethpaul | Twitter: @HeriethPaul

Tanzanian Model, Herieth Paul has grown in leaps and bounds since being signed by Angie’s AMTI modelling agency based in Ottawa, Canada. She’s been involved with big campaigns from Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein, GAP, Diane von Fürstenberg, Lacoste and Armani. She’s also appeared on Vogue Italia’s Cover and she’s had Elle Canada’s cover all to herself, with the caption “Naomi Move Over. Why we’re Hot for Herieth” to boot. 2016 brings another lucrative opportunity for the 5’10” model. She’s signed a deal with cosmetic company, Maybelline, to be one of their faces. In an interview with CBS news, she expresses that she hopes to use the opportunity ‘to change that face of beauty and usher in a new era that include minority models’.

[Image: Chris Nicholls]
[Image: Chris Nicholls]
[Image: Chris Nicholls]
[Image: Chris Nicholls]
[Image: Dress to Kill magazine / Max Abadian]
[Image: Dress to Kill magazine / Max Abadian]
[Image: Dress to Kill magazine / Max Abadian]
[Image: Dress to Kill magazine / Max Abadian]
[Image: Fashion magazine/Gabor Jurina]
[Image: Fashion magazine/Gabor Jurina]
[Image: Courtesy of Calvin Klein]
[Image: Courtesy of Calvin Klein]
[Image: Chris Nicholls]
[Image: Chris Nicholls]
[Image: Courtesy of Herieth Paul]
[Image: Courtesy of Herieth Paul]
Betty Adewole

IG: @bettyadewole | Twitter: @BettyAdewole

Tom Ford Beauty, H&M, Schwarzkopf, and Issey Miyake are just some brands under the Nigerian-British model’s belt. Discovered at the age of 17, she was training for the London Olympics for sprint and long jump before she became a model. So it was only fitting in 2015 that London Edit Collection used her as a muse for their Tomboy Collection which features alternative extreme sports influences and androgyny.

[Image: Courtesy of Betty Adewole]
[Image: Courtesy of Betty Adewole]
[Image: Courtesy of Betty Adewole]
[Image: Courtesy of Betty Adewole]
[Image: Courtesy of Betty Adewole]
[Image: Courtesy of Betty Adewole]
[Image: Flair Magazine/Paola Kudacki]
[Image: Flair Magazine/Paola Kudacki]
[Image: Flair Magazine/Paola Kudacki]
[Image: Flair Magazine/Paola Kudacki]
[Image: Flair Magazine/Paola Kudacki]
[Image: Flair Magazine/Paola Kudacki]
[Image: courtesy i-models.com]
[Image: courtesy i-models.com]
[Image: courtesy of FMD]
[Image: courtesy of FMD]
[Image: Courtesy of Tom Ford beauty]
[Image: Courtesy of Tom Ford beauty]
[Image: Courtesy of Tom Ford beauty]
[Image: Courtesy of Tom Ford beauty]
[Image: Courtesy of Vlisco]
[Image: Courtesy of Vlisco]
[Image: Courtesy of Vlisco]
[Image: Courtesy of Vlisco]
[Image: Courtesy of Betty Adewole]
[Image: Courtesy of Betty Adewole]
Aamito Stacie Lagum

IG: @aamito_lagum | Twitter: @Aamito_lagum

First season winner of Africa’s Next Top Model, Ugandan model Lagum is signed to DNA model Management in New York and made her debut at AW15 and has walked for brands such as Marc Jacobs, Hermes, H&M, Lacoste, Burberry, Paul Smith and Bottega Veneta. She’s even opened for Balenciaga and can add being the first black model in an Alexander Wang show to her resume. She’s also been featured in British Vogue, Vanity Fair, i-D magazine and W Magazine. She recently came into the limelight at AW16 Fashion Week when MAC cosmetics posted pictures of the model’s lipstick.  The picture was met with bigoted comments, to which Lagum responded to by encouraging others to take of their own lips to show their diversity.

[Image: Porter magazine/Mel Bles]
[Image: Porter magazine/Mel Bles]
[Image: Courtesy of Aamito Lagum]
[Image: Courtesy of Aamito Lagum]
[Image: Courtesy of Aamito Lagum]
[Image: Courtesy of Aamito Lagum]
[Image: Charlotte Wales]
[Image: Charlotte Wales]
[Image: Bottega Veneta]
[Image: Bottega Veneta]
[Image: W magazine photographer/Steven Klein]
[Image: W magazine photographer/Steven Klein]
[Image: Porter magazine/ Mel Bles]
[Image: Porter magazine/ Mel Bles]
[Image: Philip Gay/StyleBy magazine]
[Image: Philip Gay/StyleBy magazine]
[Image: Marc Jacobs/Daniel Jackson]
[Image: Marc Jacobs/Daniel Jackson]
Malaika Firth

IG: @malaikafirth | Twitter: @malaikafirth

The Kenyan beauty from Mombasa shot to fame after being the next black model featured in a Prada campaign. Her predecessor was Naomi Campbell, two decades ago.  Since then, she’s walked for other high-profiled houses such as Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Kenzo, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Marc Jacobs and Bottega Veneta. She’s also walked at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2013.

 

[Image: Michael Schwartz/ The Observer]
[Image: Michael Schwartz/ The Observer]
[Image: Michael Schwartz/ The Observer]
[Image: Michael Schwartz/ The Observer]
Image: Courtesy of Valentino]
[Image: Courtesy of Valentino]
[Image: Courtesy of Elle France]
[Image: Courtesy of Elle France]
[Image: Courtesy of Victoria's Secret]
[Image: Courtesy of Victoria’s Secret]
[Image: Michael Schwartz/ The Observer]
[Image: Michael Schwartz/ The Observer]
[Image: Norman Jean Roy/ Porter magazine]
[Image: Norman Jean Roy/ Porter magazine]
[Image: Norman Jean Roy/ Porter magazine]
[Image: Norman Jean Roy/ Porter magazine]
[Image: Norman Jean Roy/ Porter magazine]
[Image: Norman Jean Roy/ Porter magazine]
[Image: Norman Jean Roy/ Porter magazine]
[Image: Norman Jean Roy/ Porter magazine]
[Image: Courtesy of Prada]
[Image: Courtesy of Prada]
[Image: Norman Jean Roy/ Porter magazine]
[Image: Norman Jean Roy/ Porter magazine]
Candice Swanepoel

IG: @angelcandice  | Twitter: @angelcandice 

Born in the small town of Mooi River in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, this South African model has done it all. Not only has she worked with big brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Oscar de la Renta, Fendi, Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Givenchy, Jason Wu, Victoria’s Secret and Chanel, she’s also scored covers with Vogue Brazil and Italia. Not to mention the campaigns with Gucci, Swarovski and Diesel. If that’s not astounding enough, she was featured on Forbes ‘Top 10 earning models’ list; ranking eight in 2015 with earnings of five million dollars. Plus she got the opportunity to wear the $10 million ‘Royal Fantasy Bra’ by Swiss jeweller Mouawad. It’s considered the most expensive Fantasy Bra since the 2005 ‘Sexy Splendour Fantasy Bra’ that was worn by Gisele Bündchen.

[Image: Victoria's Secret/Getty Images]
[Image: Victoria’s Secret/Getty Images]
[Image: Victoria's Secret/Getty Images]
[Image: Victoria’s Secret/Getty Images]
[Image: Victoria's Secret/Getty Images]
[Image: Victoria’s Secret/Getty Images]
[Image: Courtesy of Candice Swanepoel]
[Image: Courtesy of Candice Swanepoel]
[Image: Elle China]
[Image: Elle China]
[Image: Courtesy of Candice Swanepoel]
[Image: Courtesy of Candice Swanepoel]
[Image: courtesy of Max Factor]
[Image: courtesy of Max Factor]
Fatima Siad

IG: @fatimasiad | Twitter: @RealFatimaSiad

Cycle 10 of America’s Next Top Model launched this Somali-born model into the limelight, but she’s evolved into a top model in her own right since placing third on the reality television show. She’s been featured in campaigns for Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Avon, Heve Leger, Armani Exchange, L’Oréal, Aveda and Express. She’s also walked at New York and London Fashion Week, as well as, editorial spreads in Marie Claire and Australian and Indonesian Harper’s Bazaar. Tyra Banks must be so proud.

[Image: Courtesy of America's Next Top Model]
[Image: Courtesy of America’s Next Top Model]
[Image: Courtesy of bcbgmaxazriass]
[Image: Courtesy of bcbgmaxazriass]
[Image: Courtesy of bcbgmaxazriass]
[Image: Courtesy of bcbgmaxazriass]
[Image: Courtesy of Marie Claire]
[Image: Courtesy of Marie Claire]
[Image: Courtesy of Marie Claire]
[Image: Courtesy of Marie Claire]
[Image: Camilla Akrans]
[Image: Camilla Akrans]
[Image: Ron Contarsy]
[Image: Ron Contarsy]
[Image: Courtesy of Stéphane Rolland]
[Image: Courtesy of Stéphane Rolland]
[Image: Courtesy of Stéphane Rolland]
[Image: Courtesy of Stéphane Rolland]
[Image: Courtesy of Aveda]
[Image: Courtesy of Aveda]
It’s not just the ladies slaying the runway. Next week we kick out the Monday Blues with part II which looks at the new genre of Male models representing the African continent [and stealing hearts]. You’re welcome 😉

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