Africa’s Next SuperModel is back!

? Calling all aspiring models! ?

Africa’s Next SuperModel is back and better than ever! ? We are thrilled to announce that registration is now open for this year’s competition. If you’ve ever dreamed of strutting your stuff on the runway and taking your modeling career to new heights, this is your chance! ?

Here’s why you should participate:

1️⃣ Unleash your potential: Show the world your unique style, charisma, and talent. This is your opportunity to shine and showcase your modelling skills to top industry professionals.

2️⃣ Expert mentoring: Our esteemed panel of judges and mentors will guide you throughout the competition, providing valuable insights, training, and support to help you reach your full potential.

3️⃣ Amazing prizes: The winner of Africa’s Next SuperModel will receive a life-changing modelling contract, international exposure and the chance to work with renowned fashion houses and photographers.

4️⃣ Network with industry professionals: Connect with influential personalities, photographers, designers, and industry insiders who can help you jumpstart your modelling career.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity! Head over to our website and register now ➡️ www.africasnextsupermodel.com

Tag a friend who you think has what it takes to become Africa’s Next SuperModel! Let’s make dreams come true together. ✨

AfricaNextSuperModel #ModelingCompetition #DreamsComeTrue

HBO’s Latest Documentary Sheds Light On Donyale Luna, The First Black Supermodel

HBO has debuted the documentary for Donyale Luna: Supermodel, a film exploring the life, career and legacy of one of the first Black models to grace the cover of a Vogue magazine.

Often considered the “first Black supermodel,” Luna — who died in 1979 at the age of 33 — broke ground at a time when it was not only still rare to see Black women who weren’t white-passing in fashion but Black women on major magazine covers at all. Through her heyday in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Luna challenged the modelling world’s conventions and made history by becoming the first Black woman on the covers of both Harper’s Bazaar in 1965 and British Vogue in 1966.

Born Peggy Ann Freeman in Detroit, Michigan, Luna became a larger-than-life character who broke barriers in the fashion industry, challenged the prevailing ideals of beauty, and influenced culture.

The HBO documentary sheds light on her life, unearthing the racism she faced in the fashion industry and the high-profile gatekeepers who tried to stop her career. “Donyale Luna: Supermodel,” streaming now on Max, is a powerful retelling of the life and death of the otherworldly supermodel who captivated the fashion world when white beauty standards were the only standards and 1960s America was rife with racial inequality.

Chioma Nnadi to make history as first Black woman head of British Vogue

London-born journalist Chioma Nnadi is making history in the fashion industry.

According to The Guardian, Nnadi, who is currently the editor of US Vogue’s website, has been named the head of British Vogue, replacing outgoing editor Edward Enniful.

Nnadi is set to take over the role on October 9, which will make her the first Black woman to head and edit British Vogue.

“Is there pressure? Yeah, there’s definitely pressure – it’s Vogue,” Nnadi said. “It still means something to be in Vogue, it still has authority. [And there’s pressure] because of Edward. He broke new ground. It’s more than being part of a magazine – it’s part of the cultural conversation.”

With her new role, Nnadi said she will focus on “digital storytelling” and keeping Vogue “interactive” with readers. She is likely to work alongside Anna Wintour, who previously described Nnadi as a “beloved colleague.”

Nnadi said Wintour has been key to “bringing Vogue into the future”.

“Working under Anna, you get a sense of what’s going to be next. I haven’t checked my email but she’s probably on to the next thing already,” she said.

Chanel Brings Métiers d’Art Collection to Senegal 

DAKAR, Senegal — Chanel made history as the first European luxury brand to stage a fashion show in sub-Saharan Africa, unveiling its Métiers d’Art collection here on Tuesday as part of a three-day program of cultural events in the capital of Senegal.

Guests including Pharrell Williams, Naomi Campbell, Whitney Peak, Nile Rodgers, Princess Caroline of Monaco and her daughter Charlotte Casiraghi attended the show, which was held at the Brutalist-style former Palace of Justice, which in recent years has hosted the Dakar Biennale.

Models paraded in ‘70s-inspired pantsuits topped with beaded vests and skirts in geometric motifs that nodded to the flamboyant Congolese style subculture of the sapeurs. Flared jeans, platform shoes and tiered skirts cast a retro glow over the lineup, which drew a roar of approval from the 850 guests.

A look from the Chanel Métiers d’Art show. GIOVANNI GIANNONI

It was a potentially perilous exercise for the French luxury brand, which sought to deflect any accusations of cultural appropriation by inviting a host of local creatives to cooperate on the event, and revealing a series of long-term initiatives to promote craftsmanship and sustainable farming, including the first overseas exhibition to be held by its 19M specialty workshop hub in Paris.

By her own admission, creative director Virginie Viard had never traveled to the African continent before, but said she was drawn to Dakar after hearing about it from friends and collaborators who frequently visit the city, which in recent years has gained a reputation as a thriving hub for art.

“I thought it would be sweet and fun to do something that wasn’t tied to a store opening,” Viard told WWD. “I wanted a creative exchange and I thought that would work well with the Métiers d’Art collection.”

Viard, who has made collaborations a hallmark of her tenure at Chanel, drafted choreographer Dimitri Chamblas to work with Senegalese dance pioneer Germaine Acogny’s École des Sables school on the performance that opened the show, alongside local singer Obree Daman.Collection Gallery62 PHOTOSVIEW GALLERY

“Collections are all very well, but I need to be moved. It has to be alive, it has to connect to other disciplines,” Viard explained. 

The look book was shot by Senegalese photographer Malick Bodian, while Kourtrajmé, a film school founded by French director Ladj Ly that has a branch in Dakar, produced a series of videos around the collection. Viard said the intention was to foster long-term relationships. “I know that all the people here will be working with us again,” she said. 

Anticipating potential criticism, Acogny argued that Chanel had been respectful in its approach. “I don’t think Chanel came here to force anything upon us,” she said at a talk for students held the following day. “We cannot accept anyone coming to colonize us again, let this be clear.”

Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams COURTESY OF CHANEL

Williams, who’s been a Chanel brand ambassador since 2015, underlined the symbolic significance of the event. The performer, who was visiting West Africa for the first time, took in the House of Slaves and its Door of No Return on Gorée Island, which commemorates what used to be a holding center for enslaved African people to be exported.

“Knowing that this country was once occupied by not only the French, but the Portuguese and the Dutch, to come here with a French maison that really understands this history, to come back and work with the culture, not promising some false facade of equality, but actual equity in the process, is something beautiful,” Williams said at the talk.

“That’s just like a great exercise for other houses to look at and say, ‘OK, what are we doing to be a part of this conversation for humanity?’ because right now, the world is just rife with so much division,” the “Happy” singer told WWD after the show. “What I love about this is that they’re bringing amazing instincts and bringing amazing standards and raising the bar for what can be done.”Chanel Métiers d’Art 202362 PHOTOSVIEW GALLERY

Peak, who joined as brand ambassador last year, said it was only her second Chanel show. “I was very excited and honored to be a part of this because I was born in Uganda, I consider Africa my home,” she said.

“It makes me happy that this is happening, and that we’re bringing back to the community and not just having a show here, but also involving the community and appreciating the culture and making sure that everybody understands where we are in the history and everything good and bad that’s been on this ground,” the “Gossip Girl” star added.

Peak said she was careful in choosing which fashion brands to work with. “I’m somebody that responds very strongly to energy,” she explained. “Chanel was the brand that I spent the most time with that really just felt non-transactional; it felt like a family and felt like I was heard and I was seen and I was allowed to say no. It didn’t feel like a lot of pressure.”

Whitney Peak

Launched by Chanel’s late creative director Karl Lagerfeld 20 years ago to spotlight the work of its in-house workshops, the Métiers d’Art collection has traditionally been a traveling show that has alighted in locations including Shanghai; Edinburgh, Scotland; Salzburg, Austria, and Havana, Cuba. 

Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion and president of Chanel SAS, said the brand was conscious that it needed to come with a new approach, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which put destination shows on hold for several years.

“We can’t go to the other end of the earth just for a 20-minute show. That doesn’t work anymore,” he said. 

That’s why Chanel will return to Dakar with the 19M exhibition, set to run from Jan. 12 to March 31 at the Théodore Monod African Art Museum before switching to Paris. “It’s open to everyone, but particularly targeted at students and apprentices of craftsmanship,” he said, noting that Chanel was in the process of inking partnerships with several schools.

Likewise, the brand plans to work with local organic cotton producers as part of its global efforts to secure raw materials as it shifts to an increasingly sustainable offering. Similar initiatives are already in place in India, Egypt and Peru.

“There is a tradition of cotton production here, but the quality needs to improve to meet our requirements,” Pavlovsky said. “Within the next three to five years, our aim is to cover part of our needs with cotton from Senegal produced in good conditions at a fair price.”

In contrast to Chanel shows in Paris, where guests tend to wear the label head-to-toe, the local crowd dazzled by combining the brand’s signature quilted handbags with a mix of traditional occasionwear and contemporary African fashion design.

“I’ve gone to many Chanel fashion shows. It’s been almost 10 years so I haven’t seen it all, but I thought I had, and I’ve got to tell you, this by far has had the most amazing fashion sense in terms of attendance, the best-dressed audience,” Williams declared.

A look from the Chanel Métiers d'Art show
A look from the Chanel Métiers d’Art show. GIOVANNI GIANNONI

The collection also stood out as one of the most eclectic since Viard succeeded Lagerfeld at the helm of the brand in 2019. Checkered tweed and Lurex pantsuits were layered with beaded vests and wrap skirts, and topped with oodles of chains, including gold pendants in the shape of the African continent, and jewel-encrusted lion heads. 

Created in close collaboration with in-house suppliers like embroiderer Lesage and flower-maker Lemarié, the collection featured plenty of embellishment, from the rhinestones sparkling on a lozenge-patterned sweater, to the DIY-style patchwork camellias and heart-shaped patches scattered across a black vest. 

Maximalists might opt for the knits with patterns melding oversize leopard spots with flowers and distorted double-C logos, paired with leather vests or pants in electric peach and muted plum. For nostalgists, there was a bohemian-style white lace dress topped with a belted blue cardigan, à la Talitha Getty. 

A look from the Chanel Métiers d'Art show
A look from the Chanel Métiers d’Art show. GIOVANNI GIANNONI

Viard also made sure to include plenty of denim, though she hit a dud note by pairing lozenge-patterned jeans with frumpy tunics. More compelling was a workwear-style Canadian tuxedo flecked with tiny sequins in broken stripes. 

While the collection was produced entirely in Paris, the cast featured 19 African models, including a dozen from Senegal. But even though Chanel has plenty of customers from West Africa, Pavlovsky said it would be “premature” for the brand to open a store in the region.

“There is still an important gap between the average standard of living in these big [African] cities and what you find in Europe or the United States,” he said. “We’re not here to do business, we’re here to participate in and benefit from the creative energy here in Dakar.”

Chanel kicked off its residency on Monday with the latest edition of Les Rendezvous Littéraires Rue Cambon, its regular literary event hosted by Casiraghi, featuring a talk with French writer Marie NDiaye. “I consider her one of the great contemporary authors who will make a mark on the history of French literature. I hugely admire her work,” Casiraghi said.

“It turns out that Marie also has a history with Senegal which is complex, but very powerful,” she said of the author, whose father is Senegalese but who considers herself entirely French. “I think for her, coming to Dakar was a powerful gesture, perhaps also a way to reconnect with part of her history.”

Casiraghi said she knew of Dakar from her mother, Princess Caroline, who has traveled extensively as head of the children’s charity AMADE. “I would love to be able to stay longer to discover all the intricacies of the city. Let’s say that for now, I’ve only caught a quick glimpse of it, but I did feel a creative effervescence,” she said.

Chanel took some guests on a tour of the capital’s art galleries, which are staging special events for the annual Partcours fortnight of cultural events that also coincided with the latest edition of Dakar Fashion Week. Some VIP clients were treated to an exclusive visit of Black Rock, the studio and artist residency founded by U.S. painter Kehinde Wiley, who was at the show.  

“I think Dakar slowly sneaks up on you. It’s a country and a city that presents in a very simple way. It’s relatively dry. It’s in the Sahel, but then the people and the beaches and the food and the creative energy here is something that’s so charming that I continue to come back,” he said. 

A look from the Chanel Métiers d'Art show
A look from the Chanel Métiers d’Art show. GIOVANNI GIANNONI


Whether you own an agency, are an aspiring model or just can’t get enough of the fashion scene, The ANSM Model Search has something for everyone!

On September 10th, the grand finale will be held in Ghana with world-renowned models, guest judges, live musical performances, and model search finalists all converging for an unforgettable night of fashion.

Meet the featured British Vogue Nigerian model

Janet Jumbo is a Nigerian model who featured on the British Vogue February edition alongside Adut Akech, Amar Akwayi and many other top African models.

The 20-year-old Jumbo was first spotted on her way back from church in 2019. Now, she has become the first Nigerian to walk for Louis Vuitton

In the same year, Jumbo strutted down the runway during the Louis Vuitton Women’s Fall-Winter 2019 Fashion Show at the Louvre in Paris. 

Her agency took to Instagram to announce the exciting news writing, “Today, Janet Jumbo is the first Nigerian model to walk the Louis Vuitton show exclusively. We feel nothing but all shades of happiness and we can’t contain it.

The teenager is from Rivers State in Southern Nigeria. Her modelling career started after a scout noticed her in Lagos state. She was spotted on her way back from church on a Sunday.

Since then, she has been signed to an agency called Raw Model Management Nigeria. Jumbo is also signed to IMG Models Worldwide. 

This agency manages some of the most famous models in the world like Kate Moss, Alek Wek, Gisele Bündchen, Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss, Miranda Kerr, and Candice Swanepoel.

Jumbo also expressed her happiness online. She shared the epic moment writing,https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/CtzB1IbEO/

Here is how Nigerians are reacting to the news:https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/hhaDnXIaEZ/https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/mq459R2wq/https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/BGmfWcPVN/https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/4GK9wMq4b/https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/tpgzJaFtO/https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/AaFv4PvuW/https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/anKtTDjES/https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/n-aFFiuCo/

British Vogue’s Momentous All African Cover Spotlights 9 Young Women Redefining What It Is To Be A Model

With a new generation of African models in the spotlight, fashion is at last embracing what it is to be truly global.

It’s a grey, mild-for-November Tuesday morning, in a brutalist indoor car park off an industrial road within a not particularly fashionable enclave of west London. There’s a large table, methodically laid with lateral flow tests. One would be justified in thinking that this is not where the magic happens. But then, a door opens into a cavernous studio with dramatic black drapes. Inside, nine striking Black models – their facial features varied and distinct – await hair and make-up. They are playfully conversing; I note snippets of Dinka and hints of other mother tongues peppering the conversation. They’re laughing and teasing one another while moving and mouthing the lyrics to Wizkid’s “Don’t Dull”, “Ojuelegba”, “Essence” and pretty much the entire tracklist of Made in Lagos. These women are a wholly different type of model and are currently pushing the boundaries not only of beauty but of the entire fashion world.

Adut, Anok, Nyagua, Janet Jumbo, Maty Fall and co are representative of an ongoing seismic shift that became more pronounced on the spring/summer ’22 runways. Prada, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Miu Miu and many more were awash with dark-skinned models whose African heritage stretched from Senegal to Rwanda to Sudan to Nigeria to Ethiopia. For an industry long criticised for its lack of diversity, as well as for perpetuating beauty standards seen through a Eurocentric lens, this change is momentous.

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“I saw all these incredible models from across Africa who were just so vivacious and smart,” recalls Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s editor-in-chief and European editorial director, explaining the inspiration behind shooting an all Black, all African cover. His excitement for this moment is tangible: “These girls,” he continues, “are redefining what it is to be a fashion model.” This, he asserts, is well overdue. “You know, fashion tends to follow waves. We’ve had the Brazilian wave. We had the Dutch wave, the Russian wave, the Eastern European wave… And while, in the last decade, the Black model has come to prominence, I love that we are finally giving more space to African beauty.” Unlike the trends that have gone before, which favoured a certain aesthetic – the perpetually sun-kissed Amazonian curves of the Brazilians, the strong jawlines of the Eastern Europeans – this African wave taps into a variety of aesthetics from across that vast continent.

Consider Adut Akech. At 22, she is arguably the most successful African model working today. Following her runway debut at Saint Laurent, in 2016, her international Vogue covers have run into double digits, she has notched up numerous fashion and beauty campaigns – from Valentino to Estée Lauder – and recently bought a house in LA. Undoubtedly she has inspired other African models, such as Janet Jumbo, the 19-year-old Nigerian who walked Louis Vuitton and Burberry and says the wave of success African models are riding right now “gives me hope that I can succeed at this”.READ MOREBritish Vogue’s February Cover Celebrates The Rise Of The African Model


Akech, dressed in a towelling robe, her tousled hair redolent of a protagonist in a James Barnor photograph, recalls the landscape of five years ago as a world away from what we see now. “When I first started modelling internationally…” She makes a face, eyes incredulous, and lets out a wry laugh. “I would literally be the only Black, dark-skinned girl in the show. There were no Sudanese models, no African models. Now,” she says, smiling, “I go to a show and there are girls from my country, girls from Africa who look like me. So yes, there has been a huge change. It has gone from me being the only one at a show to 15 or 20 of us. I’m just so happy that we are finally at this place. I was tired of always feeling out of place and feeling like an outcast.”

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The experience of not belonging resonates with Anok Yai, a fellow Sudanese model, who in February 2018 became only the second Black model ever to open a Prada show (the first was Naomi Campbell, in 1997). “In the beginning, I felt really isolated,” she says. “I got thrown into the modelling industry very quickly and I kind of had to navigate it on my own. I also have social anxiety, and so I struggled a lot with connecting with people. Backstage, there would maybe be one other Black girl, but now my tribe is backstage. I can speak my own language to my friends. They are basically like my family.”

Image may contain Clothing Apparel Human Person and Coat
Adut Akech on British Vogue’s February 2022 cover.  RAFAEL PAVAROTTI

For all the celebration of this moment, the elephant in the room remains. Why are we only just beginning to truly embrace African models on the international runways? Particularly when, as Omoyemi Akerele, the founder of Lagos Fashion Week, says, the issue cannot be put down to a lack of fresh talent: “Over the last decade, we have worked alongside agencies dedicated to discovering and nurturing new faces from across the continent. Models like Mayowa Nicholas started out walking at Lagos Fashion Week.”Most Popular

The pandemic, as well as the logistics of the African continent, have, Vogue contributing casting director Ashley Brokaw explains, played a significant role in the lack of African models on the international runways. “The reason everyone saw a lot of new faces this season was really a function of access,” she says. “Prior to the pandemic, we had sorted through initial visa issues – some countries were definitely easier than others – we got all the paperwork, we got all the necessary travel documents for the girls done in advance, and then everything shut down. So, the explosion of African girls on the catwalk that we suddenly see is a result of things opening up.”

The previous scarcity of African models, continues Brokaw, can also be attributed to outmoded casting processes. “Over the years, I have had to do my scouting through an agent, perhaps based in Milan or Paris, who would filter their choices down to me. Now, thanks to social media, I can reach out directly to scouts in say Rwanda or Burundi or Uganda and find a great girl. They can also text, WhatsApp or find me through Instagram. The level of access through social media is just incredible. This means I’m now able to choose girls through my own lens, which makes the process so much more democratic and inclusive.”

The power of social media has also been a game-changer for Piergiorgio Del Moro, the founder of DM Casting, which he runs together with Samuel Ellis Scheinman. “Every day,” begins Del Moro, who discovered Akech, “I receive tons of messages and images from scouts and potential models from all over the world.” The previous system, which, Scheinman explains, “came down to where money was invested to find models”, meant that the Black girls cast were predominantly light-skinned African Americans, and only one or two were African because the agencies didn’t have the right connections to get girls from Africa into Europe. “And so, for us, we see social media as a real change in terms of how scouting has blossomed in Africa. We are now able to have a photo of a girl sent to us in a nanosecond.”

Logistics, economics and technology aside, there is no denying how much the global reckoning around race, diversity and inclusion, heightened in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, has forced a shift in mindset towards racial inequities and unconscious bias. The casting process, agrees Scheinman, is no exception. “The industry has definitely gone through a soul search about what diversity means, what inclusivity means, and what being truly global means when it comes to casting. We really saw this starting to shift about five years ago, and so for us as casting directors, the more options we have, the more we’re going to want to explore every version of beauty. Now that we have access to these amazing girls, there’s no reason not to work with them.”Most Popular

As the casting director for Kerby Jean-Raymond’s label Pyer Moss, which actively celebrates Blackness and casts accordingly, Katherine Mateo has long been vocal about the narrow ideals of beauty perpetuated by the fashion industry. And she’s not afraid to highlight the complicity of the casting process. “For many years, we have been stuck on what society has trained us to believe is the ‘perfect’ skin colour, size, age, height. But the fact of the matter is people want to see the world that reflects their reality. Our world does not have one type of beauty, and we as casting directors have the power to directly connect with brands and publications and hold them accountable for the change we would like to see.”

Del Moro adds, “It is our job to push diversity. Diversity of age, diversity of size, diversity of skin colour. Some editors, like Edward [Enninful], have over the years raised their voices about diversity, and you also have some designers who have it at the forefront of their minds. But where they don’t, it’s our job to push for it.”

Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli is known to champion African models such as Akech; his groundbreaking spring/summer ’19 haute couture show famously featured an all Black cast. “For months, I had been nourishing the desire, the fantasy, to make couture inclusive. Simple as it may seem, it started with an iconic picture by Cecil Beaton of the Charles James salon. I said to myself, ‘What if instead of these white-swan models we had a salon filled with Black women wearing couture?’” His research took him to archive editions of Jet and Ebony. What he discovered strengthened his resolve. “Magazines [aimed at a Black readership] had to buy most of the clothes for their editorials, because couture houses didn’t want to lend to them. The more I delved into it, the more I felt I had to do something. Not to say or to promise, but to do. Fashion is the language I use to express my values and ideas, and I thought the only trustworthy, valuable statement that I could make was through a couture show with only Black models. Do I think it’s enough? No, it’s not. But every time I look at that finale picture, I know it meant something, and I know I want to do more.”Most Popular

While he is under no illusion about the mammoth hurdle to eradicate racial inequity in fashion, Piccioli is excited about the current trajectory of African models. “I am pretty sure there is no coming back from this. It is unlikely to be replaced by the constraints and unreachable standards of beauty. These must be defeated because being standardised does not belong in the future we wish to witness.”

The characteristically straight-talking Bethann Hardison, a trailblazing veteran Black model, agent and long-time activist for diversity in the industry, has reservations. She suggests caution over what could potentially be a double-edged sword. To be clear, she asserts that this isn’t to rain on anyone’s parade; her perspective comes from experience: “Remember, I’ve been around for a while, so I see these things through a different gaze,” she explains. “Of course, I believe in racial diversity, but the good news and the bad news is that fashion changes. I worry that this situation becomes this thing where, ‘If you’re Black you’re in,’ which means then at some point, you could be out.” Again, to avoid misinterpretation, Hardison adds a caveat. “Look, I’m not saying that this will absolutely be the case in this situation, but generally when you lean so hard in one direction, the natural move after a while is to begin to lean far into the opposite end.”

There is validity to her point. There is a constant tug of war within the thorny triad of diversity, authenticity and longevity. Is it real? Will it last? For how long? Scheinman admits that there is an element of casting that is performative. “We have some clients for whom diversity is embedded in their DNA, and there are others where we have had to have very active discussions with them, where they then say, ‘I really want to change, I want to be more inclusive.’ While the industry perhaps hasn’t necessarily invested much in the way of size inclusivity, I feel like the racial aspect of diversity is the one that is most embedded. It’s like a non-negotiable. For Piergiorgio and me, there’s no question that the world could go back to, say, a ‘Russian casting’. It’s just not modern. Not only is diversity an obligation, it would be irresponsible to treat it as something so disposable.”READ MOREA Famous Photo Of Grace Jones Inspired The Beauty Looks In British Vogue’s February 2022 Cover Story


This is music to the ears of Akerele, who stresses that while ensuring representation from marginalised communities to reflect our “global village”, stakeholders must be mindful to ensure no one is left out of the conversation. “Casting directors across the world must hold themselves accountable to a higher standard. The underlying question should be, ‘Who am I excluding?’” This responsibility, however, argues Abrima Erwiah of the Ghana-based brand and social enterprise Studio One Eighty Nine, extends far beyond casting directors. The onus, she believes, is on everyone, from consumers to brands to editors and anyone who engages with the industry. “Yes,” she admits, echoing some of Hardison’s misgivings, “some people might see it as a trend and a moment and try and suck it dry to move on to the next sexy thing, but whether we believe we have power or not, we all have to come together and work on this as a community. If the logistics and the infrastructure are there to support these models, I think it will work.”Most Popular

It is a sentiment, a clarion call, if you will, echoed by Enninful. He believes the way to ensure that this “moment” isn’t transient, is to ensure the models’ careers go the distance. “It’s sad and heartbreaking for me to see girls who are on the rise suddenly taper off. We need to ensure these girls last. We have to invest in them, nurture them and support them with editorial, with advertising, with shows. It has to be 360.” Recalling Alek Wek’s early modelling career, he reveals the secret to her longevity: “Alek Wek didn’t suddenly become Alek Wek. There was a group of us behind girls like her, propelling them forward. This is what we have to do in all our different roles. Getting these girls and then throwing them away after one season? That has to stop.”

Outside, the grey skies have dimmed to a blue-black. The energy among the models is still high. The infectious sound of Afro B’s “Drogba (Joanna)” reverberates around the studio, and the frisson of excitement that permeated the air earlier in the day shows no sign of abating. As the hairstylist prepares her for another shot, Akech mulls over the hope that the uprising of African models goes beyond a trend. “I mean,” she says, choosing her words carefully, “that is the goal, that it becomes more than a moment.” And then, almost immediately, as if to correct herself, she answers more resolutely: “Actually, I don’t see it being a trend. Also,” she says, laughing, “there are so many of us – we are just not going to go out of style.”

Iman, the groundbreaking original African model, who not only paved the way but has long campaigned for diversity on the catwalk, has a message for Akech et al. “If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then let the beholder be you.” And her charge to the world? “All hail our African models with their jet-black skin, impossibly long limbs and natural hair, full of joy and absolutely no compromise.”

The February 2022 issue of British Vogue is on newsstands on 18 January


1. Hiandra Martinez

Martinez opened the first Anthony Vaccarello-designed Saint Laurent show as an exclusive, and it’s easy to see why the Dominican model got that coveted spot. Her look and walk exude sexiness and toughness — a true embodiment of the designer’s signature style.

2. Lameka Fox

Fox was scouted by mega-model agency IMG on Instagram, so there’s no doubt that she’s gorgeous. She also has an awesome walk that landed her in shows Paco RabanneTopshop, and Thakoon this past season.

3. Halima Aden

Halima Aden has been unstoppable since walking her first runway show for Yeezy Season 5. Wearing a hijab and rocking her flawless skin, the Somali-American model made waves in the best way and has since booked more high-profile shows.

4. Marie Fofana

Hailing from Senegal, Fofana was a runway fixture in New York, Milan and Paris walking shows such as Rochas, MSGM and Altuzarra. With her luminous mahogany complexion and high cheekbones, she was absolutely breathtaking.


5. Selina Khann

Khann’s glossy black hair and perfect features have landed her campaigns with Ralph Lauren, Macy’s and Lacoste in the past, but she also makes quite the impression sauntering down the runway. We spotted her at Rebecca Minkoff looking boho-beautiful.

6. Tatiana Elizabeth

We first saw this glowing goddess at the all-WOC show for Maki Oh and fell for her hazel eyes and endlessly long legs.

7. Crystal Noreiga

Pretty much no one can pull off sequins, plaid, logo shirts and face paint but somehow Noreiga mentioned to do it all and still look incredible at Ashish.

8. Alanna Arrington

Arrington’s bouncy curls and killer bod have catapulted her onto both commercial runways (Victoria’s Secret) and also dozens of high fashion defilées. This season she walked Prabal GurungJeremy Scott and Off-White to name a few.

9. Samile Bermanneli

This Brazilian stunner had an extremely busy and successful fashion month. We spotted her at Marc Jacobs and Yeezy in NYC, Etro in Milan (pictured) and Off-White and Mugler in Paris.

10. Hannah Shakespeare

This British babe walked for the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Issey Miyake, but didn’t let runway fame get in the way of a few fun backstage moments.

11. Rina Fukushi

Whether she’s in an oversized hoodie, a pink pleated dress, or a fur coat, the Japanese model owned each outfit. We expect to see much more of this versatile beauty.

12. Barbra-Lee Grant

This Jamaican model graced Emilio PucciMulberry and Jonathan Simkhai with her signature strut and gorgeous gams.

13. Brittany Noon

This Antiguan beauty has been hailed as the next big thing in fashion with her baby-doll face and sylphlike figure.

14. Yoon Young Bae

Whether she’s rocking all white at Burberry or decked out in all-black at Sportmax, Bae always commands onlookers’ attention. Keep your eyes peeled for this Korean It-girl.

15. Nicole Atieno

She’s only 20 years old but has already walked Gucci six times! Enough said.

Top 10 list of the most famous African Supermodels

Africa is home to beautiful women from diverse cultural backgrounds. So, who are the top African supermodels? Here’s a list of the 10 top African models that have successfully broken the negative stereotypes in the modelling world, making the continent proud.

1. Alex Wek

Alek is a top black model. She was born in South Sudan and belongs to the Dinka Tribe. Alek was forced to flee the country due to the civil war. She is currently residing in Britain. Alek Wek started her modelling career in 1995 when she was 18 years old.

In 1996, Alek was signed to Ford Models. The following year, she appeared on the cover of Elle magazine. She was also declared the model of the year by MTV that same year. The African supermodel has modelled for Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce n Gabbana, Moschino, Ralph Lauren, and many other fashion houses.

2. Maria Borges

Maria Borges is one of the top African supermodels. She was born in Luanda, Angola, on October 28, 1992. Maria was discovered in 2010 during the Angolan edition of the contest Elite Model Look. Two years later, she signed with Supreme Agency. Maria appeared in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show from 2013-2017.

She has also modelled for different modelling agencies, including the Mega modelling agency in Hamburg, IMG Los Angeles in Los Angeles, and IMG Australia in Sydney, just to mention but a few.

Maria is famous as one of the African models with natural hair. She was the first African model to rock natural hair at Victoria’s Secret show. Maria has had a successful modelling career. She was the second African model to appear on the cover of the Elle magazine after Alek Wek. Maria has appeared in beauty campaigns for Givenchy, Bobbi Brown, L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline, Tommy Hilfiger, C&A and H&M. In 2016, Maria became a global ambassador for L’Oréal, signing a multi-year deal spanning across hair, makeup, and skincare products. She is credited for using her status as a supermodel to put fashion designers from each country she visits on the map.

3. Candice Swanepoel

Candice Swanepoel is a black South African supermodel and philanthropist. She debuted her modelling career at the age of 15 years after being spotted by a model scout in a Durban Flea Market. She has appeared in many editorials and has walked the runway for Tommy Hilfiger, Givenchy, Ralph Lauren, Kardashians’ swimwear and many other brands. 

Candice has appeared in FHM’s annual 100 sexiest women poll multiple times, which makes her one of the most famous African female supermodels. In 2010, she was one of the featured models in the SWIM catalogue. The same year she became Victoria’s Secret Angel, and she officially opened the first Victoria’s Secret retail store in Canada. She was named the cover model of Victoria’s Secret Swim Catalogue. Swanepoel was chosen to wear the royal fantasy bra and its matching belt, which featured over 4200 precious gems. She won the Launch of the year award at the 5th annual Daily Front Row Awards in 2018 after launching her own swimwear collection.

4. Herieth Paul

Herieth Paul is a Tanzanian model born on December 14, 1995, in Dar es salaam. Her mother, a diplomat at the Tanzania High Commission, got a work transfer to Ottawa, Canada, and she moved to Canada with her. Her modelling talent was discovered when she attended an open call at Angie’s AMTI, a modelling agency located in Ottawa, Canada.

UGC She has walked the runway for brands such as Armani, Cavalli, Calvin Klien, and many others. Herieth has also appeared in editorials for Vogue Italia Magazine, i-D, Wonderland, and Teen Vogue. In July 2011, she was the cover model of the Canadian Elle. She was one of the three models in the Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2013 campaign, which was named one of the top ten campaigns of Fall. She is one of the African models with natural hair.

5. Gelila Bekele

Gelila Bekele was born on September 4, 1986, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She spent her early years living in the village before moving to the City at the age of 4. Bekele relocated to Europe with her family at the age of eight years. Bekele began her modelling profession when she was still studying at UC Berkeley.

However, she was hesitant at first because she feared her parent’s reaction to her new career. This made her begin the career at 19, unlike the other models who start their modelling careers in their mid and early teenage years. Her first signing was Ford Models. She has worked with big brands, including Pantene, Tony Burch, Diesel, and Levis. Bekele has featured in several fashion and beauty campaigns and has appeared in leading magazines. Gelila is the longtime girlfriend of famous actor and film producer Tyler Perry.

6. Ajuma Nasenyana

Ajuma Nasenyana is a Kenyan model born on January 14, 1985, in Lodwar, Turkana County, in Kenya. She began her modelling career after completing her studies at Greensteds International School. In the beginning, she dreamt of becoming an athlete and enrolled for truck running training.

In 2003, she participated in New York’s Fashion Week alongside Naomi Campbell And Alek Wek. She also modelled for fashion houses during the Italian Fashion Week. In 2012, she was named the African Fashion Week Model Of the year. Besides modelling, Nasenyana leads a campaign that helps appreciate the dark African skin and kinky hair.

7. Ajak Deng

Ajak Deng is an Australian fashion model born on December 7, 1989, in Tonj, South Sudan. Her family moved to Kenya after being displaced from South Sudan due to the civil war. She then moved to Melbourne, Australia, when she was eleven years. Ajak was spotted when she was still in high school. She signed to FRM model management in 2008. Her modelling career grew steadily, and she was absorbed by the Milk management and Esee management modelling agencies.

Her first international modelling jobs included an advertisement for United Colors of Benetton and fashion shows for Valentino, Givenchy, Marc by Marc, among many other brands. She has also modelled for Louis Vuitton, MAC Cosmetics, Topshop, and Valentino. Ajak has been vocal about how it feels like being black in the modelling industry, which made her quit modelling in 2016 briefly but made a come back later on.

8. Tanit Phoenix

Tanit Phoenix is a South Africa born fashion model, actress and a makeup artist. She was born on September 24, 1980, in Durban. Tanit began her modelling career at the age of 14 after being spotted by a modelling scout in her hometown, Westville. She is known for her famous swimwear and lingerie photoshoots. Tanit was ranked among the FHMs 100 sexiest women in the world between the years 2004-2006.

In 2011, she won the IGNs sexiest woman of the year and was the most famous girl ever photographed for Babeology by IGN. Tanit Phoenix has appeared on the covers of magazines countless times and has frequently been shot for sports illustrated swimsuit issue. The 40-year old has appeared in TV commercials and has starred in several movies.

9. Yasmin Warsame

Yasmin was born on May 5, 1976, in Mogadishu, Somalia. She relocated to Toronto, Canada, with her family when she was 15 years old. The model was noted by scouts from SHOK Models in LaChapelle. Her first modelling assignment was with Fiorio salon for the ABA (Allied Beauty Association) Annual hair show. Yasmin did the modelling while pregnant but later requested leave from modeLling to concentrate on her pregnancy.

She modelled for Ford Models from 2000 before switching to NEXT Models Canada, where she was featured as the cover model of Lush Magazine. Yasmin has done advertising campaigns for Valentino Couture, Dolce n Gabbana, Escada, among many other brands. In 2007, the 44-year-old model became a judge on Canada’s Next Top Model series. Currently, she is signed with IMG Models.

10. Iman

Iman is a Somali fashion model, actress, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Her official name is Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid. She was born on July 25, 1955, in Mogadishu, Somalia. Iman began her modelling career in 1976 after being noticed by an American photographer, Peter Beard, in 1975. She then moved to the United States to begin her modelling career. Iman’s first modelling assignment was for Vogue.

With her long neck, slender figure, and fine features, Iman gained a lot of success in the modelling industry. Signed to the modelling agency Wilhelmina, Iman began a career on haute-couture runways and in the pages of fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. She was instantly a favourite with designers and editors alike and was one of the first models in her day to be successful in both print and on the runway. Iman is the spokesperson for Keep a Child Alive Program and the Children’s Defense Fund. There you have it. A complete list of the most famous African supermodels in 2020. As you have seen, black supermodels are making it big in the global modelling industry. They have modelled for the top brands and fashion houses, and they have appeared on the covers of magazines. With the introduction of plus-size modelling, it is expected that the number of African models will be much higher than it is now in the near future.


NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 08: Adut Akech walks along 46th Street during the Michael Kors Fashion Show in Times Square on April 08, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

Supermodel Adut Akech – as a global fashion industry darling that’s walked for all the top luxury houses and landed coveted magazine covers across the world – is hardly an unknown face. But her recent appointment as the newest ambassador for cosmetics giant Estée Lauder is set to catapult her from fashion industry notoriety to household name, and the significance and magnitude of such a role isn’t lost on Akech.

“To be part of the Estée Lauder family is a dream come true. Estée Lauder has such an amazing heritage, and the story of Mrs Estée Lauder continues to be an inspiration to women around the world,” the South Sudan-born model said in a statement announcing the partnership. “Like her, I hope to inspire girls everywhere to never give up on following their dreams.”

In a post on her Instagram, Akech further detailed her excitement about the opportunity. “Mrs. Estée Lauder said, ‘I never dreamed of success, I worked for it.’ Words cannot express how Proud and excited I am to share I’m now a part of the @esteelauder family as their newest #EsteeGlobalAmbassador,” she wrote. “All my hard work has led me to moments like this.”

Akech has spoken openly about being unable to see herself reflected in the fashion and beauty realms as a teenager in Adelaide, Australia. She revealed that she hopes her ambassadorship for a global brand will be able to change that for others. “Growing up in the western world I didn’t really see a representation of myself in [the] fashion and beauty world on television or magazines until I got into the fashion industry,” she continued.

PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 02: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Adut Akech walks the runway during the Alexander McQueen as part of Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021 on March 02, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

“To now be the representation in the fashion beauty space I didn’t have a growing up means everything to me. My little sisters will now also see their faces in my beauty ads and campaign billboards, little back girls in South Sudan, Africa and all around the world will now see themselves in me through the work I will do in this space,” she wrote. “I hope you can see though we are more than WORTHY of being faces of the biggest iconic global beauty brands. I do it to break down barriers, to prove we are here, we are unique & beautiful, for the little girls and boys not seen and heard.”

The brand appears just as excited to be working with Akech, who spent her early years at a refugee camp in Kenya before emigrating to Australia. “Adut is one of fashion’s biggest and most influential stars,” said group president for the Estée Lauder Companies Stéphane de la Faverie. “We believe her incredible story, personality and beauty will help us continue to inspire and connect with our consumers and establish her as a beauty icon of her generation.”

We can’t wait to follow this one.