Strutting on reputable runways around the world and effortlessly striking Instagram-perfect poses, top African models like Maria Borges, Victor Ndigwe and Mayowa Nicholas are undeniably a sight to behold. But even more spectacular to see is the level of passion and hard work that goes into their exciting journies in the fashion industry.
From breaking racial barriers to taking the message of inclusivity far and wide, African models are on a rapid rise and we are here for it! Asides taking us behind the scenes of some of the most esteemed fashion shows around the world, they do not hesitate to give us a piece of their individuality by showing off their unique personas on the Gram.
While there’s that visible allure that comes with working in high fashion, the modelling profession is not all glitz and glamour and these models do not hesitate to show us just how demanding their schedules could be. From airport runs to meal stops, backstage commotion to serving fire on the runways, we all live vicariously through their social media posts.
So let’s play catch up with 7 of your favourite top African models…
1. Adut Akech Bior – South Sudan-Australia
Since her entrance into the modelling scene at the age of 16, Adut Akech Bior’s passion is one that has been too iridescent to ignore. Working for top brands like Zara, Kenzo and Prada, the South-Sudanese-Australian model is a force to be reckoned with.
“Adut” as she prefers to be called in the fashion industry recently walked the Haute Couture Fall 2019 runway for Fendi, Valentino, Givenchy and Chanel. Off the runway, the 19 year old just bagged a campaign as the new face of the Valentino Fragrance, Born in Roma. It is safe to say Bior’s career is currently on a glamorous high.
2. Davidson Obennebo – Nigeria
Bursting onto the modelling scene through the 2016 Elite Model Look Nigeria competition was only a subtle start for Davidson Obennebo. The 23-year-old has a strong presence in the fashion industry as he continues to make his mark by working with many prominent brands.
Lately, Davidson has been at the forefront of men’s fashion, walking Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter 2020 collections for big names like Dolce & Gabbana, Philipp Plein,Moschino and Emporio Armani. He has also been featured in recent campaigns for Rocawear, H&M, Brooks Brothers and Dolce & Gabbana’s F/W 2019 collection among others.
3. Maria Borges – Angola
With an undeniable exotic beauty, Maria Borges consistently shines. The 26-year-old Angolan model has successfully made a name for herself worldwide, owning her title as a Riccardo Tisci “protege.” In recent times, Maria walked a couple of Haute Couture Fall 2019 shows for Armani Prive, Ralph & Russo and Ulyana Sergeenko.
Giving us a peek into her busy yet fun schedule, she recently shared a fun video where she’s trying to learn dance moves from fellow models in Lisbon, Portugal as they stepped to Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings. Thanks Maria, Now I have the song on repeat.
4. Mayowa Nicholas – Nigeria
I like to describe Mayowa Nicholas as a Nigerian love letter to the fashion industry. Recently, the uber-talented 21-year-old top African model took to Paris as she graced several Haute Couture Fall 2019 and Spring/Summer 2020 runway shows. Walking for renowned brands like Alexandre Vauthier, Julie de Libran, Balmain, Kenzo and Jacquemus, it’s safe to say that Mayowa is living her best fashion life!
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5. Victor Ndigwe – Nigeria
Dapper and debonair with a hint of cool, Victor Ndigwe is a style star in his own right. With an electryfying appearance at runway shows for brands like Hermès and Balmain at the 2019 fashion weeks this year, the Beth model and singer continues to make waves.
He was recently recognized on models.com as one of the young talents redefining the African creative scene. Even more exciting, the 23-year-old is featured in the latest Zara Man S/S19 catalogue.
6. Abdulaye Niang – Senegal
Embodying a grunge and intriguing persona, 21 year old Abdulaye Niang is the Senegalese-American to watch. He was featured in a Victoria Beckham and Reebok collaboration earlier this year. Showcasing his versatility, in March this year, Abdulaye revealed to crfashionbook.com in an interview that he is developing a unisex line called “Kill Complacency” in partnership with a friend and we cannot wait to see what the brand is all about!
More recently, Niang was a frequent face at the S/S20 Men’s Fashion Show in Paris, walking for the likes of Balmain, Sacai, Amiri and 1017 ALYX 9SM.
7. Daberechi Ukoha-Kalu – Nigeria
From an inspiring win at the 2017 FEW models next face competiton to being featured in the latest Versace 2019 Spring edit, Daberechi Ukoha-Kalu is on a roll! So far, the fierce young model has acquired exciting opportunities that all point to an invetibale level of success. Proving this, Daberechi continues to soar, as she was recently featured in Burberry Beauty’s latest campaign for its Liquid Lip Lacquer. Also, she can be seen playing a clone in a short film by Thomas Webb for the latest Valentino and mytheresa.com collaboration.
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Explore self-expression with #BurberryKisses Lip Lacquer . Introducing our new Liquid Lip Lacquer in 12 shades . Long-lasting, bold colour with a glossy, laminated finish, infused with hyaluronic acid for ultimate coverage . #BurberryBeauty @burberrybeauty
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From designers to models, photographers to visual artists, our SR Spotlight series celebrates the works of African creatives in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industries. As we continue to help rebrand Africa, we’re committed to changing negative perceptions that have been unfairly stamped on our continent by telling our own success stories, one inspiring creative at a time.
A fashion enthusiast with a hunger for storytelling and a fierce Anna Wintour in the making. At Style Rave, we aim to inspire our readers by providing engaging content to not just entertain but to inform and empower you as you ASPIRE to become more stylish, live smarter and be healthier. Follow us on Instagram @StyleRave_ ♥