SR Exclusive Interview: Top Model Angella Phillips Opens Up On Her Career, Passion & What’s Next!
Lagos-based top model Angella Phillips is one of a few Nigerian models with a portfolio as eclectic as that of any top model in major fashion hubs like New York, Paris, or Milan. Since becoming a freelance model in 2011, she has walked for many of Nigeria’s top designers such as Washington Roberts, Iamisigo, Sunny Rose, and House of Nwocha.
Angella Phillips has also served as the face for brand campaigns like Viv La Resistance, Togo TV (TVT) for fashion house Vlisco and GTBank SME MarketHub, to mention a few. She recently signed with one of Nigeria’s elite modeling agencies, Beth Model Management Africa. Loved by photographers for her strikingly exotic features and uniquely bold spirit, she has been photographed by over 25 photographers on jobs and as a muse, including notable photographers like Reze Bonna, Obi Somto, Spotlight Photos & Imagery, and Emmanuel Oyeleke.
In an exclusive interview with Style Rave, Angella Phillips opens up about her modeling journey, her dreams, and dishes about what’s next for her. Let’s get right into it.
It’s wonderful to chat with you and give our readers and, of course, your fans a chance to get to know who Angella Phillips is behind the photos and runway. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Well, my name is Angella Phillips. I’m a professional model signed with Beth Model Management Africa. I love photography and art. I’m a girl who has big dreams behind the runway and photography and a burning passion that drives me never to stop doing what I love.
How and when were you discovered?
Hmmm, I wouldn’t really say anyone, in particular, discovered me. As with every model’s story, mine is quite different because I can proudly say I actually discovered myself. Growing up, I had a passion for modeling, and I began researching how to become a model. I trained myself on key things like walking and poses. When I finished secondary school, I was finally able to work towards my goal seriously. Since then, I became sought after by agencies here in Nigeria.
Tell us about your rise in the modeling industry? What has your journey been like?
2011 was the year I won the award for the most photographed model in Nigeria. I had already worked with over 20 professional photographers in Nigeria and also overseas by then. The following year I was the first runner-up in an international photo contest by RADG Model World. I recently represented Nigeria in World Super Model Pageant, which was held in South Africa. So far, the journey has been good, but every day I pray for it to get even better. I intend to permanently move to Austria next year, where I will study fashion alongside my modeling.
Going by your portfolio, you’re one of the boldest Nigerian models. You are not afraid to take daring photos considering our conservative society. What inspired this boldness?
It’s straightforward. The definition of my job inspires me; modeling. Boldness is part of my package. My boldness makes me stand out.
What are the greatest challenges you currently face as a model?
The major challenge I face is the inability to freely travel around the world and shoot like I would love to because it is not easy to get all the necessary paperwork to travel, scaring most of the clients abroad. Sometimes I feel like there is nothing new for me to explore anymore in Nigeria. Our industry is really not at its best anymore. There are too many models for a limited amount of jobs, and worse, lately, more and more companies prefer to use celebrities like actors as their brand face instead of models.
(I understand how frustrating that can be. We have seen companies jump on Olajumoke; the bread-seller turned model who’s really now a celebrity of some sort)
Is there anything you wish was different about the Nigerian modeling industry?
“Yes, there are a lot of things I wish to be different. First and foremost, like I said, models are not the first choice for jobs anymore. Secondly, another big problem for me is that jobs are not paid per hour and/or per designer. That sometimes puts me in situations where I spend up to 18 hours for a 1-hour job because nobody on set is time cautious.”
(So there’s a major issue with respecting the model’s time.)
What do you do when you’re not busy modeling?
I keep myself busy with other creative things. I improve my makeup skills and design accessories or bags. Besides that, I am often found on the internet researching new locations, ideas, or styles. Life is school, and you never stop learning.
So where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Yeah! That’s a big question! Hmmm… My dream is to become a top designer for swimwear. I love swimsuits, tankinis, and bikinis. That’s why I see myself 5 years from now as the owner of my own swimwear line. To reach that goal, I’m currently studying an online course in swimwear design.
Nice! We love when models plan for the future.
Let’s throw this one in for your fans who may be dying to know. Who’s your MCE?
My MCE is my boyfriend.
Sorry guys…she’s taken!
Yeah! My WCE is Rihanna.
Angella, it’s been really nice chatting with you and getting to know the girl behind the shoots. We at Style Rave wish you continued success in all you do. Go on and conquer the world!
Aww, thank you so much.
For more of Angella, visit her website, www.angellaphillips.com
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