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. She’s also served as the face for brand campaigns like Viv La Resistance, Togo Tv (TVT) for fashionhouse Vlisco and GTBank SME MarketHub to mention a few. She recently signed with one of Nigeria’s elite modelling 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 both on jobs and as a muse including notable photogs like Reze Bonna, Obi Somto, Spotlight Photos & Imagery and Emmanuel Oyeleke.
In an exclusive interview with Style Rave Nigeria, Angella opens up about her modelling journey, her dreams and dishes about what’s next for her. Let’s get right into it.
It’s wonderful to be able 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. Behind the runway and photography I’m a girl who has big dreams and a burning passion which drives me to never stop doing what I love.
How and when were you discovered?
Hmmm, I wouldn’t really say I was discovered by anyone in particular. 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 modelling and I began doing researches on 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 seriously work towards my goal. Since then I became sought after by agencies here in Nigeria.
Tell us about your rise in the modelling industry? What has your journey been like?
2011 was the year I won the award for 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 modelling.
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 really simple. I’m inspired by the definition of my job; modelling. 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 currently is the inability to freely travel around the world and shoot like I would love to because it is not so easy to get all the necessary paperwork done to travel which scares 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 modelling 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 modelling?
I keep myself busy with other creative things. I improve my makeup skills and design accessories or bags. Beside that I am often found on the internet researching new locations, ideas or styles. Life is school, 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 swim wears. I love swimsuits, tankinis and bikinis. That’s why I see myself in 5 years from now as the owner of my own swim wear line. To reach that goal I’m currently studying an online course in swimwear design.
Nice! We love when models plan ahead 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 Nigeria wish you continued success in all you do. Go on and conquer the world!
Aww, thank you so much. <3
For more of Angella, visit her website, www.angellaphillips.com
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