This is our first edition of a series of posts that we will dedicate to the African continent. Posts are going to include;fashion (models,designers,stylists),travel and Art. We will be celebrating everything and anyone African,current and past
After our Editor asked us, “Who are the Top African Supermodels in the fashion world today?”. The first person who came to mind was supermodel Iman, but who has Iman paved the way for today?
We have put together a list of some of the top African supermodels who are making a huge impact on high fashion today.
These African models hail from all over the African Continent (because with a continent boasting of 56 countries,over hundreds of tribes and languages,it would be unthinkable to celebrate models coming from just one country)and are known throughout the world for their beauty and poise.
Here they are (in no particular order):
1) Alek Wek – Sudan
Born in Sudan on April 16, 1977, Alek Wek left her homeland in 1991 to escape the civil war ravaging the country. Alek first appeared on the catwalks at the age of 18 in 1995, which is sparking her career to to date. She is from the Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan. Amongst other things she has done advertisements for Issey Miyake, Moschino, Victoria’s Secret and make-up company Clinique as well as walked the runway for high-profile fashion designers Shiatzy Chen, John Galliano, Chanel, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Jasper Conran[
and Ermanno Scervino. In walks for Christian Lacroix, she took the role of the bride on several occasions. In 2002 she made her acting debut in The Four Feathers as Sudanese princess Aquol. She was named “Model of the Year” in 1997 by MTV. She was the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle, which was also in 1997.
2)Agbani Darego- Nigeria
Born December 22, 1982, is best known for being the first black African to be crowned Miss World. She is a member of the Ijaw tribe of Southern Nigeria.
Shortly after her reign as Miss World she was represented by the London and Paris branches of Next Model Management and landed a three-year contact with L’Oréal, becoming only the second Black model to accomplish this feat after Vanessa Williams, and was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue. Other brands she has modelled for include Avon, Christian Dior, Sephora, Target, and Macy’s. Darego has also appeared in Elle, Marie Claire, Allure, Trace, Stitch, Cosmopolitan, and Essence magazines, working with numerous designers including Oscar de la Renta, Marc Bouwer,Tommy Hillfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Gianfranco Ferre.
3)Liya Kebede – Ethiopia
Born on January 3rd 1978 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Kebede’s big break came when Tom Ford asked her for an exclusive contract for his Gucci Fall/Winter 2000 fashion show. Her popularity in the fashion industry skyrocketed when she appeared on the cover of the May 2002 edition of Paris Vogue, which dedicated the entire issue to her.
Kebede has been seen on the covers of Italian, Japanese, American, French and Spanish Vogue, V, Flair, i-D andTime’s Style & Design. Kebede has been featured in ad campaigns including those for Shiatzy Chen, Gap, Yves Saint-Laurent,Victoria’s Secret, Emanuel Ungaro, Tommy Hilfiger,Revlon,Dolce & Gabbana, Escada and Louis Vuitton.
In 2003, she was named the newest face of Estée Lauder cosmetics, the only Ethiopian to serve as their representative in the company’s 57-year history.Her contract was rumored to be worth $3 million.At this time in Kebede’s career, she was ranked #1 on models.com.
4)Betty Adewole – Nigeria
At 5’11″ Betty Adewole grew up in the U.K and is originally from Nigeria. Just two days ago, she was hailed as the new Naomi Campbell!
This month alone has harked Betty’s debut editorial in British Vogue along with signing on to be the face of Tom Ford’s cosmetic line. Betty Adewole has been featured in V and French Revue de Modes and walked for Issey Miyake, Emanuel Ungaro,Maison Martin Margiela and Loewe.
5)Yasmin Warseme – Somalia
Yasmin Warsame ( ياسمين ابشير ارسام) was born in Mogadishu, Somalia and immigrated to Canada when she was 15 years old. Her first modeling job was for a Sears Catalog and her first big breakthrough came with a feature for Italian Vogue, by Steven Meisel. She has been on the covers of Vogue Italia and American Vogue, American and British Elle, andAmica and Surfacemagazines and has modeled for Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino, Dolce&Gabbana, Escada,Hermès, Shiseido, Chanel, GAP and H&M.
6)Ajak Deng – Sudan
Sudanese-Australian model Ajak Deng has walked for Jean Paul Gaultier, Chloe, Givenchy,Lanvin, Vivienne Westwood to name a few in New York and Paris-since her Melbourne Spring Fashion Week debut in 2008. At age 12, violence forced Ajak and her family to flee Sudan for Australia where, inspired by fellow Sudanese Model Alek Wek
Deng began building her modeling career.
7)Ataui Deng – Sudan
Born in Khartoum, Sudan, Ataui Deng immigrated to San Antonio, Texas before signing to Trump Management in New York City. Ataui Deng made her runway debuts for the spring Jeremy Laing, Kai Kuhne, L’Wren Scott, Proenza Schouler and Zac Posen shows in New York. Famed photographer Steven Meisel personally requested to work with her.
8)Fatima Siad – Ethopia
Born December 17 1986 in Mogadishu,Somalia. To a Somali mother and an Ethiopian father; Fatima underwent female genital mutilation at age 7. Her two sisters were killed by the Somali army during the civil war. She placed third on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 10.
Some of Fatima Siad’s appearances include: Tyra Banks Show episode titled Tyra’s Pay It Forward with Joanie Dodds, Recessionista: Queen of Cheap – where she modeled clothes. She also appeared on Modelville Introduction, Modelville 2, Modelville 3, Modelville 4, and Tina Knowles modeling in a House of Dereon fashion show.
Is there an African model that should be included in our Top African Female Models list? If so, use the comment box below to share your opinion.