2015 has already seen the rise of home grown supermodels, new agencies and several competitions dedicated to finding new models.
But it has also introduced us to many young, talented emerging models looking for their big break. We have gone through the lists of new faces and picked our favourites to break out in 2016. Here they are:
Olamide has had quite the roller coaster year, coming literally out of nowhere to snag the year’s most important fashion industry shoot; the Lagos Fashion and Design Week editorial campaign alongside winner of the 2015 Elite Model of the year competition Damilola Okunola. One of new agency Few Models first faces, Olamide has already amassed an impressive portfolio, working with Kelechi Amadi-Obi for StyleMania Magazine, Lakin Ogunbanwo for L.F.D.W. and Francisca Escola Porta for Huf Magazine. She’s also walked at the Lagos Fashion and Design Week and done editorials for online fashion retailer Konga. With her impressive portfolio and her features, 2016 will interesting for her (and us).
EMMANUEL TEMISAN AHWIEH
Another Few Models first face, Emmanuel Ahwieh doesn’t fit the conventional Nigerian male model mold. He is svelte where others are bulky, with deep set eyes and ears that make a statement. He is also in high demand, walking at the African International Fashion Week, select shows at the Lagos Fashion and Design Week for Orange Culture, Maxivive and Frank Aghuno’s Fruche; brands who have already tapped him to either front their campaigns or model for their projects in the last year. As he continues to gain profile, we expect to see him truly embody the alt-model niche the way past models like Peter Finn and Alvin Dayaffin have.
Another alternative model, Valentine Agbakwuru has a face perfect for print editorials and a walk that immediately distinguishes him as a runway model. Also a Few Model, Valentine walked four shows at the 2015 Lagos Fashion and Design Week and walked for David Tlale at the recently concluded 2015 Music Meets Runway showcase. He has been chosen as one of the top ten finalists for the M.M.R. model search and might end up going all the way to win it. But even making the top ten has raised his profile significantly and we wait to see how he will convert that in 2016.
Winner of the 2014 Nigerian Next Top Model competition licensed to C.E.O. of Isis Models Joan Okorodudu, Queen already has an impressive profile with a feature in Vogue Italia as a model to watch for 2016 and edgy editorials with independent photographers like Spotlight Spectra. She’s walked an impressive twenty two shows at the 2015 Lagos Fashion and Design Week, five shows at the fiercely competitive Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Johanessburg. Though she has only fronted one editorial campaign (for emerging designer Rayo) she has gained enough traction to become a real player in 2016.
A few others to watch would be the 2015 male winner of the Elite Model of the Year competition Damilola Okunola who was in some demand at the 2015 L.F.D.W and made minor history as the first model to front an L.F.D.W campaign with Olamide Ogundele.
There is also Myever Akinyele also of Few Models who walked an impressive seventeen shows at the 2015 L.F.D.W and is currently one of the top 10 finalists for the Music Meets Runway model search.
With the hectic schedule that awaits us in 2016 we hope to see these young talents get the recognition they need to turn into legitimate successes.