Nigerian models seem to be on all the runways in 2016. Not just Nigerian models, models of colour seem to be in every show, on every runway, in every campaign. Which means the consistent conversation around how whitewashed international fashion and modelling is, is beginning to effect a change.
First it started with Victor Ndigwe, the winner of the 2014 Elite Model Look Nigeria landing the coveted Missoni menswear editorial and becoming the first black model to do so. But Ndigwe hasn’t been the only one enjoying the fruits of the vigorous campaign to increase diversity on internatonal runways and magazine pages. These are all the Nigerian (and Nigerian born) models we’ve seen dominating on international runways so far this year.
Moyin is the 2012 winner of the Elite Model Look Nigeria competition. She fell off the radar shortly but it is refreshing to have her back in the industry and signed to a British Modelling agency. Arowoshola just got her first season on the international circuit under her belt, walking for Vivienne WestWood and Ashish UK no less. Ashish has a way of giving models their big break and we’re sure this will spell big things for her.
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Ninioma Anosike is the 2013 Winner of the Elite Model Look competition and she signed to Ford Models USA in late 2014 after which she relocated to New York and focused mostly on editorial work, landing a MAC cosmetics campaign. But 2016 is her year, as she has already been featured in Elle USA wearing Elie Saab. She also started her first runway season at NYFW.
Poppy Okotcha is covering Vogue Germany for March 2016, in an Afro no less. Hers will be one of the few international vogue covers with a model of colour sporting her natural hair, and that is huge. But Okotcha has also been doing runway, opening the show for Ashish UK at London Fashion Week. She is off to Milan already and we can’t wait to see what she gets up to there.
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Apart from Ndigwe’s monumental editorial for Missioni, he has also been doing a lot of runway work in the last year, walking for all the major brands at Milan Men’s Fashion Week including Ermegildo Zegna, Balmain, Missoni, Versace, Brioni and the career making Dolce and Gabbana. What a year Ndigwe has already and we’re just two months in.
‘The Nigerian Boy’ @victorndigwe Making us proud. L-R victor for balmain, Ermenegildo zenga, Hermes, Versace #Art #Illustrator #illustration #Fashion #FashionSketch #FashionIllustration #Pattern #FashionWeek #BeachWear #Versace #Balmain #hermes #MensWear #style #ErmenegildoZenga #victorndigwe #okhai
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Who hasn’t Mayowa Nicholas worked for this year? From Daks London to Jasper Conran, and Topshop Unique, and an editorial with Jeremy Scoot for the Wall Street Journal, Mayowa Nicholas is one of the most successful fashion Nigerian discovered models.