African Models Taking Over International Runways
By: Ose Ogbebor
It is well known that the global fashion stage is lacking in racial diversity and is exceedingly difficult for a person of color to break into, especially for models of African descent. Though it has been slowly improving over the years, there is still a long way to go before the international runways are representative of how the world looks.
However, the international runways have not been bereft of African models, with the likes of Alek Wek, Grace Bol, and more recently, Shanelle Nyasiase, Mayowa Nicholas, and Ayobami Okekunle, to name a few. Here some of the African models to watch as they continue to take over the international runways.
This 20-year-old is the first Nigerian to ever walk for Prada and is quickly making a name for herself on the global fashion stage. Eniola Aboro has walked for Dolce and Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, Helmut Lang, and many more since being discovered by Bolajo Fawehinmi, director of Few Models while working as a kindergarten teacher at Grace Academy in Lagos.
This Ethiopian beauty won Few’s Next Face of Africa in 2018. Yeshitela was signed to Few models and IMG worldwide catapulting her to the international stage quickly. She made her debut at Paris Fashion Week 2019, where she walked for Dior, Lanvin, Giambattista Valli, Miu Miu, and Jacquemus.
Nyarach Abouch Ayuel
This 22-year-old South Sudanese model was scouted by Joan Okorodu, founder of ISIS model agency while in a refugee camp at Kakuma. Abouch Ayuel was chosen to participate in the Look Of The Year contest out of about half a million entrants from over 600 cities across five continents. She has walked for Marc Jacobs, Hermes, Burberry, Schiaparelli, Valentino and more.
Amarachi Ironkwe is from Nigeria and was one of the selected twenty finalists for the Elite Model Look in 2016. She loves writing and aromatherapy. She is the creative director of Oiled by Amy, which produces essential oils for skin, hair, perfume and other uses. She has walked for J. W. Anderson, Richard Malone, Pringle of Scotland, Shrimps and Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya.