Models are more than just a pretty face, they are icons of society through which we see what fashion is at the moment.
Here are a list of 11 African models you need to keep an eye on.
1. Nyadak “Duckie” Thot (Australia/South Sudan)
Height: 5′ 10″
Agencies: New York Model Management, Premium Models (Paris), d’management group (Milan), Storm (London), Chadwick Models (Sydney)
Duckie started out in the Australian edition of the next top model series and placed third that year before going on to make a name for herself. She went to NYC where she found an acceptance for diversity. She has been outspoken about her struggles with natural hair in the industry. Duckie was also one of the models used by Rihanna when she launched her new line which incidentally was rather diverse in its selections.
Her greatest hits include an all-black 2018 Pirelli calendar, Rihanna’s Paper magazine feature, Paper’s Fall ’17 cover, Vogue Australia editorial and Harper’s Bazaar Kazakhstan cover
2. Adwoa Aboah (Britain/Ghana)
Height: 5′ 8″
Agencies: DNA Models (New York), Viva Paris (Paris), TESS (London), Viva (Barcelona), The Lions (New York/Los Angeles)
Modeliing runs in the family for Adwoa who is the daughter of a successful agent mother and a father who’s location scouting talents remain unmatched.
She has an impressive roster which includes work with Burberry, Calvin Klein, Fendi, DKNY, Alexander Wang, Theory, H&M, Aldo, Versace , Topshop, Rihanna x Puma, Kenzo, Simone Rocha, Chanel, Dior and Erdem, to name a few. This isn’t just down to her famous parent, she also has the looks to back it up with her freckles against the backdrop of a caramel skin, a rare trait that everyone is looking for.
She has gone through her fair share of troubles as a suicide attempt and a coma pay testament to. She’s back on her feet and she has used her ‘almost’ tragedy to help others through her online platform Gurls Talk, which helps girls like her deal with their sexuality, mental health, and body image.
3. Maria Borges (Angola)
Height 5′ 11″
Agencies: IMG (New York/Paris/London/Milan), Traffic (Barcelona), Mega Model (Hamburg), We Are (Lisboa), MP (Stockholm)
Angolan beauty, Maria Borges has a successful career. She is currently a global ambassador for L’Oreal Paris and has strut the Victoria’s Secret’s fashion show on more than one occasion, and also holds the record as the first black model to do so with natural hair. Seeing that she was an orphan who had to work at a supermarket to make ends meet, she really has come a long way.
4. Fatima Siad (Somalia/Ethiopia)
Height 5′ 12”
Agencies: One Management (New York), Munich Models (Munich), Modellink (Stockholm)
Fatima was also in the Next Top Model, but she was in the American version where she placed third and she has never looked back since.
She has graced the covers for Vogue (America and Spain), Elle, Australian and Indonesian Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan. She’s also worked for Giorgio Armani, Hermés, Ralph Lauren, Dries Van Noten, Max Azria, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Hervé Léger, Tiffany & Co., Armani Exchange, BCBG, and Liz Claiborne.
She came from tragedy as she has revealed that she suffered genital cutting before she was able to find asylum in the United States. She has been candid about this and her story has helped many other who have suffered the same thing.
5. Halima Aden (Somalia)
Height 5′ 6.6”
Agency: IMG (New York/Paris/London/Milan)
Halima Aden moved to the United States at age 6 after leaving a Kenyan refugee camp. She partook in a Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she was scouted and snapped up. She’s modeled for Maxmara, Albert Ferretti, American Eagle, Fenty Beauty, a Vogue Arabia cover, a Glamour cover and an Allure cover. She’s broken barriers as she’s worked for these big names while refusing to compromise on her religion which means she wears a Hijab for her shoots.
6. Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens (Britain/Ghana)
Height 5′ 9.5″
Agency: Premier Model Management (London)
Ayaana definitely has a bright future ahead of her and she aspires to work for brands like Chanel in the future.
7. Aamito Lagum (Uganda)
Agencies: DNA Model Management (New York), VIVA Model Management (Paris, London, Barcelona), Why Not Model Management (Milan)
Aamito isn’t a new name as she has been in the industry for about 6 years now. The maiden winner of “Africa’s Next Top Model,” she turned down a career in law to pursue her dreams of becoming a model.
Her portfolio includes work with J. Mendel, Tadashi Shoji, Yeezy, Ohne Titel, Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith, Bottega Veneta and H&M. She has also appeared in Elle, Allure, W Magazine, British Vogue and Vanity Fair.
8. Khoudia Diop (Senegal)
Height 5′ 8″
Agencies: The Colored Girl, Electric Republic
I bet the kids who used to make fun of Khoudia Diop are regretting those actions now. She faced opposition due to the color of her skin but has since been placed in a campaign for French cosmetics brand Make Up For Ever. She has also used her experiences to speak up for women with her skin tone to be represented with greater regularity.
9. Amilna Estevao (Angola)
Height 5′ 10″
Agencies: The Society Management (New York), Elite (Paris, Milan, London), Da Banda (Luanda)
Amilna was only 14 when she booked an Elite Look contract in her in Luanda and she hasn’t looked back. Amongst her great many jobs include: Givenchy, Lanvin, Balmain, Alexander Wang, Burberry, Phillip Lim, DVF, Dolce & Gabbana, Express, Fendi, Kenzo and more.
10. Herieth Paul (Tanzania)
Height 5′ 11″
Agencies: Women Management (New York, Paris, Milan), Elite Model Management (London), M4 Models (Hamburg) Folio Montreal (Montreal), AMTI: Toronto (Toronto)
Herieth has featured on jobs for Victoria’s Secret, Nina Ricci, Zimmermann, Adam Selman, Stella McCartney, Lacoste, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Armani, Cavalli and 3.1 Phillip Lim. She has paired this with editorials for i-D, Vogue Italia, and Teen Vogue. She was most recently made the new face of Maybelline.
11. Imaan Hammam (Netherlands/Morocco/Egypt)
Height 5′ 10″
Agencies: DNA Model Management (New York), VIVA Model Management (Paris, London, Barcelona), Why Not Model Management (Milan), CODE Management (Amsterdam)
Another pioneer in the game, Imaan has made great strides for Muslim models everywhere. She has covered American Vogue on two occasions and even has the endorsement of industry legend, Anna Wintour. In her time, she’s done jobs for Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Maison Margiela, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Michael Kors, Moschino, Chanel, DKNY, Jean Paul Gaultier, Hugo Boss, Stella McCartney, Oscar de la Renta, and much more.