In recent times, the fashion industry in Nigeria has witnessed an undeniable growth and it’s an absolutely beautiful thing to watch.
More and more of our designers are showcasing at international fashion weeks and getting nods from the gatekeepers of the industry. But our clothes (and Wizkid) aren’t our only exports. There are a number of young Nigerian models whose careers have over the past few years, continued to soar and get the attention of the industry overseas.
With fashion month about to kick off in earnest down here in Nigeria, we’re taking a look at 5 of these models who are currently killing it globally.
She’s by far the most successful Nigerian model since Oluchi Orlandi. And what makes it even more remarkable is that it’s barely 3 years since she broke out. The 19-year-old model who was scouted on her way to salon in 2014 has been on a roll since she won the Elite Model Look Nigeria in 2014.
Mayowa with her fiery gaze, “pillowy lips” and 5’11” frame had the world’s attention the very moment she strutted into the global catwalk, and the attention isn’t waning. In 2016, she was listed in Vogue’s ‘Models To Watch’ list and Models.com listed her as a “Top Newcomer”.
She has walked in over 165 shows for all the big names from Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein to Versace, Balmain, Dior, Elie Saab, Oscar de la Renta, Fenty by Puma and more; starred in editorials for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Love Magazine and was a couple of weeks ago, unveiled as one of the lucky (very!) models that will be waling at this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – a move that will make her the second Nigerian ever to attain that feat.
Except you’re Kate Moss, anything below 5’9″ is generally considered a no-no in modelling. But one Nigerian model is changing the rules, her name is Elizabeth Ayodele.
Discovered by Nigerian-based agency, FEW Models, the 5’8″ medical student and model is conquering the world one fashion show, one campaign at a time. She has walked for Miu Miu, Fendi, St. Laurent and more, been photographed by the famous Mario Testino for Vogue India.
Elizabeth is currently also signed to IMG Models which is home to Gigi Hadid, Alek Wek, Joan Smalls and more.
In November 2016, Davidson made history as the first person of colour to win the Elite Model Look Worldwide in the competition’s 33 years of existence.
And it’s been up from there. In just a few months, he’s managed to snag himself a place in the catwalk for brands like DSquared2, Balmain, Versace, Givenchy and more.
Olamide’s growth has been gradual. Like Elizabeth, she’s signed to mother agency, FEW Models and IMG Models. (She’s also signed to Boss Models, Cape Town)
Ever since her international debut, she has walked in shows in major fashion capitals of the world including Paris and London.
She famously made the headlines a few months ago when she sued a Nigerian bank for using her photos for commercial purposes without her consent, but suing banks isn’t the only thing Nneoma has been doing.
The 22-year-old model who won the Elite Model Look Nigeria in 2013 is one of the faces of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. She has featured in editorials for Cosmopolitan, Becca Cosmetics and more.
She’s currently signed to Ford Models.