We CONSTANTLY pay homage to those who have paved runways for us such as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, Beverly Johnson, Lesly Lawson (Twiggy), and Tyra Banks; but what about the top models on the continent of Africa!? These women not only made a name for themselves, but have inspired thousands, and successfully represented their homelands. Learn a little about these powerful models and the runways they stormed on below!
1. Oluchi Onweagba Orlandi
Oluchi is THE Runway Diva of Africa; she can be described as the African Tyra Banks. Funny, because she recently started Africa’s Next Top Model (lovely show!). Oluchi Orlandi is from Lagos, Nigeria; she signed with Elite Model Management at the age of 17. She has covered 20+ magazines, launched her own modeling agency, and loves to give back to her community. Mrs. Orlandi has walked for more than 5 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows, Luca Luca, Giles, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, and much more.
2. Alek Wek
Ms. Alek Wek is a STUNNING and radiant woman who makes you smile with her humble, yet strong personality. She’s from South Sudan and has certainly set the pace for Sudanese models; now, there’s an elaborate handful of them. Alek Wek became the first African model to cover Elle Magazine. As she began to surface, EVERYONE wanted her on their runway! She has walked for names such as CHANEL, John Galliiano, and Donna Karan. We love the United Colors of Benetton campaign that she did and how she is a missionary for World Vision.
3. Liya Kebede
The graceful Liya Kebede is a native of Ethiopia. We love her because like the other headliners, she wears several hats and wears them well. Liya is an actress, ambassador, US Glamour Woman of the Year, mother, and a philanthropist. She was “The New Look” for several campaigns, ranked #1 on models.com, and listed as one of the top-earning supermodels in Forbes. In addition to gracing the covers of Vogue US 3 times, in 2002, Vogue Paris dedicated an issue to her. Kebede has done runway for Gucci, Victoria’s Secret, Tom Ford, Burberry, Balenciaga, and Fendi.
4. Ajak Deng
Ajak is an Australian-Sudanese goddess full of luminous beauty and vibrant personality. Like her role model Alek Wek, Ajak soon became a face for The United Colors of Benetton. She has walked for Marc Jacobs, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, and her favorite, Valentino; all use her consistently. We love the SPICY shoot she did with Bruno Mars!
5. Fatima Siad
The precious Fatima Siad is the beautiful product of Somalian and Ethiopian parents. She is a famous face of the loved television series, America’s Next Top Model. To name a few, Fatima has signed with agencies like IMG Models, New York Model Management, and Ace Models. Siad has walked in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and for names like Gemma Kahng, Betsey Johnson, and Hermès.
by Omoefe Ajueyitsi
Adiree Company is a media, marketing, and marketplace group reaching multicultural consumers. Every month, readers turn to content by Adiree — for impactful conversation, our marketing and it’s marketplace to engage with meaningful products. Focusing on everything from culture, lifestyle to careers, Adiree Company leverages the power of diversity and heritage to engage and empower. Adiree Company was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Lagos Nigeria.