Chances are big that you know African Fashion Models like Alek Wek , Ajuma Nasenyana , Oluchi Onweagba or Liya Kebede since they are considered big names in the fashion industry as well as African faces that notably changed the fashion industry.
There are however a new surge of models who can only be referred to as “New Generation” models – they are younger, they are fresher, they are African and they have arrived. Chances are you have come across these names in high fashion brand campaigns or big-name magazines, but how well do you really know them?
Betty Adewole – Nigerian
21-year-old Nigerian born British Betty Adewole is signed on to IMG London modeling agency and was most recently unveiled as the new face for Tom Ford Beauty range. Other works she has done include an editorial in British Vogue, An editorial in Wonderland Magazine, A cover of Wonderland Magazine, runway for Alexander McQueen, runway for Givenchy, runway for Stella McCartney, editorial in Teen Vogue and much more.
The young model has been compared and called a young Naomi Campbell but Betty Adewole is determined to pave her own way and has been doing just that.
Malaika Firth – Kenyan
Malaika Firth is a 19-year-old Kenyan-born British fashion model. She started modeling under Premier Model Management, after her mother saw a TV special about the model agency. Maliaka has been in Burberry Spring/Summer 2014 campaign, Prada Spring/Summer 2014 campaign, Valentino Spring/Summer 2014 campaign, Vogue Paris editorial, British Vogue editorial, British Vogue cover, runway for Victoria’s secret and much more.
Firth attracted attention when she was booked as the first black model in almost 20 years to appear in a Prada Ad. The last black model to book a Prada campaign was Naomi Campbell for the fall 1994 campaign.
Grace Bol – South Sudanese
Signed to WM Management, Sudanese model Grace Bol has been gaining ground in the international fashion industry. With an ace editorial in New York Times as well as runway shows for Kenzo, Lanvin, Giorgio Armani, Phillip Plein and much more, the Sudanese-American beauty Grace Bolhas has also walked for high profile designers such as Givenchy, Maison Martin Marigela, Vivienne Westwood and more.
Her striking beauty and skin have caught the attention of high profile fashion brands and Grace Bol has been pictured severally with high profile people in the fashion industry.
Hereith Paul – Tanzanian
Hereith Paul is also signed to WM Management (New York)and she has walked for Diane von Fürstenberg, Lacoste, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Armani, Cavalli and 3.1 Phillip Lim. She has also appeared in editorials for Vogue Italia magazine, i-D, wonderland and Teen Vogue. Hereith Paul has done covers for Vogue Italia, Arizona Muse, Canadian Elle and Freja Beha.
Hereith Paul was one of three models in the Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2013 campaign, photographed by Tom Ford. This campaign was named one of the top ten campaigns of Fall 2013.
Atong Arjok – South Sudanese
Born October 5 1985, Atong Arjok is signed on to Trump Model Management modeling agency. She has featured in ad campaigns for Converse, Estee Lauder Prescriptives, I.N.C, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Malandrino, Sephor, United Colours Of Benetton and more. Her face is a familiar one on the runway and most recently she was featured in a 7 age editorial for American Magazine, Lucky Magazine.
Born in California, the South Sudanese model is known for a 2006 beauty campaign for Sephora and more identified for her long legs.
Ajak Deng – South Sudanese
South Sudanese models are actually taking a lot of space on this list and in the new fashion world – they are getting a lot of recognition with their smooth skin and thin long frames. Angelique Ajak Deng is one of these models, signed on to IMG Models modeling agency. Born December 7, 1990, she has had a few years in the limelight from runways to editorials and advertising campaigns.
The 24 year old was one of the breakout stars of the SS10 Paris shows, booking Chloe, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Lanvin. An array of editorials has followed — most notably, Interview with Mikael Jansson and V with Amy Troost.
Kinee Diouf – Senegalese
Signed on to IMG Management (they seem to have a lot of African models), this Senegalese beauty was the first black to grace the cover of Vogue Netherlands. She has walked for ABsoul, Catherine Malandrino, Carmen Marc Valvo, Carlo Tivoli, Custo Barcelona, Diane von Furstenberg, Heatherette, Iceberg, Michon Schur, Moschino, Nanette Lepore, Roberto Cavalli, Tuleh, Duro Olowu and much more.
She has also done magazine covers for ‘French’, ‘L’Edito’, ‘French Revue de Modes’, ‘Vogue Netherlands’ and more.
Philomena Kwao – Ghanaian
Philomena Kwao is a plus size British Ghanaian model that is definitely changing the shape of the modeling industry. The 24 year old is and Economics graduate an MSc in International Health Management. She is signed to Models 1‘s new division Models 1+ representing curvier women. She is also signed to JAG Models for New York, Ford Models for USA and Talents Models for Germany.
Candice Swanepoel – South African
Born 20 October 1988, Candice Swanepoel is a South African model best known for her work with Victoria’s Secret. In 2012, she came in 10th on the Forbes top-earning models list. She has done covers for Australian, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and Italian Vogue, Brazilian, German and South African ELLE, British, South African, Romanian, Mexican and Chinese GQ, American, Turkish, Spanish, Czech and Argentinian Harper’s Bazaar, i-D, Lush and Ocean Drive. She has also done for campaigns for Nike, Diesel, Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford, Prabal Gurung, Swarovski, Colcci, True Religion, Ralph Lauren, Miu Miu, Juicy Couture and Versace.
Signed on to IMG Models, in 2010, Candice Swanepoel became a Victoria’s Secret Angel and modeled for the Kardashians’ 2010 swimwear line. Swanepoel was voted #61 in 2010 and #62 in 2011 in FHM’s annual “100 Sexiest Women in the World” poll and #31 in 2012 Maxim’s “Hot 100 List”.
Nala Diagouraga – Senegalese
25-year-old Nala Diagouraga from Senegal/Mali lives in France and actually started modeling in 2008 for a friend. Nala looks fierce in whatever runway show, advertising campaign or magazine editorial she is in. She is signed with London modeling agency Strike Model Management. So far she has worked for top French designers Lanvin, Khaled el Masri, Martin Grant, Neil Barrett, Andrew Laurence, Alphadi Irakli Nasidzé and Thulare Monareng, and also appeared in French Grazia magazine.
Paula Okunzuwa – Nigerian
UK-based Nigerian top model, Paula Okunzuwa is signed to Nevs Models and has done runway gigs for labels like Suliami Brookman, Nkwo, Adebayo Jones, and has also been featured in editorials in Arise Magazine, FAB Magazine, Black Hair & Beauty Magazine and many more. For her it all started when a friend applied to a modeling agency for her online when she was 16. The British Nigerian Model graduated from the University of Hertfordshire. If there is any model that stuns us with her exotic looks, it is Paula Okunzuwa.