When one hears the words modeling, models, or fashion, one usually thinks of countries outside of the African continent. We think of states such as the United States of America, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, among many other countries. The most popular events in fashion include London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, and Arab Fashion Week. Rarely do people consider fashion on the African continent. However, that is gradually changing. We are getting on the map of international fashion. The African modeling industry reached a tipping point in 2010 when South Africa and Nigeria hosted fashion weeks that people recognized on the international stage as “select” in the fashion world.
The Black Lives Matter movement, as well as high-profile advocates for the beauty of black women, are also helping to shift global trends.
What does Marius Isikalu say?
Marius Isikalu is a collaborator with Beth Model Mgt. Marius says:
“We did not have a modelling industry back then. It was just freelance models all over the whole place. Shows would call and the models would just show up from everywhere. So, you know, she (Elizabeth Elohor) sort of pioneered the modelling industry. We do tend to see a lot of black models and Nigerian models specifically, walking the runways abroad, doing campaigns and all of that. “
Brief Description of Beth Model Management
Beth Model Management’s mission is to provide a platform for young and aspiring models to achieve their objectives and goals. The brand seeks to promote models by collaborating with local brands as well as internationally with foreign brands looking for creative ways to promote their corporate creative enterprises. Beth focuses on discovering new talent and transforming them into working superstars, with partners in NY, London, Paris, and Milan.
Who’s Elizabeth Elohor?
Elizabeth Elohor is the head of Beth Models. When Elohor returned from London in 2004 to launch the Beth Model Agency, she was breaking new ground. When there was no Fashion Week on the continent, very few local designers, and little high-end fashion, a former top model founded Nigeria’s first modeling agency.
With the exception of iconic figures like Naomi Campbell, Donyale Luna, and Beverly Johnson, there were few black faces on the covers of women’s magazines prior to the 2000s. In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous state with more than 200 million people, the few who dared to venture into modeling at the time were self-sufficient, vulnerable, and had to distribute their own portfolios to firms specializing in events and advertising.
The Future Face Africa
The modeling world of Africa has changed. Africa seems to be the future. From lacking a good modeling industry to having the largest cast of models in Africa. Model casting simply involves a model giving a snippet of himself or herself before beginning the real job. More importantly, the growing modeling sector is providing more job opportunities. We are seeing the emergence of makeup artists, several actors, designers, and also professional fashion photographers.
Kola Oshalusi, a well-known Nigerian fashion photographer, has also witnessed the rise in demand and professionalization of African modeling over the last 10 years.