The African Face and the Revolution of Fashion.

by | Jul 19, 2023 | CSA Celebrates, Culture, Issues, Lifestyle, Media Industry, The Wire, Trends

  • From featurism to true Beauty.
  • Influential faces in fashion 2023.
  • Top Brands and Fashion Weeks.
  • Meet the class of 2023.

Opportunities for the African face were not the same as they are today. In fact, until not that long ago, the fashion industry suffered from many systemic troubles, no less than being a participant in on going racism. When African models were ever selected, the aesthetics of the choice were dictated by ‘featurism’ (a preference for certain features deemed exotic). It’s with a sigh of relief then that the industry, decision makers, designers and gatekeepers have caught up with the times. With the success of several trailblazers like Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek, Tyson Beckford and Broderick Hunter, Fashion is fighting its preconceived notions of beauty to recognize the unmistakeable, arresting gorgeousness of the African Face. The Wire is here for it and hereby introduce you to some of our favourites.

Anok Yai

South Sudanese model, Anok Yai is currently based in New York City and one of the top models in the industry today. Anok’s career started in a unique way, being discovered after a picture of her was taken at Howard University’s 2017 Homecoming went viral. She is the first South Sudanese model and the second black model after Naomi Campbell to open a Prada show. She has made several appearances on i-D and international Vogue covers, including American Vogue three times over.

Adut Akech

Adut Akech is from South Sudan and is currently one of the most in-demand models. She has worked for numerous luxury brands including Fendi, Vogue, Valentino, Versace, Mugler, Chanel and Schiaparelli. In 2018, she was named one of TIME’s Most Influential Teens. Adut commits some of her time to support refugees, as her family fled Sudan when she was a child, moving to Adelaide, Australia wken aged 7.

Alaato Jazyper

Is a South Sudanese Top 50 model and rising star. She is already taking 2023 by storm, walking and advertising for Saint Laurent, Fendi, Sacai, Chanel, Valentino, Azzedine Alaia, and Marc Jacobs.

Caren Jepkemei

Kenyan model Caren Jepkemei is a widely sought-after and has become a firm fashion favourite among fashion editors and designer houses. She has worked most recently for Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent, Giambattista Valli, and Kenzo, as well as Balmain, Valentino to Alberta Ferretti. Last year, she hit a huge milestone when she landed a Vogue Italia cover posing alongside Ethiopian model, Akway Amar.

Ottawa Kwami

Ottawa Kwami was born and raised in Ghana. Standing at 6’2, Kwami is an up-and-coming star. He has already had a successful 2023 as has walked and advertised for MSGM, Etro, Louis Vuitton, Amiri, Kenzo, Elie Saab, COS, and Isabel Marant.

Dara Gueye

Senegalese model, Dara Gueye, is based in Milan, Italy. Gueye had a fabulous breakout in January 2023, walking and advertising for Prada, Fendi, Zegna, Wales Bonner, Louis Vuitton, Dior Men, Kenzo, Valentino, and Bottega Veneta.

Malick Bodian

Malick Bodian was born in Senegal and raised in Italy. He started walking in 2023  and has done advertising for Wales Bonner, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Dior Men, AMI Paris, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jil Sander, Gabriela Hearst, and Bottega Veneta. They say Malick is one of the top male models to watch in the industry.

C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.

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