Saturday, December 30, 2006

Adenike Ogunlesi

Adenike Ogunlesi is the founder and chief executive of Ruff 'N' Tumble an indigenous clothing company in Nigeria that specialises in children's clothing. She took the passion she had for tailoring and fashion design to a sophisticated level of developing her own fashion label and hopes one day to have her company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Photo courtesy of Bella Naija Blog

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sonia Rolland

Sonia Rolland's childhood stories are touching indeed according to her website which talks about all her achivements to date and her childhood in Rwanda in the 1980's.

This stunning model of Rwandan and French parentage, who also won miss France 2000 spends a lot of her time working with charities that deal with orphaned Rwandan children.

Photo courtesy of Sonia Rolland

Monday, December 18, 2006

Adia Coulibaly

Yahoo Model of the Month writes about Adia Coulibaly has a look you won’t soon forget. Appearing in GUESS’ memorable Spring ’98 ad campaign shot by Dah Len in sunny Florida, Adia is getting noticed. She is seen in these colorful ads along side of a group of other young models, including Laetitia Casta.

Not only was Adia chosen by Iman as one of the beauties to represent her line of cosmetics, but she has graced the pages of American Vogue, The Face and Allure Magazines. At just 19 years old, Adia seems to have it all: a gorgeous face, a great attitude, a loving family and a driving ambition.

Adia was born and raised in Paris and still lives with her parents in the northern suburbs of Paris. She attended the Jean-Jaures School and admits she likes living there amid its colorful boutiques and many cafes and restaurants. With strong Muslim family values, she doesn’t give in to the peer pressure to drink or smoke. With her parent’s support and guidance, she always thought that she would one day become a lawyer, an accountant or even a doctor.

Adia’s career in modeling began purely by chance. While still attending school, she was discovered while working part-time at a McDonald’s in Paris when a photographer spotted her. He did some test shoots with her without saying a word to her family. Her father got suspicious when her school contacted him because Adia was missing so many classes. Reluctantly, her parents gave in and let her pursue modeling.

She soon moved to New York and that’s when she began her journey to model-stardom. Adia remains grounded to her roots by going on family vacations with her parents, two sisters and one brother to Africa.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo Model of the Month

Catherine Hemans Yankey

The faceforafrica website writes about Ghana’s Catherine Hemans Yankey was born in Monrovia on January 8, 1988. Now 18, Catherine reveals an ambition to be a fashion designer if her career on the ramp is not successful.

She speaks English, Twi and Nzema and says that she enjoys watching movies and reading about successful people in magazines. She admires Liberia’s current president.

Born in Monrovia, Liberia aspiring Ghanaian model Catherine reveals an ambition to be a fashion designer if her career on the ramp is not successful.

She speaks English, Twi and Nzema and says that she enjoys watching movies and reading about successful people in magazines. She admires Liberia’s current president.

Photo courtesy of tvsa

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Assitan is refered to in some circles as a beautiful uncut African diamond that is yet to achieve her full potential. Her major first role in a western movie was in Ocean's Eleven 2. Born 20 years ago in Nancy, France this model that is 1.8m tall and 58kg has a lot of talent in artisitic creativity.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Venantia Otto

Venantia Otto the 2006 winner of the Nokia Face of Africa modeling competion that took place at Sun City in South Africa is focused to empowering rural women by having her own talk show.

This 18 year old who gets her inspiration from succesful models like Tyra Banks says that she "...excited about the opportunity to model and believes that modelling is about hard-work, focus and personality..."

Born on 22 October 1987 in Namibia and from a family of five children, Venantia attended primary school at "...Mandume Primary School, where I did grade 1-7 and attended high school at Cosmos high from grade 8-10. In 2004, I was crowned Miss Cosmos..."

"...One of the first things that we noticed about Venantia was that she has a tattoo on her left arm – in a similar position to that of Angelina Jolie. Hers is of a rose. Venantia explains that she got the tattoo at the very young age of 16, ''I just did it for the experience.'' Venantia had to hide it from her parents and when they found out about it, they were not happy. It turns out that tattoos aren’t the best thing to do spontaneously as she has decided she will try to remove it in the next few years – a cautionary tale.

Like all the very impressive Nokia Face of Africa contestants, Venantia was the epitome of cool during the night of the Final. She says they started rehearsing their sequence a week before the final and went through it everyday from morning to night – the practice showed on the night.
But wasn’t she nervous about whether she would win or lose? Venantia says that her nerves had faded away from the time that she was chosen to be in the top 10.

Venantia might have taken the title, but who did she think would be the chosen one? She picks Mirash Davies from Ghana. Mirash was notably popular with the magazine editors during Nokia Cape town Fashion Week. It seemed that they liked her `editorial’ look, as compared to the more `commercial’ looks of girls like Venantia and Mulenga. This is a debate that rages on in the modeling world. Venantia is diplomatic as usual saying that African beauty is inclusive while international beauty standards try to make very the same – tall and pretty.

The daughter of a nurse mom and Civil Servant Dad, both her parents were there to see their daughter’s triumph. Venantia says they reacted with great excitement whilst her own reaction was just pure shock.

The high school pupil is jetting off to New York (and so is her piece from Shimansky) sometime in October to create her portfolio and be launched into the world of high fashion by representatives, Elite Model Management. But she knows that although New York might be huge and scary compared to Windhoek, she has former winner Oluchi to keep an eye out for her, '' She said she’ll see me when I get there,'' says Venantia. She adds that this journey gives her an opportunity to mature into adulthood and make a name for herself..."

Some excerpts are taken from a profile article in Face of Africa.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Duro Olowu

The blog Africaincorp writes about Duro Olowu a new talented Nigerian fashion designer of Jamaican/Nigerian parentage. He was dicovered by Vogue's Sally Singer and Julie Gilhart, of Barneys.

Photo courtesy of Duro

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jamhuri Wear

Their website says that "...Jamhuri wear seek to epitomize the great history and future of Africa. Through quality clothing inspired by the true meaning of love, pride, and family. The essence of being African..."

Inspired by the resilience and determination of African freedom fighters like Dedan Kimaathi of the Mau Mau Revolution, Nelson Mandela,and others Jamhuri Wear seeks to promote these African Icons in a more positive light, as similar clothing brands have promoted their own freedom fighters in.

The Jamuri collections has also featured in magazines such as XXL etc and more information about there brand is also available on their blog

Photos courtesy of

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Genevieve Nnaji

She is one of the hottest female talents in Nigeria's Nollywood film industry. Apart from being very beautiful she is also a very talented actress and model. She is from Enugu State, Nigeria and has starred in many Nollywood productions. She recently made the cover of MIMI magazine.

Photo Courtesy of

Saturday, August 26, 2006

MIMI magazine

MIMI is a magazine that covers the issues that interest young african women.

MIMI magazine acording to their website is "a lifesytle magazine that addresses topics from the unique perspective of the African woman aged 18-34. It is a channel through which African woman can embrace their rich cultural inheritance and remarkable talents".

Supported by a team of talented people like Lola Kingo (Editor-in Chief), Mimi Tsiane(Lifesyle Editor), Ndidi Ageyabaum (Style Editor), Joke Babington Ashye and Nani Hapa.

"MIMI hopes to entertain, empower, inspire African women around the world."

Magazine cover courtesy of MIMI Magazine

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kiko Romeo

KikoRomeo website writes "...KikoRomeo is committed to the concept of community development through economic empowerment. We work exclusively with Kenyan artisans using predominantly Kenyan materials.

We are also committed to the discipline of fair trade.The KikoRomeo collections are crafted using predominantly Kenyan cotton, spun, woven or knitted by hand.

The loose weaves are hand woven in Kisumu, the hand and machine knits use Kenyan wools and cottons and are crafted by a Nairobi Women's Group. Our silks are spun from Kenyan grown cocoons, woven, printed and dyed in Kenya by ICIPE (International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology)

Our bags are woven from Kenyan Sisal by Machakos Women's Groups. Our beadwork is carried out by Maasai Women's Groups.

Our buttons, thongs and trims used, are made from Kenyan coconut, horn, bones and hides. We also work with Kenyan artists in the production of our fashion events.

Founded by Ann McCreath the principal apparel designer for KikoRomeo, combines classical training in haute couture from the University of Edinburgh and the ateliers of Rome and Milan, with a passion for the vibrancy and flamboyance of Africa.

Her collections combine the discipline of precision cut and tailoring, with the inspiration instilled by ethnic shape, colour and flow.

Ann has been in production in Kenya since 1997. She has two retail outlets in Nairobi and shows two major collections annually as well as exhibiting her garments extensively throughout Europe. She won second prize in the professional category of the Smirnoff Fashion Awards 1998 and was in the pannel of judges in the millennium awards.

KikoRomeo has a rapidly spreading reputation for the creation of unique and innovative wedding collections and show-stopping evening wear.

The KikoRomeo commitment to maximizing body potential has also created the flattering yet ultimately wearable concept of 'Radical Nairobi Chic'.KikoRomeo design off the peg, tailor-made and haute couture apparel for men, women and children.

KikoRomeo offers a complete range of 'must have' fashion accessories such as ; belts, hats, bags, bandanas and couture jewellery..."

Photos courtesy of KikoRomeo

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Depth of Field

TheDept-of-Field website talks about the collective exhibits works of six very talented Nigerian photographers, namely Kelechi Amadi Obi, Emeka Okereke, TY Bello, Uchechukwu James-Iroha, Zaynab Odunsi and Amaize Ojeikere.

Kelechi Amadi Obi has also featured in a Nigeria International documentary.

"...Toyin Sokefun, an economics graduate from the University of Lagos, started with portraiture and later, advanced into documentary and conceptual art photography.

She continues to do extensive work ondocumenting the issues and situations surrounding her as a young female artist, creating images that break preconceived ideas about her generation, her faith, her city and womanhood.

She lives and works in Lagos as a freelance photographer and musician while a strong member of a photography group; DOF (Depth of Field)..."

Photo courtesy of

Friday, July 07, 2006

Andre Leon Tally

Andre Leon Tally is one of the top style icons of our time, and he has been an inspiration to many in the world of fashion and design.

Below is an interview he had with Constance C.R White of Essence Magazine a couple of years ago.The writes about how "...Few have survived the fashion world as long as Andre Leon Talley, Vogue's larger-than-life editor-at-large. A front-row regular at fashion shows in New York, Paris and Milan for more than 25 years, Talley has used his influence to champion the work of dozens of designers, including Stephen Burrows, Tracey Reese and Michael B.

In A.L.T. (Villard, $24.95), Talley, 55, recounts the highs and lows of his extraordinary life. He recently talked with writer Constance C. R. White about the book and about being a Black man in a business that exalts White beauty and talent above all others..."

Constance White: What prompted you to write A.L.T.?

Andre Leon Talley: My grandmother, Bennie Frances Davis, and Vogue's fashion editor, Diana Vreeland, both died in 1989. It was a seminal moment in my life. They were my raison d'etre. I wanted to share the experiences I had with them and others over the years.

C.W.: When did you first become interested in fashion?

A.L.T.: At 16. I clipped articles from Vogue when Diana Vreeland was editor. There's a famous picture of Mrs. Vreeland in her office measuring the millimeter of a pearl--wearing white gloves. That picture was on my wall. Some people had pictures of rock stars; I had pictures of Diana Vreeland.

C.W.: And yet you didn't think you would become a fashion editor.

A.L.T.: In the book I recall a story about a relative who asked me what I wanted to do. I said, "I want to be a fashion editor." He said, "You know that's not what boys become."

C.W.: But you kept studying fashion in private, leafing through copies of Vogue in your room, the way some boys thumb through Marvel comics.

A.L.T.: Vogue reflected a dedication to beauty and style that spoke to me.

C.W.: But it took some time for your career to take off. When did you feel at ease writing about fashion?

A.L.T.: When I was 28. As a reporter for Women's Wear Daily, I interviewed the designer Yves Saint Laurent, who was doing a collection inspired by the opera Porgy and Bess. His muse, Mounia, was in a pink suit. It reminded me of the clothes that my cousins wore to church.

C.W.: At well over six feet, you stand out in a crowd. Despite your success, you've remained quite humble.

A.L.T: I've never thought of myself as important or on top of the world. You should never think, I've made it.Whenever I speak to students interested in fashion, I say they shouldn't be above picking up paper clips or making a Starbucks run.

C.W.: How have you managed to deal with the fashion world's subtle and overt racism?

A.L.T.: The only people I felt it from were the female staffers at WWD, who were very insecure about who I was. I just kept going. I once overheard someone say, "Why is Karl Lagerfeld writing to him? What common interest could they have?" I met Karl Lagerfeld through Andy Warhol in 1975. We became friends and still are.

C.W.: You mention the impact of such Black models as Pat Cleveland, Bethann Hardison and Alva Chinn,ruling the runways. Where are we today? Besides Liya Kibede, Alek Wek and Naomi Campbell, there are few Black supermodels.

A.L.T: we have regressed. I often sit at a show and see not one Black model on the runway. Can't they find some Black girls?

C.W.: Have you addressed this with designers and editors?

A.L.T.: I write notes. I make suggestions. I can't believe it when designers say, "I couldn't find anyone" or "She didn't look right in the clothes."

C.W.: Why have so few African-Americans succeeded as top editors at fashion magazines?

A.L.T.: Vogue, Conde Nast, that's not our world. We are not the majority.

C.W.: Who do you think has great style?

A.L.T.: Angela Bassett, Halle Berry and Queen Latifah, who's going to be a big star.

C.W.: Any tips for women who want to have great style?

A.L.T.: Be yourself. Have confidence. Work within your budget. You don't have to own designer clothes to be stylish..."

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Dozie's website writes "....Born in England to a Nigerian father and British mother, Dozie spent his early years in both the UK and Nigeria, moving to the U.S. with his family when he was a teenager. The plethora of sounds in his family household ranged from Nigerian pop giants like Fela Kuti and Sir Warrior, to South African jazz gurus like Dollar Brand and Hugh Masekela, to classical composers like Handel and Bach. This early exposure permeated his soul with a love of music that would only manifest itself several years later.

As he got older, his musical tastes grew even more diverse, ranging from RnB mainstays like the Isley Brothers, to piano maven Tori Amos, to beat-maker extraordinaire Timbaland. His musical interests also grew, and after years singing in choirs, from his church choir in Nigeria to gospel choirs in the U.S., he taught himself to play the piano and later added the guitar to his repertoire. The songwriting came naturally, with his multinational background and diverse cultural influences luminescent in his music..."

Photo courtesy of Dozie's website

Monday, July 03, 2006

Kofi Ansah

Alfred Tamakloe writes"....Casting spells on his audience with his works is very characteristic of the Ghanaian designer, Kofi Ansah. His reputation as an avant-garde designer is well known not only to Ghanaians but also among fashion connoisseurs world wide. Kofi's designs have been sold through retail shops in Ghana, South Africa, United States, United Kingdom and
Germany including Sachs Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales..."

"... Ansah stems from a family of artists. His father, a traditional chief from Senya Breku in Ghana's Central Region, is a musician and photographer. The renowned Ghanaian film-maker and twice FESPACO film festival award winner, Kwao Ansah is his brother. His younger sister, Araba Ansah who accompanied him to the Copenhagen fair,is a make-up artist while another brother, Tommy Ansah, main actor in Kwao Ansah's award winning film 'Heritage Africa', is actor and script-writer.

Kofi is a graduate of the Chelsea School of Art, London with honours in fashion design and design technology. His industrial practice after graduation in 1977, took him through Guy Laroche's studio in Paris to that of Cecil Gee in London, thereafter, gaining membership of the British Couture Collection.
"After 20 years in Europe, I returned to Ghana in 1992 to contribute to the development of the Ghanaian clothing industry," he says.

"..In the past, those who dressed in traditional clothes in Ghana, were perceived as uneducated people. So when I returned to Ghana, I made it a point to change that wrong perception. Hence my use of local fabrics of varied shades of colours to create fantasy in my designs so it will meet the different colour needs and perceptions of people, young or old, educated or not", affirms the 47-year old fashion designer.

"Today, the story is different. Everybody, particularly the youth and people in executive positions are proud to wear clothes made from local fabric. This has brought healthy competition among Ghanaian designers and a boom to the textile industry, which I'm happy about."

His input as a consultant to Ghana Textile Printing Company, has transformed the fortunes the company. It has for the last five years, rolled out unusual wax prints onto the Ghanaian and West African markets. They include "Sika Print" and "Ahenfie" collections.

"Judging from the interest shown by fashion enthusiasts and the Danish media during this fair," Kofi says, "I look forward to staging a full fledged hair-raising solo fashion show in Denmark in the future which will linger on in the minds of the audience for years..."

Excerpts of this article taken from and photos from Kofi Ansah's website

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Binti A

Binti is top a Parisian model of Guinean and Lebanese parentage. She has worked with a lot of top photographers including Uwe Ommer,David Sarlak, Stephen Zezza
Photo courtesy of Binti Book

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Margareth Lahoussaye-Duvigny

Margareth Lahoussaye-Duvigny website says "...Whatever it is, Margareth does it 100 percent. She can adapt to any surrounding: the ice of the Andros Trophy, the desert of the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, or the fashion world. She is a hard worker with a big heart, going at full speed, and nothing is going to stop her.

There are models who pride themselves on collecting conquests of the male kind, and there are others who seek personal achievements. In your opinion, to which category does Margareth Lahoussaye-Duvigny belong?

When the magazine Gala decided to dedicate these pages to her, it was first and foremost to tell the story of her adventure in the Moroccan desert, a place she fell in love with and where she participated in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles seven times. "Having had to represent stereotypical, silent women, I really needed a change. What I like about this competition is that I find myself in he desert, alone and challenged to push my limits...."
Margareth is very passionate: she does everything with conviction. When she is not behind the wheel of her racing car, she lends her support to environmental campaigns and works with the best photographers.

Do you remember that beautiful Creole woman on the NEGRITA rum advertisement? or that sculpted H&M bikini-clad beauty plastered on the walls around the entire world in 2001?or the Lavazza campaign by David Lachapelle in chich she appeared dressed in labels?

It's true: this sculpted beauty from Martinique can wear anything she likes. However, she came to the big city to study psychology and become a social worker, a choice far from being a mere show, rotted in a painful childhood. " it was my turn to help children," she says modestly..."

Margareth owes her world fame to the incredibly funky George Michael who chose her to play a part in his video "Fast Love" and of course, to some of the best photographers in the business: Peter Lindbergh for Vogue Italy, Dominique Issermann for Stern and Bruno Bisang. They were the first ones to push her career. They believed in her and made her an icon in the fashion world.

There is also a woman who played a very important role in Margareth's career: Fabienne Martin, former director for the FAM agency. " She asked me to strut my stuff. For black girls, this was a hard business to break into, especially without proper backing. An agency should not only find us work, but also protect us from the pitfalls of the business. I was lucky to find a team that was dedicated to doing just that..."

Photos and excerpts courtesy of Margareth Lahoussaye-Duvigny website.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Clam Films

Clam films wesbite says that " ....Andy Amadi Okoroafor of was born in Bauchi, Northern Nigeria on February 8th 1966. He pursued his education and a successful creative career in Paris. He is returning to Nigeria to fulfill his lifelong ambition of making films about contemporary Africa for a world audience. He is an acclaimed Art Director in advertising, fashion and music videos based in Paris. His clients have included Xuly-Bët, Jean Paul Gaultier, Kookaï, Virgin, Galeries La Fayette, to name a few.

"....Clam Films is a creative film entity that is rooted in Africa and committed to promoting African creativity and including Africa into mainstream world creativity. Clam is located in Paris, New York, Lagos. We coloborate with people from johanessburg to jamaica. Clam represents the creative work of Andy Amadi Okoroafor and Andrew Dosunmu.Giulia Grassilli is the production consultant for clam films on Relentless...."

Photo courtesy ofClam films

Monday, June 12, 2006

Eva Sagna

Jurgita Fashion Magazine" says....Originally from Senegal ,Eva was born 24 years ago in Paris .She first started her artistic carreer as a dancer with the troup BALAI NIABA directed by her aunt Adele Badgi with who she represented herself in small theaters such as the DIVAN DU MONDE in Paris .

In 1995 she met Almen Gibirila and began her first catwalks shows.Then she 'll work for famous designers in Haute Couture such as Thierry Mugler,Jean Louis Scherrer,Jean Doucet ...Her talent brought her to London and New York where she worked for top photographers such as Ernest Collins,John Lewis or Alain Snaoui .

Eva is passionate by fashion but also by cinema .In 1999 she started a new carreer of actress thanks to the producer Pascal Lombardo who offered her the first role in a short film :Josphine

She also writes fo the luxury magazine CULT OF CHIC and MOVE ON magazine..."

Photos by Ernest Collins courtesy of Jurgita Fashion Magazine"

Friday, June 09, 2006

Bai Ling

Wendy Ide of The Times Newspaper writes that "...At 13 the actress Bai Ling joined the Chinese People's Liberation Army and spent three years entertaining the troops in Tibet. She was a star in her native China by the end of her teens.She claims that an involvement in the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 hastened her move to America by the age of 20..."

"..At 36 she's as well known for trashy celeb-reality shows and gynaecologically short skirts as for her roles in acclaimed art-house pictures..."

Some people think she is as mad as a "Bag of snakes" because of the way she dresses, but even at that she has already appeared in movies like "The Crow","Anna and the King", "Red Corner" and "Star Wars:Episode III. She will soon start the shooting of her current movie "Shanghai baby".

Photo courtesy of Bai Ling fan site

Friday, June 02, 2006

Indira Varma

The LES Magazine says"...Indira has spent the last decade working with directors such as Sam Mendes and Harold Pinter, starring in the BBC/HBO epic "Rome", and appearing in films from her first, erotic outing in "Kama Sutra" to, most recently, playing David Morrissey's wife in Michael Caton-Jones's B12..."

Indira is 32, herself marvellous looking, clearly talented, fresh from pounding the pavements in Los Angeles, and one of a generation of British actresses who are winning important screen work by virture of training, experience and charisma rather than a cunning stylist and ruthless red-carpet commitment.

Born in Bath to a Swiss mother and Indian father - both artists who met while studying at Central Saint Martins - Indira is an only child who 'was bad at maths and put on plays by creating a theatre inside my bunk bed'. When she made a decision to abandon her university plans and apply for RADA, she was greeted by nothing but encouragement from her parents, 'being artistic types themselves'. Her mother, however,was concerned enough about her only child's move to London to organise Indira's lodging at the Quaker International Centre just off Gower Street.' I wasn't paying full price for my lodging so I had to clean the brass, polish the piano and help with the washing up..."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Amanda Ghost

In an article in the Evening Standard, Emine Saner writes that "...The song, You're Beautiful became James Blunts breakthrough hit and has earned Ghost an estimated 2 million and growing..."

Amanda Ghost is one of the hottest song writers of her age today and has already caught the attention of Beyonce Knowles who she is currently writing a song for her.

Raised in Enfield, London and once a student of the London School of Fashion, she formerly worked on the door of a London nightclub.

"....Ghost now 30 has needed strength herself, Her father is Indian(though he came to Britain from Trinidad), her mother is Spanish, and in their daughter; the mix of cultures has produced not only an unusual beauty but, eventually, a strong sense of identity...."

Photo courtesy of Tunepix

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Karima Adebibe

This rugged and very sexy lady of Moroccan-Irish parentage has recently been selected for the role as the new Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider video-games series that was previously played by Angelina Jolie.

21 year old Karima from Bethnal Green in London who was up till her appointment a sales assistant for Top Shop also worked as a fashion model. She was born in the UK and spent her early years growing up in her family's ancestral home of Morocco.

Her first role in a major movie was when she played the minor role of a "Sacrificial Maiden" in the movie "Alien Vs Predator".

Photo courtesy of viejomoeb

Friday, May 05, 2006

Mimi Roche

This young American girl from Dallas is becoming more prominent in fashion modeling industry."..For someone with such a sweet Southern voice, Mimi is making quite a noise..". Her major debut show was in New York, where she has walked for Marc by Marc Jacobs and Rude Girl.

Discovered first by Jack Frost who took her first modeling photos, she was introduced to the Kim Dawson Agency.

Some excerpts quoted from Hintmag.
Photos by Marcio Madeira of

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Jeneil Williams

Yard Flex writes that "...SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD Jeneil Williams became Pulse's hottest new modelling sensation when she was named last week as world "Model of the Week" by, the bible of the international modelling industry.

This exotic teenager was introduced to the international model market in the middle of March, one week before the title was bestowed on her, by Pulse's CEO Kingsley Cooper. She has now given herself and her agency further reason to celebrate by landing and shooting the new Benetton campaign with top photographer David Simms.

Jeneil is following a now established Pulse tradition of its models landing major campaigns or editorials immediately on starting their international careers. Interestingly, the most famous of these, Nadine Willis, is signed to New York models, the same agency that has successfully booked Jeneil for Benetton.

The stunning Jeneil, who sites her flawless skin as her X factor, was discovered in Pulse's Caribbean Model Search 2005 and placed third in the competition. Steven Bermudez who books both Willis and now Williams at New York Models, won out on the now usual bidding war that precedes the international signing of top model talent from Pulse..."

Photo courtesy of Yard Flex

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Gucci Westman

In a Time Magazine article, Lisa McLaughlin writes "...Believe it or not, it was a makeunder—not a makeover—that put Gucci Westman on the imagemaking map and got her the lofty position of favorite makeup artist of celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Julianne Moore. As the makeup artist for Being John Malkovich, Westman turned the stunning Diaz into the homely Lotte.

Westman's route to the movie business started in Paris, where she worked as an au pair for the family of a beauty/fashion writer. The boxes of samples sent to the home, she says, "got me involved in playing around with makeup." After attending a makeup school in Paris, she ended up in Los Angeles doing special-effects makeup. Her first big break came when photographer Annie Leibovitz needed bikers covered in mud for a 1996 Vanity Fair cover.

"I did all this research and learned about mud in the Middle East, mud in the South and the different shades," Westman says. One thing led to another, and soon she was doing covers for Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. The 33-year-old achieved another lofty goal when she was appointed artistic director for Lancôme, where she will create new products and palettes. She attributes her success to her ability to make people look as if they authentically belong in a place or situation. A talent that comes in handy, no doubt, when she's touching up Diaz and Moore for the red carpet..."

Photo Courtesy of

Friday, April 07, 2006

Naomi Campbell

This lady Naomi Campbell, is one of the icons of the catwalk.

Aside from the tantrums she has in her personal life, she seems to have never changed ever since she first appeared in the International limelight 15 years ago. Her appearance in the Madonna's "Sex" book and Michael Jackson’s "Liberian Girl" video reminds us about the controversy surrounding this of lady of Afro-Jamaican and oriental heritage.

She is the last of the original famous super models with included the likes of Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer....

Photos by Marcio Madeira, Olivier Claisse and courtesy of

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Deola Sagoe

Deola Sagoe website says "... Deola Sagoe has given African Fashion in the 21st century the most radical expression imaginable from the deeply rooted African fabrics to all perfectly matched accessories. Deola Sagoe, the two-time international award winner of African designs truly celebrates Africa and Nigeria.

Her refreshing exploration of that which is genuinely African, evokes a subtle nostalgia for history by her favoured use of hand woven fabrics, accessories like cowries, crystals, beads and extensive us of gold. She is adjudged as the African fashion designer who is "best placed to interpret our cultural diversity and artistry, our earthiness and mystery, our colors warmth and passion of the African woman in her simplicity and elegance..."

Photo Courtesy of Deola Sagoe

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Stoned Cherrie

Cape Town Fashion Week says "...Nkhensani Manganyi Nkosi is one of the new voices of Africa. She has travelled throughout the world as a designer, a television personality and lauded actress in a series of theatre plays including “Sophia town, The Colored Museum and Marabi” receiving critical acclaim from international audiences. She boasts a mantelpiece of awards including the International Crystal Award for Entertainer of the Year 1998. In 2003, she demonstrated personal and professional staying power as second time judge for popular reality television show, Coca-Cola Pop-stars, and as second time winner of the Style Award (Best Designer Category 2003). She currently co-produces and co-hosts, with her husband Zam Nkosi, the SABC 1 talk show Mojo.

While traveling throughout Africa as the host and official spokesperson for M- net’s Face of Africa, 2000, she became more aware of African sophistication in aesthetics and wanted to create a brand that would represent African urban energy. In that same year Stoned Cherrie launched to rave reviews, during South African Fashion Week (SAFW).Stoned Cherrie's fashioned "home grown" identity moves away from stereotypical branding that has plagued South African fashion and for that it has been recognized by the South African fashion industry by being awarded the coveted Catherine/ Fairlady Fashion Award for 2003. This year, 2005, Stoned Cherrie was the recipient of a Catherine/Fairlady Lifetime Achievement Award.

Says Nkhensani of the Stoned Cherrie philosophy:

“I like the idea of boldly moving forward and daring to be different and daring to be proud to be African. There is a wealth of talent in this country and I am proud to host some of the finest young designers in the land. I am proud that we are able to translate what are old ideas into something new and provide the nostalgia that is part of our celebration. I am proud that we have been recognized by the industry as being at the forefront of redefining African street couture in a way that is exciting and revolutionary..."

Photos courtesy of Rage and Cape Town Fashion Week

Monday, April 03, 2006

Davina Mulimbi

Hintmag says "...Of African heritage, Belgian-born Davina Mulimbi is the belle of the Parisian runway. The Statuesque Scorpio has walked for John Galliano and Dior, and has appeared in American Elle, French Glamour, French Elle and French magazine..."

This model is just 21 years and is of Congolese and Belgian parentage and has a huge career ahead of her especially as the fashion modeling industry is looking for younger replacements for Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek etc.

Photos by Don Ashby, Marcio Madeira and courtesy of

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Yemisi Ajayi

Nigeria-Arts website says"...Yemisi Ajayi has won a reputation as an innovative textile designer working within the realm of traditional Yoruba cloth and motifs. She is also a teacher of batik, adire (starch resist), dye method and Yoruba patchwork quilting.

A native of Lagos, with family roots in the Ijebu region of Nigeria, Yemisi began her career as a textile artist in 1986 in Oshogbo, where she studied with several of Nigeria's recognized textile artists. Striking out on her own in 1990, Yemisi has had broad success in the areas of quilting, fashion design, textile design, and interior decorating. She maintains a small workshop and collaborates widely with Nigeria's many talented visual artists.

To Yemisi, art is life. She first trained at Oshogo Art School and then received her Diploma in Creative Arts at the Centre for Cultural Studies at the University of Lagos. She started exhibiting her work in 1990, and in 1991 staged an exhibition at the Lagos Museum, which brought her national and international recognition. In 1993, she opened her own studio and shop.

In late 1995, Yemisi and a group of her friends started the Rainbow Women's Arts Association (RAWA). Explaining the organization's mission, she says, "I believe women are burdened with heavy responsibilities which prevent them from expressing themselves. We want to provide the opportunity for them to express themselves through the arts, and also gain some economic independence, which will help preserve that opportunity of expression." The organization is committed to providing a platform for women's artistic and creative growth, and to preserving the traditional textile arts of Nigeria and adapting them so they remain relevant to modern times..."

Photo courtesy of Nigeria-Arts

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Anna Paula Mizzetti

This Brazilian model based in Paris and under the management of IMG models caught our attention as someone to feature in our blog. She has achieved the same status as her fellow compatriots like Giséle Bündchen and Adriana Lima.

We do not know a lot about her roots originating from Brazil or how she made it to where she is presently, however she does have some cool pictures in her porfolio

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Rafe Totengco

Rafe Totengco's website writes about".... In 1989, Rafe left a successful business he started in Manila to pursue his dream of a career in fashion design. He moved to New York, enrolled in FIT, and supported himself as a design assistant.

In 1994, he produced his first accessories ­ belts and watchbands ­ for a SoHo boutique: they sold out instantly. When the shop asked him if he had bags to go with the items, he enthusiastically said 'yes'...even if he didn't have a single
bag to show for it. One year later, the first collection of Rafe New York handbags debuted at Bergdorf Goodman.

Since then, Rafe has become one of the most acclaimed of a new generation of New York designers. He's been recognized in his field with numerous honors.
His company now includes a freestanding store in New York, three in-store shops in Japan, and distribution at department stores and boutiques throughout the U.S.
About his unusual name: Rafe is short for Ramon Felix..."

Photos Courtesy of and

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Gigi, Guenet Fresenbet Azimach

In an article by Indrias Getachew and previously mentioned in Timbuktu Chronicles, it says that "...Several years ago I walked into the outlet store of one of the major leather garment manufacturers located off Debre Zeit Road looking to buy a leather jacket. As I searched through the racks for the right design I noticed something rather peculiar. All the jackets were labeled ‘Made in Korea’. Not one of the jackets had a ‘Made in Ethiopia’ tag.

"Aren’t these jackets made here?" I asked the sales assistant. "Certainly," she replied. "Then why the ‘Made in Korea’ label?" I inquired. She laughed then answered, "who would want to buy something labeled ‘Made in Ethiopia’?"

Things have changed, somewhat, since that visit. I have seen the ‘Made in Ethiopia’ label on various types of garments, both leather and otherwise. That encounter, however, has stuck with me. I recall feeling both sad and annoyed that leather jackets produced in Ethiopia had to have a fake label designating them the product of some alien country in order to sell in the world market. What a travesty. And what a terrible testament regarding the global perception of Ethiopia.

Our ‘Speaking of People’ personality this week is Guenet Fresenbet, an Ethiopian woman on a mission to change this inferior image in the area of textiles and fashion. On the evening of Friday, April 30, 1999, the Lalibela Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Addis was the venue for the premiere collection of American trained and Ethiopia inspired fashion designer Guenet Fresenbet, or GIGI as she is popularly known. The models walked, strutted, turned, pouted, smiled and posed in the latest fashion sensations to come out of Addis Ababa.

The show featured ‘ecologically friendly’ spring and summer day wear. The playful and attractive, yet reassuringly simple designs were made from 100% traditional hand woven cotton fabrics (shemma), dipped in a variety of natural dying agents including tea, coffee, carrot and avocado. The outfits included thigh length loose fitting dresses in a variety of cuts and designs and hip-hugger bellbottoms with brassiere tops.

Some of the more refined pieces in the collection were made of traditional hand woven ‘tilet’, or jacquard fabric. The delicate material, traditionally used as the colorful trimming on white shemma dresses, was used to create a wide range of outfits including tank-tops and evening dresses. Describing her use of tilet material GIGI explained, "Ethiopian tilet is very common in different colors and patterns. In my collection I use a lot of solid Ethiopian tilet, or jacquard. I use the same colors with different patterns. Some of the styles [presented in the show] have solid colors and might look like some of the new fabrics that are coming out of Japan, but they are all 100% natural Ethiopian fabrics. All the woven fabrics were made by my shemanes (weavers)..."

Photos courtesy of

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Amanda Griffin

Showbiz Pinoy says"... The daughter of Tony Griffin, a British businessman, and Susana Ricardo, a stewardess from Cebu, Amanda spent her growing up years all over the world. She was raised in England, but completed her secondary education at the International School in Manila.It was during this time that she started modeling, albeit part time. For college, she opted to attend Bond University in Australia, where her family is based, finishing a degree in Business/Communication.

From there onwards, life was going full-steam ahead for this hardworking gal. Amanda went into modeling full-time, soon becoming a favorite for both magazine and ramp work. She even ventured into commercials and endorsements, which had billboards of her pretty face going up all over the metropolis.

Since she lived and breathed fashion, it semed but natural that when Amanda decided to go into business, she and friend Isabel Engwa would choose to distribute the high-end swimsuit brand Tabu and eventually open a swimwear boutique in Greenbelt.With her busy schedule as a model, she often finds herself attending to store-related matters until late in the evening. That's quite a lot to have on someone's plate at such a young age. On what it's like living her life, she says it's "really busy, just like everyone else. I can get really stressed out, but it's all good. I'm basically a happy person, so I try to rise above it all."

The last few months have seen Amanda add a couple more feathers in her career hat. She just joined Angel and Daphne as the newest host of the fashion magazine show, F, on ABS-CBN, covering the travel and food beat, two of the things she loves the most. "I get to travel around the Philippines, to places that I never thought I'd go. I love to discover." Being a certified food lovers, she finds that trying out different types of food makes her work more interesting; she counts Thai and Indian cuisine, plus Pinoy delicacies bibingka and suman among her favorites...."

Photos courtesy of Bembang Girls

Monday, March 27, 2006

Daria Werbowy

Polish-born Daria Werbowy has hit it big time in the Fashion modeling world after securing a lucrative contract with Lancôme worth $3 million.

Sarah Raper Larenaudie of Time Magazine says that "....a fashion model can quit waitressing when the magazine covers and runway gigs roll in, but modeling can never be a full-fledged career until the beauty companies call.

Associating a recognizable face with a product has been a winning formula for the beauty industry since Pond's signed society queens to plug Vanishing Cream in 1924, but finding the right girl is harder than one might think. "We are looking for women who communicate sincerity and true beauty" says Odile Roujol, deputy general manager of Lancôme International.

Werbowy, 22 was born in Warsaw. The family left Poland when Daria was 4 and moved to Mississauga, Ontario. She worked as an extra on TV and film projects in Toronto as a child, then dabbled in modelling while studying at a local arts high school. Her big brake came when Marc Jacobs sent her down his runway in 2003, and very quickly other designers, taken with her feline beauty and aqua eyes, hired her too..."

Photos by Marcio Madeira and Don Ashby and courtesy of

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Charo Ronquillo

The Manila Times writes "....Asked why she succeeded in the Ford Supermodel of the World Finals in New York in January, the 17-year-old stunner Charo Ronquillo could only say, “I was brave.” Courage was all she had during the search since every other candidate from the rest of the world was as pretty and svelte as she. She believed she could make it—and she did. Placing second runner-up overall, Charo Ronquillo now holds the highest honor ever attained by a Filipina—or by an Asian—in the Ford Supermodel of the World Search..."

This lady from Laguna, Philippines... was a favorite among the 39 models from different countries who competed and was referred to as the Asian morena version of the famous model, Kate Moss..."

"...Ronquillo is the first-ever Asian who won in the top three Ford Supermodel of the World title in the 25-year history of Ford Models Inc. (Group shot courtesy of Fashion Wire Daily/Grant Lamos IV) (Oliver Carnay)...."

Some excerpts quoted from

Photos Courtesy of

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Liz Lange

Ellen Tien writes"...Before Liz Lange pioneered the concept of chic maternity clothing half a dozen years ago, expectant mothers had a paucity of fashion choices. They could resemble either potato-fed Pilgrims or Mickey Rooney performing the title number in Sugar Babies. "In the old days, maternity lines were designed for the male stereotype of what a pregnant woman looked like," says Lange. "The clothes were clownishly huge."

Armed with three years' experience working for fashion designer Stephen DiGeronimo, Lange rented a room above a New York City restaurant and began peddling trimly cut $200 stretch-cotton shirts and $400 cashmere twin sets. Despite predictions that mothers-to-be would never spend so much for separates with a limited shelf life, orders poured in. "All the stores I approached said, 'No—there's no market for high-end maternity.' I couldn't stop thinking that if I could just show these clothes directly to my customer without a middleman, she would get it." The female intuition paid off. Today the $10 million business of Liz Lange includes three stores as well as licensed lines with Nike and Target. In the meantime, she has spawned a phalanx of imitators, with stores from Barneys New York to the Gap turning out their own maternity collections.

Her method of designing is based on the druthers system. "I'll take a jacket from my closet and think, I wish this had a looser fit or different pockets," she says. "My design inspiration comes from my own closet, my own thighs, my own life. It's business, but it's personal..."

Photo by Richard Drew Courtesy of Time Magazine

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Gemma Ward

Michelle Oreckln says "...Slight, Soft-Spoken and only 17, Gemma Ward has nevertheless demonstrated enough muscle to pull off what no other model has managed to acheive in the past 10 years: replacing Kate Moss as the face, and naked body, of the Calvin Klein Fragrance Obsession...."

Valerie Lawson says "...Two years ago Gemma Ward dressed each day in a navy skirt with either a polo top or blue and white checked shirt, her secondary college uniform. Today, she wears chiffon, lace, tulle, silk, fur, diamonds, leather, velvet, crocodile skin and satin.

In New York, Paris and Milan, she sways down the runway in that weird pony walk of today's models as she parades the clothes of Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Versace, Balenciaga, Gucci and Marc Jacobs.

In double-page ads for Prada and Yves St Laurent, she gazes from the glossy pages of Vogue, Tatler and Harpers Bazaar, her mouth impossibly red and bee stung, her wide-set green eyes resembling a china doll's.

In two years, the suburban Australian schoolgirl has become one of the world's top models. British fashion photographer Nick Knight, who took the picture of her on today's A2 cover, says: "Gemma is one of the very, very few models who look as though they come from another dimension."

Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Kirstie Clements thinks that "Gemma's in a different stratosphere. She's got that extra thing, that inexplicable thing...."

Some excerpts quoted from Time Magazine

Photo Courtesy of Photo by Don Ashby and courtesy of