Capture this: “It’s been a long time coming for Nigerian model wonder, Mayowa Nicholas. From humble beginnings winning the Elite Model Look in her home town to back-to-back campaigns for Miu Miu, her career has certainly skyrocketed. Brands like YSL, Dolce & Gabbana, and Benetton have called upon her edgy looks to front their ads, and editorials shot by the likes of Emma Summerton, Camilla Akrans and Daniel Jackson have brought her to top books. Add her dominant show season and there’s no confusion as to why she’s the talk of the town!”
That’s the blurb on the highly-respected industry influencer website models.com, which homes and ranks the who-is-who faces that shape the global fashion world. As we went to press, the 18-year-old, who came onto the fashion scene in 2014, had just been confirmed as one of the angels for the hugely exalted Victoria’s Secret show in Shanghai, China, in November.
Indeed for someone still relatively new in a cutthroat industry notorious for its lack of diversity, Mayowa’s magnetic pull to global fashion brands is mesmerising. Throughout this year’s fashion seasons, you have to count on one hand how many major brands have not booked her, even prompting Josie Crawley of Elite London to say in an interview with Harpers Bazar:
“Mayowa is one of the most incredible breakout models this season… Not only does she have an incredible walk, but an attitude to match; she is one of the most passionate, fun and loveable models in the industry. Brand and industry heroes alike have all seen what an incredible spark this girls has, so we can expect big things from this little star.”
Elizabeth Elohor, CEO of Mayowa’s mother agency, Nigeria’s Beth Models, who discovered her, is understandbly over the moon, more so with so much promise on the way for her prodigy.
“When I heard the news of Mayowa being confirmed for Victoria’s Secret, it was one of my proudest moments,” she tells N AW, offering words of encouragement to all aspiring African models out there:
“Be humble, be patient, if it’s meant for you it will come to you, and work hard. Rome wasn’t built in a day, everything is in stages.”
But what else do we love about our star of the moment? Her patriotism! Check out how the jollof (Nigerian of course) and chicken loving Mayowa marvelously sells Naija to Harpers Bazaar readers: “Lagos is one of the best cities in Nigeria – there are lots of recreational activities to do; for instance, the zoo, the historical museums and the beach. The Badagry Slave Museum is one of the most inspiring places to visit in Lagos, because this is where the slaves were kept back in the days of the slave trade.”
At only 18, this is a name to note and we will be hearing of for many years to come. And as such , we celebrate with and congratulate,Elizabeth for discovering this amazing African pride whom we are joyful to declare our New African Woman Model of The Year! Mayowa! We are in awe and spellbound by your awesomeness. Keep rising!
Here is a snippet of Mayowa’s admirable roll call onto global fashion houses: