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Closer To The Ultimate Dream: Julia Otobo Pursuing Her Modeling Dream In New York

Dax Martin

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It is always great to see my favourite creatives progress in their careers and one such creative is Julia Ese Otobo. Julia is a 23 year old Nigerian born Half Delta and Half Igbo model who has taken New York by storm after being signed by MSA Models.She is in love with Afros and black hair, something that is evident in her blog www.nappyese.com. The decision to keep her hair natural came about because of a guy that she was in love with, she started keeping her hair natural because of him and eventually fell in love with her natural hair, her brave stance back then was admirable as the modelling industry had not yet fully accepted natural hair. Besides modelling, blogging and vlogging, Julia is taking a course in Digital & Affiliate Marketing to up her game.

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Julia decided to start modelling after she listened to her favourite fashion model Doyin Haastrup Olatokunbo talk about the Pearl Look Model Nigeria modelling competition that she was producing and Julia knew that was the time for her life to change. After having to drop out of University because of lack of funds, Julia enrolled in the Pearl Look Model Nigeria competition and knew that she needed to win in order to make her other dream- being a Victoria Secret Model come true. Being a part of the boot camp was very difficult but she was determined to win and win she did! As the winner of Pearl Look Model Nigeria she won an all-expenses paid trip and a contract to South Africa to work with Ice Model Management in South Africa.

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I believe that Julia is one of the best models that Africa has to offer, she knows how to own the runway and her fashion editorials are always pleasing to the eye and I remember when I first saw her on the runway at Mercedes-Benz fashion Week Joburg, I was really captivated by her. I have been following her career ever since. In one of our talks she explains that although modelling takes a lot of hard work, patience and persistence, she is grateful for each and every opportunity that she has ever gotten  as she’s had the opportunity to work with amazing brands and fashion designers.

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She recalls one of her favourite shoots to date was when she worked with her twin sister Janet Otobo for Luminance Magazine in South Africa while also having graced the cover twice. Julia is currently living it up in ‘The Big Apple’ and has booked multiple shows for a number of designers like Chromat and Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week. The model’s ultimate goal is to walk for Victoria Secret in a glorious Afro (like Maria Borges recently did) in order to show the world that Black hair is beautiful. I can surely imagine that, can you?

Photo Credits

SDR Photo

Tim Hulme Photography

Steven Love Menendez

Luminance: Sivan Miller

Article originally published on Moon-Look Mag

Earthy Tones For Hauz Of Lenze’s SS15/16 Lookbook

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” A NEW MAN” by Hauz Of Lenze is for the man who is confident, strong, not afraid to take risks and break fashion rules. The man who is new and has evolved and is likely to set fashion trends.

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Models: Francis Mubanga and Alan John

Designer: Brian Ndienze

Photographer: Philly Mohlala

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I love the selection of the colours, the earthy tones that most designers usually neglect in their collections and I love that Hauz Of Lenze always offers something unique and says that it is okay for men to wear lace and be a bit risque.

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Afrikan Princess X AmartePhoto X CnrMain Fashions

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I loved the CnrMain Fashions Shoot because I had to put on “iduku” popularly known as a head wrap and the white dress really brought out the royal in me. I also felt like my boobs where a “Double D” ( don’t ask me why)

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Model: Vuyiso Tshabalala

Photographer: AmartePhoto

Make-up Artist: Mapule Maile

Designer: CnrMain Fashions

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CnrMain is a fashion house that creates unique garments for different occasions from their studios in Tembisa. They provide convenience and sophistication in one bag with garments selected  with a keen eye for fashion.

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Africa Reign: Gilmore Tee

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Gilmore Tee is a 25 year old Global citizen who has a strong passion about human development and promoting social sustainability. Known to many as a Social Entrepreneur, the young Zimbabwean is the Founder of Hunnar Management Agency, a Coordination, PR and Branding company which has worked with Edgars Stores Limited, Coca Cola, The Bulawayo City Council, British Council and Intwasa Arts Festival, amongst many. He is a Development Student at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He is also an Award winning Style Icon, Radio Personality and model.

Africa reign means taking the lead as Africans, molding the future to what we want it to look like for us. It is about creating a sustainable environment that we can pride ourselves in.

On building the ‘African Dream’, Gilmore says that we need to realize that Africa needs us as its descendants to be interdependent individuals. We need to take control of our current situation and build the future with full knowledge of where we are coming from. It is important to get a clear understanding of who you are as a person, and then find your own definition of what has been put out already for you to know. Collaborations are the best approach in achieving a more developed and independent Africa. Thanks to technology young Africans have started meeting up and travelling in order to work together.

I think there are a lot of individuals that have set good examples for the youths, but because most of them are selfish, they do not share their experiences with young Africans.

Gilmore believes that Africans need to start reading their own version of events and relate to them and we need to start writing our own history and books so as to allow the contemporary young person to draw inspiration from a source we can relate to. Gilmore Tee is set to host The Gilmore Tee Vibe every Friday from 2pm – 6pm & On Monday with Gilmore Tee every Monday from 8pm – 9pm on Zimbabwe’s Commercial Radio Station, Skyz Metro 100.3 FM starting this September.

Check out more on him on www.gilmoretee.com

Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2015 Ad Campaign

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Africa Fashion Week Nigeria has announced the warm and delectable Miss Abiola Okoya as their Global Goodwill Ambassador for Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2015. Abiola Okoya is very excited about this opportunity and she has went on to say that she believes that creativity is not lacking in the African community. What’s needed is the platform to showcase and the funding for the African creatives to nature their talents.

The Ad campaign that gives you a glimpse of what Africa Fashion Week Nigeria is going to look like was shot at Inagbe grand resorts in Lagos featuring  designs from some of Africa’s greatest fashion designers like Abebayo Jones. The amazing fabrics were from DaViva.

Take a look at the beautiful photos below:

Photos by: Africa Fashion Week Nigeria

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Press Release: The launch of Ghana’s Next Super Model

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After eight successful editions of Nigeria’s Next Super Model, the search for Africa’s new talents in the modelling industry is coming to Ghana.

Sparkzuta International Models in conjunction with Studio 24 and International Business Consortium (Nigeria) limited presents the much awaited Ghana’s Next Super Model official media launch. The launch is scheduled to take place at the Silver Lounge, Accra Mall on Wednesday, 18th February, 2015 by 4pm prompt.

Eight beautiful and talented models have walked away with eight different cars and worked in major fashion shows and campaigns around the world through Nigeria’s Next Super Model and NNSM is currently on ninth edition.

All aspiring models between the ages of 15-21 across Ghana are invited to participate in this event which will nurture and promote new faces for the Ghanaian beauty and modelling world.

The aim is to make the dreams of young girls in Ghana a reality by giving them the orientation and encouragement needed to make them good ambassadors.

Carl Jaro: From Haiti to France to the rest of the world

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Carl Jaro is a France-based  model, of Haitian origin born in Port-au-Prince (Haiti) who moved to France when he was only seven years old. He is not only just a model but he is also an actor. Carl Jaro is distinguished by the distanced way he looks at the symbolic role of fashion in the construction of aesthetic references. It flourishes in this world, but shall preserve its integrity and modesty values, while contributing to its modest scale, to enhance the image of non-Caucasian models who are a small minority

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 What led you into modelling? and how has modelling changed your life?

It came naturally, I was scouted in Paris by my French agency. From one job to another, I started to get really excited about it. I have traveled to over 37 countries and I was recently in South Africa for some work.

Do you think it is necessary to still distinguish models according to colour?

Well, as far as I am concerned, I would say no! But, the fashion business, is doing it everyday. 

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 What do u love mostly about being a model? Have you always wanted to be a model?

It’s amazing meeting all the extraordinary people and wearing all of the beautiful clothes. It’s like a teenage dream coming true.  I still don’t realize that I’m really doing this. It’s magic!  I also love acting, I have starred in a couple of films.

 What does it mean to you when you get recognition from your fans or big brands?

Well, it’s always good when you get recognition and love from people and it’s always feels like I am dreaming. I hardly believe it.

Since Acting is also your love, What would be your ultimate role?

Well, my dream is to meet Shemar Moore, and play a drama character with him (Smiles)

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What is your ideal woman?

Smart, gentle and she also need to know how to take good care of me (Smiles)

and most of all, Are you single?

Well, no, I am in a committed relationship  at the moment. And I am enjoying it!

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Well sorry ladies he is not available. At least I tried to get the information for you. Nevertheless he is an exceptional model who is humble . I cannot wait to see what campaigns he is going to be involved in next.

 

“Age won’t stop me from dreaming big”: Sights set on New York

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Casey Devereux is a 12 year old from Eldorado Park who has so much love for modelling that she started entering beauty pageants when she was young. Entering Eldo’s Top Model afforded Casey a chance to cross parts with Figures Modelling Agency, an agency that has awarded her and 9 other girls internships  and a chance to win an all paid expenses trip to New York in July 2014 for only one girl. Casey is am a very outspoken girl who is well rounded in my academics, sports and spiritual life. She is very vibrant, outgoing and likes to have fun and trying out new things.

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Growing up with an uncle who loved watching Fashion TV fueled her love for modelling and her grandma’s clothes were at her mercy as she played dress up and made the living room her runway. Drawing inspiration from Kemora Lee Simmons has made Casey to not box herself and she admires Kemora because she is a well- rounded lady who has a balanced life, of which nothing brings her down. She loves the fact that Kemora can handle being a  mother, model, designer, and entrepreneur. Casey aspires to not only be a model, but be a  lawyer, forensic detective and a fashion designer. She is going to have a label with her   young brother Caleb.

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Figures Modelling Agency has been in business for 36 years and has 15 branches.  They teach girls how to present themselves well and the young girls are taught how to stand, sit and taught self confidence and self-esteem. They have pageants every 2 months to put into practice what these youngsters learn. Being part of this Agency has  groomed Casey to be a  better model.

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Interesting Facts about Casey

  • She is a huge fan of Bruno Mars, however her mother believes she is more of a stalker than a fan
  • When asked what she would say to Bruno Mars when she meets him, she burst saying ‘I love you I love you, please follow me on twitter’.
  • She tells me that she would love to marry Jaden Smith because he is adventurous and she definitely sees herself in After Earth 2  .
  • Her mother says Casey plays out scenes of After Earth the movie among other movies and everyday she is in a different country

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Photographer: Harness Hamese