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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.

Luminance shot by Sivan Miller

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

MBFWAfrica day 1: My picks from the ramp

Yesterday the 29th of October marked the beginning of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa brought to you by AFI. the show started with New York based Cameroonian designer Kibonen whose collection was embodied in so much bright colours, patterns and print.

My favourite look from her collection:

Kibonen NY Photo credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Kibonen NY
Photo credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Kibonen NY Photo credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Kibonen NY
Photo credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Up next was Intisaar Mukadan form Zimbabwe whose collection was edgy, daring, colourful and in my opinion completely fun. knits were used differently and I could actually see myself in some of those outfits.

My picks from Intisaar M:

Intisaar M Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Intisaar M
Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Intisaar M Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Intisaar M
Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Millie Collines show infused street and formal wear with crazy beautiful sweaters with cool writings and a dope collaboration with Simon and Mary. I need to get myself one of the hats. I loved the accessories of the Millie Collines show, the accessories were different, big, in your face and absolutely amazing.

My picks from Millie Collines:

Mille Collines Photo credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Mille Collines
Photo credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Mille Collines Photo credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Mille Collines
Photo credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

One brand that stayed consistent for me was Taibo Bacar, From the first outfit to the last outfit I loved everything . The inspiration behind the collection is the present situation in Mozambique. The soundtrack was “A Luta Continua”which had some of us dancing in our seats. The Taibo Bacar show was a show stopper own in its own and of course he had to get a stand ovation from the audience as we all loved the collection and were drew in by the garments.  With 50 models walking for this collection , it was nothing but the best.

My picks from Taibo Bacar

 

Taibo Bacar Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Taibo Bacar
Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Taibo Bacar Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Taibo Bacar
Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Taibo Bacar Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Taibo Bacar
Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Taibo Bacar Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Taibo Bacar
Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

I would also like to applaud the model who broke the heel of her shoe while on the runway and she still continued as if nothing happened. What I love the most about this is she still looked like she was wearing both shoes. This is what I really call being professional and I must say she absolutely killed that walk.

All in all MBFWAfrica day one was absolutely great.

I WILL LEAVE THIS HERE:

“When bad shoes happen to good models” 

 

 

 

 

“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