The future a wise woman who goes by the name Eleanor Roosevelt once said belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. (No one should come at us for plagiarism).
In an industry like ours which is growing by the day, the power of a model cannot be overemphasised especially when it comes to the needs of the client.
Models are the faces of the fashion industry and without them, no fashion brand or fashion photographer can thrive, however, it’s the choice of the client that determines who becomes a favourite on the runway, the hunk in that popular commercial or the supermodel on a billboard/editorial.
2016 as we’ve reiterated on this platform a number of times was a huge eye-opener for the fashion industry with regards to creativity and the business side of fashion.
In a little research survey we conducted amongst selected fashion powerhouses, PR agencies and photographers, we created this list based largely on the number of bookings models landed in the year 2016.
This includes runway shows, fashion editorials, campaigns, beauty shoots for cosmetic brands and the other things models are needed for with the exception of stripping and sex; a topic we’ll be discussing soon.
The secretive nature of model and client bookings did not allow us to know exactly how much they earned for each work and going forward we hope to see more transparency in the aspect as well.
In a country where every pretty-faced girl and six-packed dude wants to be a model, here are the 10 men and women who stood out of the crowd of noisemakers and made a name for themselves in 2016.
Congrats guys!!! We hope to see you on the list next year.
Agency: Self-Mangement/ Freelance
Ghana-based model, Julee Djoulde Bocoum is an award-winning runway and editorial model who continues to chalk strides in the fashion industry. She’s graduating steadily into the leagues of supermodels we have across Africa. She was spotted in campaigns and lookbooks for Charlotte Prive, Odara, Superbalist, Hazza, TotallyEthnik and Osei-Duro. She also landed commercial gigs with the Garden & Flower Show, Wigs By Jade, TV Advert for Fortune Rice, Aha Intimates etc. She also walked for Vlisco, Stevie French, Glitz Fashion Week 16 and other fashion events.
2. Karen Abib
Ghanaian runway/fashion model, Karen Abib has continuously won her way into the hearts of designers, photographer and fashion event organisers as well. The model has a skin so flawless even the peacock will be jealous of her beauty. Aside from her skin, she gives us natural hair inspiration for days and has a perfect model height which allows her to strut the runway like a Queen.Her elegant and regal poses can be seen in lookbooks for Djoulde, Superbalist, Annesi Bespoke & Hazza. She was also seen on every runway show in the country; from the Glitz Fashion week to Vlisco @ 170, Adidas launch and Ghana Fashion week.
3. Maxwell Annor
Agency: 20 Management (South Africa)
A year ago when we pitched Maxwell as one of the 20 young & upcoming Ghanaian Models to watch, several people in the fashion industry came at us with a barrage of attacks and unfounded argument of bias. A year on, he’s vindicated our stance with all the successes he’s chalked as the most successful Ghanaian male model on the continent as at now. We spotted his iconic facial features and figure on several fashion shows in South Africa. He’s already modelled for Genevive Lyons, Tokyo James, House of Paon and others. He was also featured in editorials on Fuuucking Young and Fashion Glossary UK Magazine
4. Gina Akala
When it comes to photo and editorial modelling in Ghana, the gorgeous gazelle-like creature who is known as Gina Akala is the girl to beat. She holds the title as the ASFAS Africa model of the year and Glitz style awards nominee. Her works run from commercials, editorials and lookbooks for homegrown brands like Aya Morrison, Lema Press, Airtel, GTP…etc
5. Victoria Micheals
Management: Gold card Resources LLC
Nigerian-born Ghanaian model, Victoria Micheals sits comfortably on her throne as a top model in Ghana. She’s bagged several deals with multi-million companies as a brand ambassador and lead commercial model. They include Melcom, Woodin, Bel-Aqua and Africa Fashion Week London. She’s also the 2016 winner of the Glitz Model of the year and was on their Christmas 2016 cover. Micheals was also the lead model for Christie Brown‘s Coupe de Class Winter 15 collection.
Laurie is like fine wine…She keeps getting better with age and the year under review was a pretty spectacular one for her. She was in almost every other campaign and fashion editorial both online and in traditional media. She fronted campaigns for Woodin, Kiki Clothing, Annesi Bespoke and Moda Bertha. Frempong is currently working on her project 59 days of Ghanaian fashion, to throw light on exciting designers from Ghana.
Chantell Dappah cemented her name as a model to watch in 2015 after her Printex “Lupita Nyong’o” campaign and 2016 saw her grow from strength to strength. Her distinctive features and hard work brought her to the limelight even more with sterling works for Luxoca, Totally Ethnik, Kiki Clothing and Amanda Laid Rose
8. Ekow Barnes
Management: Novel Models Elite
Meet Richmond Ekow Barnes, a twenty-something-year-old, Model and PR who has had an incredible year in the area of fashion modelling. The “Notorious” Ekow who doesn’t mince his words when attacking the ills in the modelling industry has given rise to the “skinny guy” as model material and spearheaded diversity in the industry. If you google his name, you’ll find his works for Okay Africa, Teen Vogue, Elle SA, Vanity Teen, Vogue.com, Superbalist, Vogue Italia Talents, Made Magazine and AfroPunk. Despite such an impressive resume, the sky is still the limit for Ekow Barnes. Welcome to the big leagues!
9. Prince Tona
Management: 20 Model Management
Like the Prince he is, this young Ghanaian model ruled 2016 and is already in a comfortable lead in 2017. His graceful and ethnic looks landed him gigs with Azar Paint, Superbalist, Hazza and more. This young bloke exudes perfection in all the right places and his signing onto 20 Models in Cape Town, South Africa makes it juicier.
Management: Tijodou Model Management
Maxwell Osei Bonsu also known as Joey is relatively new to the modelling industry yet the young lad has quite a number of works to his credit. Joey has walked for Orange Culture, Tokyo James, JReason at the Glitz, Lagos, Swahili and Men’s Fashion weeks respectively. When these brands are knocking your doors, it definitely means one thing. You’re sizzling hot!!