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Maria Borges – Model Of The Week

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Maria Borges

Angolan model, Maria Borges, was born and raised in the country’s capital of Luanda during a civil war. At only 11-years-old, Maria lost her mother. Her then 16-year-old older sister took over the role as Maria’s caregiver, leaving the two girls to depend on one other during years of violent warfare and conflict.

Maria initially entertained the idea of modelling simply as a means to earn extra spending money and save for University. She participated in the Elite Model Look Angola competition in 2010 and placed in the top ten. Though she didn’t win, she scored the attention of a local model scout who quickly placed her in an overseas agency. After her first few modelling opportunities, Maria’s sights fixed on New York and the no-longer-unrealistic plan of following in the footsteps her idol, Naomi Campbell.

The top model hit the streets of New York City sprinting. She booked 17 shows in her first New York Fashion Week season, dispelling any doubts industry professionals harboured about the newcomer. In her second season, she became a Givenchy exclusive.

Perhaps most notably, Maria became the first-ever model to walk the runway of Victoria’s Secret annual show with her natural hair. Under the encouragement of British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Edward Enninful, and Riccardo Tisci, Maria decided to sport her short, natural afro in her third year walking the show. The following year, two models followed suit on the VS runway. Maria’s unabashed move to embrace her natural beauty is only one feat in her overall goal to inspire women ­ namely those struggling to find themselves represented.

Maria has appeared in beauty campaigns for Givenchy, Bobbi Brown, L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline, Tommy Hilfiger, C&A and H&M. In 2016, Maria became a global ambassador for L’Oréal, signing a multi-year deal spanning across hair, makeup and skincare products.
To date, she has walked the runways of Givenchy, Tom Ford, Balmain, Dior, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, Elie Saab, Marchesa, Yeezy and Victoria’s Secret to name only a handful.

Maria Borges

Maria Borges

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Designers & Models

British-Ghanaian Model Adwoa Aboah Gets Her Own Barbie Doll In Honor of International Women’s Day.

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The activist and OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree just got her own Barbie and it's cute.


As you may already know, the month of March is International Women's Month and to celebrate, Barbie has unveiled its latest line of "Shero" dolls modeled after 20 inspirational women across multiple industries in conjunction with their 60th anniversary.

One of the women whose image has been made into a doll is Adwoa Aboah, the British-Ghanaian model, activist and one of OkayAfrica's 100 women 2019, who uses her online platform Gurls Talk, founded in 2015 to provide a safe space for young women to discuss a number of topics, that are often considered taboo.

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"I started Gurls Talk off the back of my own experiences and struggles as a girl, and then a woman," she tells OkayAfrica about the platform. "It became apparent to me that I'd lacked the confidence to share and speak out about the issues affecting me, and so I wanted to build a community within which all of those issues society deems taboo—such as sexuality, mental health and female physical health—were discussed openly.

Aboah's doll comes in two outfits, one in a leopard skirt paired with a Gurls Talk t-shirt, as seen above, and another—our fav—in a colorful sequined number and head-wrap, which Aboah chose to replicate she wore when she won the British Fashion Council's 'Model of the Year' award in 2017.

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"I believe by working together we can encourage girls to find their authentic voices and that we can have an impact on the world for the next generation of girls," she tells Vogue. "Through my work with Gurls Talk and partnership with Barbie, I hope we can inspire girls to try to change the world around them, through acts big or small."

Other "Shero" dolls include one of Yara Shahidi, Naomi Osaka and Frida Khalo. Barbie released its first hijab-wearing doll back in 2017, in honor of the Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Aboah is recognized, along with several other groundbreaking African women who are positively impacting youth culutre on the continet, on OkayAfrica's annual 100 Women list. Learn more about the women who made this year's list here.

Source: OkayAfrica.com

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Designers & Models

Abrima Erwiah (Designer Of The Week)

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At the forefront of ethical fashion is Abrima, a former Bottega Veneta executive who started Studio 189 with her best friend, Rosario Dawson, after a trip with V-Day throughout the continent. The pair produce all their apparel in Ghana made from recycled glass jewelry, batik cotton and indigo-dyed separates.


With 15 years of vast experience in the fashion industry, designer Abrima Erwiah has set up her global fashion knowledge to contribute and give meaning to Africa’s sustainable fashion industry. Having worked as a worldwide marketing and communication director for Bottega Veneta, Abrima’s career took a new path in 2011 when she launched the Fashion rising collection to create awareness on violence against women. A journey that gave birth to a new mission led to the establishment of Studio One Eighty Nine in 213.


She collaborated with actress Rosario Dawson, creating economic opportunities for artisans with the human hand playing a central role, offering empowerment and educational opportunities in Ghana. Abrima has partnered with prominent global fashion players to activate her social brand, varying from retail partners such as Opening ceremony to collaborations with Ethical fashion initiative.


The social designer is working to push new opportunities for young talent and create jobs in order to have an impact on people’s lives. In 2015, she was amongst the many amazing talents that took part in the Vogue experience in Dubai.

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Designers & Models

Mayowa Nicholas (Model Of The Week)

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Born in May 22, 1998, Mayowa is a Nigerian fashion model. She is the first Nigerian model to star in a Dolce & Gabbana, Saint Laurent, and Calvin Klein campaigns.

She was supposed to make her debut in the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, but days before the show, her visa to travel to China was rejected, along with several Russian and Ukrainian models, which prevented her from walking the show. She officially made her debut in the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

In her first runway season, 2015, she appeared in shows for Balmain, Calvin Klein, Kenzo, Hermès, and Acne Studios among others. More recently, she has worked with high-profile designers like Prada, Miu Miu, Versace, Chanel, Michael Kors, and Oscar de la Renta. She has also starred in a Dolce & Gabbana campaign.

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Designers & Models

Chanel Fashion Designer, Karl Lagerfeld, Dead At 85.

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On Tuesday 19th of February, Chanel confirmed the news that the Hamburg-born visionary had died aged 85 after battling pancreatic cancer.

He’d been the creative director of Chanel since 1983. He was also creative director of the Italian fur and leather goods fashion house Fendi.

He was recognized for his signature white hair, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves, and high, starched detachable collars.

Many celebrities took to their social media pages to express their grievances and also to bid him farewell.

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