We know how hard it is to make it as a black model in fashion, but recently, there’s been an increasing number of wins for models of color.
For Mayowa Nicholas, her roller coaster took off after winning Elite Model Look Nigeria in 2014. Since then, she has gone from being just a model with a dream, to one who is breaking records – and she’s only 18.
Standing tall at 5’ 11”, she’s known as one of the most wanted faces right now.
After making the Vogue ‘models to watch’ shortlist, featuring in Miu Miu’s eyewear campaign, walking 43 shows between New York, London, Milan and Paris for S/S 17, and recently fronting a campaign for Calvin Klein, we know she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Her career pivoted two years ago, and since then she has walked for Chanel, Margiela, Céline, Hermès, Prada, Lisa Folawiyo, Elie Saab, Loewe, Balmain, and Christian Dior, while also nailing campaigns with Saint Laurent and Dolce & Gabbana.
Interestingly, during an interview with Encomium in 2014, she said “I never wanted to be a model” but we guess after deciding to try out for Elite Model Look, winning the Nigerian competition, and making it to the top 10 finalist in the world finals, her story changed.
While counting her blessings, she shared this on Instagram in October 2016:
“43 shows 4 cities 1 fashion month , this is surreal. I am so grateful to everyone that made this happen , to all my agents worldwide, casting directors, and friends that keeps pushing and supporting me.”
In a models.com feature of her as a Top Breakout model, they wrote:
“Mayowa has come a long way… Her steely gaze and fierce walk earned her buzz at top shows…
Turns at Miu Miu, Dior, Dries Van Noten, Prada and a Loewe closing spot sealed the deal as a girl to watch.”
Megan McCluskie and Alice Hart of Harpers Bazaar wrote in an article:
“Mayowa Nicholas made an unforgettable mark at the autumn/winter 2016 shows, with her poise, pillowy lips and perfect runway physique charming casting directors, designers and fashion denizens alike.”
The same article in Bazaar referenced a comment by Josie Crawley at Elite London that stated:
“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.”
Responding to a question on how difficult it is for black girls to book major shows, she told Elle:
“As a model of colour, you have to work harder than the other models but I don’t even think about it.
Last season I was a fresh face and it was still quite an impressive season for me. The key is not thinking about it too much. A lot of things have changed.”
Just like Vogue Italia’s blurb stated,
“She’s from Nigeria, but nowadays she’s about to conquer the (fashion) world.”
And we strongly agree.
Follow this rising star on Instagram.