We all know that it is going to take Nigeria quite a while to measure up to fully developed countries in some certain aspects – economy, tech, agriculture. But concerning the style and modeling industry, this has rarely been the case. The modeling industry has often always put Nigeria on the world stage in the past, largely due to the proliferation of pageants and the high demand for melanin models on the world stage. Agbani Darego. Oluchi Onweagba (Orlandis), Uri Jones. Isio Wanogho. Warren Martha. Dolapo Olorunisola. These are just a few of the names that made waves in the early 2000’s. With the exception of Mayowa Nicholas, a product of the Elite Model Look in 2014, very few Nigerian models can be referred to as Supermodels, if any.
How much times have changed cannot be overemphasised, a lot seems to have changed in the Nigerian fashion industry and we are not exactly sure we like it or why these changes happened. Modeling has become a huge deal, with many young people venturing into modeling, striving to gain fame and make it to the top. Back then, models did not get as much prominence and recognition as they do now, those who went into it had to be really determined, exceptional and hard working because that was the only way to succeed and achieve their dreams of professional modelling.
Due to this shift and how many young people aspiring to be models these days, so many things have changed. The standards are no longer as high and a lot it’s now more difficult to make it to the top. Apart from the few contests and major modelling shows where they give special recognition to some models or shows that are aimed at promoting models, models just walk runways unnoticed and underappreciated. Unlike in the developed countries where selecting models is a very strict selection process, in Nigeria the selection more often than not, is biased.
Jide Adeniji, the CEO of J.Reason style brand about the state of modelling in Nigeria at the moment:
“A lot of models these days lack the confidence to bring themselves out, though there are a lot of designers at the moment. Back in the days. there were fewer agencies unlike now when there are agencies in every corner of Lagos. Nigeria these days is about people you know and how you can get there, unlike in those days where you are rewarded for your hard work and talent. These days it is about who knows who, instead of looking for the model who can genuinely model your brand. Nigeria however really is packed full with amazing models of international standard.”
Image Source: Bella Naija