Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

Nairobi, Kenya

Saint International Jamaica Limited Make a Come Back To Africa Plan to Find Model Stars

Recognizing their pure and authentic beauty, African queens have readjusted their crowns and reclaimed their rightful place on the runway, with the help of one of the leading local style and talent agencies. Saint International has successfully expanded its reach to Africa and now represents a fast-growing list of next-generation fashion stars from the continent.

Within just two years, Saint has signed talent from the motherland and has already garnered enviable advertising and impressive runway work for such elite luxury labels as Balmain, Balenciaga, Celine, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu.

“There is no model agency in Jamaica or anywhere in the Caribbean that has done what we did; taking models from continental Africa, specifically Nigeria and Cameroon, and directly booking them for the most prestigious fashion jobs in the world,” the characteristically bold Saint founder and head honcho Deiwght Peters to The Gleaner.

Peters outlined that he was able to leverage Saint’s powerful global network within the industry to be able to discover a model in an African country. And within a few weeks, getting her on a plane to Paris to start a career that once was only a dream.

“The tastemakers in the international fashion industry embraced our new African models with a fervent passion that exceeded my expectations,” he enthused. “In a relatively short span, we have made major inroads across the continent of Africa and have identified, developed and made tangible stars from Nigeria and Cameroon.”

One of Saint’s African breakout models is Nigerian stunner Tomiwa. A nursing student resident in the Osun state, she was discovered online in late 2018 by Peters.

The 21-year old beauty made her debut as an exclusive model for French label Celine (negotiated directly from Jamaica by Peters) at their much-lauded 2019 runway show in Paris last year February. “Deiwght believed in me and felt I could do well internationally, and he still does, which boosted my confidence to a hundred,” she shared.

Overnight success
Overnight, Tomiwa became an in-demand runway face, racking up bookings for Valentino, Dior, Maison Margiela, Marni and Tod’s. She also landed multiple campaigns for Miu Miu, starring in the Italian label’s recent Fall/Winter 2020 global ads, and their Spring/Summer campaign before that.

Also making waves is Nigerian Saint David Oyinloye, currently starring in the lookbook for the French luxury goods manufacturer Hermés. “I am happy to be putting Africa on the map,” the genetically blessed model said. A trained electrical engineer, Oyinloye admitted that “the ups and downs in the industry before I joined Saint almost made me give up, and thank God I didn’t as I would have missed out on a lot”.

Not missing a beat on golden opportunities was Aworo Mayowa, an English literature graduate from Lagos State University. “I randomly followed Deiwght on Instagram and he immediately showed interest. I had been scouted by a lot of agencies, but I decided on choosing him when I saw he could be trusted (from the questions he asked) and had a lot of experience with managing top models such as Tami Williams,” she explained. Soon she was strutting the Parisian and Italian runways for Balenciaga and Alberta Ferretti and working extensively in Germany.

The story of finding fame on the Saint model express is echoed, too, by Cameroon national Gedon Kit, who was discovered on Instagram last year. “It was the beginning of a dream,” he recalled. “Before being recruited by Deiwght, I was in university doing a master’s degree, and then I got booked as an exclusive model for Balenciaga this past February at Paris Fashion Week.” The 24-year-old was also booked for Balenciaga’s Fall/Winter 2020 global ad campaign.

Life has come full circle for Saint in Africa as in its nascent days, the then fledgling agency signed a host of Jamaican models directly to South African model agencies, including Kibwe McGann, Janine Henry, Kirk Headley, and Kanhai Condison, who worked extensively in the fashion industry there, appearing in magazines, on billboards, and landing fragrance and clothing campaigns.

Kenneth Ize Fall 2020 Ready to Wear at Paris Fashion Week

Kenneth Ize made his official debut at Paris Fashion Week tonight, though his eponymous label has been making waves on the international circuit for the past few seasons. The Austrian-Nigerian designer was an LVMH prize finalist this past September having first caught the world’s attention at Lagos Fashion Week a few months prior.

Images of Naomi Campbell and Imaan Hammam striding down Ize’s runway in his signature handwoven checks, a traditional Nigerian fabric known as Asoke, caused something of a global social media frenzy.

Both women were present at the show this evening Hammam opened, while Campbell closed what was a truly impressive first outing for Ize. The designer is best known for his men’s tailoring, though he kicked things off on a distinctly feminine note with a quilted striped mini skirt and matching funnel neck zippered jacket.

Ize tends to work best in an androgynous zone, however, and his strongest moments were shaped by a workwear influence think, carpenter pants spun from silk and fringed at the hem. Adwoa Aboah looked especially striking in one of his new quilted boiler suits.

Ize has been working with a small circle of Asoke weavers in Nigeria with the hopes of preserving the centuries-old craft from the brink of extinction. For fall, he expanded on that commitment to local artisanship by collaborating with Austrian lace-makers in Vienna where he was born and raised.

The green and orange lace tunics and suiting were a nod to Ize’s mother, who, like many West African women, would source Viennese lace to make custom outfits for special occasions. The collection was largely inspired by her meticulous approach to Sunday Best in particular; the devil was in the details here, with matching fringed bucket bags and clutches made in collaboration with Austrian accessories label, Sagan. It’s exquisite transcultural fashion experiments like these that will put Ize and his heirloom-worthy designs on the map.

This article originally appeared on Vogue


For the first time, during NYFW, MADE IN AFRICA 2020, will present premiere runway presentations from two, contemporary African designers, at Pier 59 Studios on September 5th – @ 6PM 2019.
Each grouping spotlights the African connection between clothing, culture, tradition, aesthetics, et al, as a means of both beautification and body adornment.

Described as the “embodiment of creativity and expression with deeper cultural & spiritual meaning; designs reflect the artisanal artistry gleaned from deep African ancestral spiritual roots.”

“Truly great artistry is not achieved through knowledge or mastery alone, but, by divine inspiration from those who have come before. Their spirit lives through the hands, lives and souls of our modern African ateliers”, Creative Director, Paul Leisegang

For Laduma Ngxokolo, founder/designer, MAXHOSA AFRICA, the SiziiKumnkani NeeKumnkanikazi (“We Are Kings and Queens”) grouping, portrays the regal majesty of Africans and Africa; ‘The Cradle of Mankind’. “My collection showcases the cultural roots and traditions of Africa. My desire is to have my work restore dignity to the continent, so that each garment may reflect a modern, current aesthetic, yet, with an ancient philosophy behind my brand, set in our rich African heritage with its observance of ceremony.”

 Jan Malan and Greg Meyer – Photo credit – Johan Venter

“Basking in the Osun River”, Eliana Murargy’s muse experiences a re-birth in the sweet waters of West Africa, channelling her protective deity, paying homage to the Aje, honoring the woman who yields cosmic powers and her force of creation and sustainer of life. Celebrating the timeless signature of the studio, in tandem with the gentle nature of female embodiment, healing, empowerment, the delicate, day to evening collection balances fine tailoring and refined fit via flowing shapes, detailed silhouettes; soft shadings of rosé, beige, wide array of blues, vivid sparkles,
delicate silks, touches of silvery textures; pink accents in tandem with stark white and black.

Leisegang notes: “MADE IN AFRICA is an invitation to sense and experience the culturally appropriate, magical experience of African fashion; the spirit, craft, history and ceremony of these pieces, which have been passed along through the generations. We want everyone to experience how each designer blends modern African fashion and new technologies with ancient cultural tradition across the collections shown on the runway.

For Producer, Jan Malan, “the glorious, complex, wonderful body is exceptionally adaptable, inherently portable, and simultaneously personal and public. We are using the body as the mobile vehicle; unique canvas, on which to project forms that pass between cultures and communities.

Content courtesy of Bonnie Bien // L A  P R E S S E  PR – New York // +212 567-8900, (Africa) Leon Haasbroek // LJHPR – Johannesburg // +27 711 934181 & Nairobi fashion hub

Adau Mornyang

Adau Mornyang is an Australian South Sudanese born model and beauty pageant finalist who has become an advocate against rape victim-blaming culture, particularly in South Sudanese communities, She spoke out on Facebook about her assault that occurred at age 17 in Adelaide which attracted national media coverage and international on the  issue.

Adau Mornyang Personal life
Mornyang migrated to Australia when she was 10 as a refugee from war-torn South Sudan unable to speak English, Mornyang moved from Sydney to Melbourne on her own at age 17, and from 19 to 22 her career in modelling  prospered. Working in the top fashion cities of the world, such as London, Paris and New York Mornyang kept to her goal of becoming a positive role model for her community, eventually using the Miss World platform to achieve it.

Adau Mornyang photo shoot at the beach

Miss World Australia 2017 Finalist
Mornyang competed for the Miss World Australia title at the Rendezvous Hotel against 30 other contenders, there she progressed to the final eight, Mornyang vowed to use the Miss world platform to inspire people and speak out against rape in communities which sweep the criminal acts under the rug.

Speaking on social issues
Rape victim-blaming
Mornyang a victim of sexual assault herself was inundated after posting her experience on a one hour long Facebook video from women whom had faced similar assaults as well as positive messages, in the case of her sexual assault and rape she was bullied into asking the police to drop the charges laid against the offenders. Mornyang spoke out against victim-blaming but received a backlash from men in her community.

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