…asks for more attention to be paid to young aspiring African models and creative talents
Founder and President of Isis Models Africa and Nigeria’s top super modeling expert, Mrs. Joan Okorodudu has called for serious attention to be paid to African models and creative talents across the continent saying young people are the greatest asset upon the African creative space hence should be taken seriously for Africa to develop and compete globally.
She made the observation in an interview she granted Channels Television in Lagos.
The superlative African modeling and fashion icon who is Nigeria’s most traveled fashion and modeling entrepreneur said her focus was to raise more young talents across Africa and launch them into the international modeling space. She went further to hint that ‘black models’ are now in serious demand across the world.
Okorodudu lamented the rate at which embassies deny visas to creative talents. While calling on all embassies in Nigeria and across Africa to pay more attention to young creative talents and other creative industry players, she noted that it was important to ensure there is no repeat of ugly experiences where visa denials have had to cause loss of opportunities and contract worth millions for models. She said that some models have lost big opportunities in the past due to travel visa delays which have impacted negatively on the ambition to showcase more African talents in the international modeling space.
She noted the effort that was put into organizing the Vogue Talent for Africa Show which is reckoned as one of the biggest and most outstanding talent show out of Africa. She said the talent show is still the best and most successful Fashion Talent show in Africa stating that some of the designers who were top ten at the show are still doing very well across the world. She noted that International Business Consortium Nigeria Limited, the parent company of Isis models raised the entire funds for Vogue Talent for Africa with support from Access Bank, plus contributions from her personal savings.
Okorodudu has booked African models directly with top brands with Omowunmi Shodeko one of Nigeria’s Next Super Model discovery closed the iconic show Louis Vuitton exclusively last season and continues to work with the brand, booked Model Alek with Burberry, Victoria Daropale, Ngozi Anene, and Anyiel directly with Prada and so many other brands.
The founder of Nigeria’s Next Super Model Reality Show, Okorodudu notes that she is committed to finding and exposing the best African modeling talents from anywhere in Africa. She said that there is more to modeling than body stats stating that modeling can help solve most of the economic crisis bedeviling Africa.
She said “modeling is not a beauty contest. You see a lot of models and people think because they are very pretty they would make good models. That’s not correct. There is a difference between modeling and beauty contests. The designer wants to see you, it’s like being a statue, he wants to see you in their clothes and how you fit in.
“Beauty queens are different. There are lots of beauty queens who could not transit into models. Modeling is an art. Some beauty queens who have gone to win miss world and miss this and that never made it to become models
“The designers know what they want. The French will say “mannequin’, they know what they are talking about. Beauty is not a license to be a great model
“Now there’s a new thing. The plus size girls are the in thing; we are the first modeling company to project the plus-size models
“The greatest thing that has happened to our continent is our youths. The young creative talents in Africa are our greatest resources and we must do everything to preserve and protect them” she said.
Okorodudu is preparing for the Next Super Model Show in London which is going to be the biggest modeling event for African talents. She noted that in launching Africa’s longest-running models search and giving away a total of 11 cars and millions of Nigeria, Nigeria’s Next Super Model was where the likes of Eunice Eyo, Bunmi Ademokoya, Aisha Bello, Imade Ogbewi, Ibukun Sammy, Onyinade, Amaka Chira, Yetunde, Ngozi Arimoku, Adedolapo, Theresa, Abidemi and many more.
With the highest number of African working models in the Diasporas and over 23 Models on Models.com, Isis Models is Africa’s leading modeling agency. Isis Models has so far the highest number of African modeling agencies in Africa. Joan Okorodudu the CEO of Isis models continues to book models directly out of Africa, some of those Models are Ngozi Anene, Victoria Daropale, both she booked for Prada directly, and Omowunmi Shodeko who closed Louis Vuitton deal last season.
Her models continually are seen on the runway for top designers like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Emilio Pucci, Dior, Fendi, Valentino, Ellie Saab, Jill Sanders, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, and Schiaparelli, an haute couture house created by avant-garde Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli in 1927, and moving towards luxury Ready-to-wear after being bought in 2007 by Diego Della Valle.
Joan Okorodudu has also successfully scouted models out of Kakuma Refugee Camp who is now some of the world’s top models. One of her major feats is taking a young Nigerian girl, Ngozi Arimoku, from the street of Sapele and having her modeling in London.
The Isis Models boss, Joan Okorodudu recently placed plus-size models in Europe and worked tirelessly to see the first plus-size African-based model Apollo Yom debut for Valentino with a total of four Isis models in the lineup of Valentino. In 2019 Isis models had 4 models in Valentino which is a remarkable feat. In the recently concluded Paris Haute Couture, Isis Models were very visible with models doing some of the biggest shows.
Focused on placing African models on the world super stage, Isis Models have been registered with a physical presence in Johannesburg since 2008, in Lagos 2007, in Nairobi 2019. In addition, Isis Models has also been registered officially in the US since 2010 and has booked models in New York during fashion week, with a new presence recently registered in Rwanda.