This article contains a list of the most successful African models who have set the bar high for other upcoming African models. These beauty Queens have defied all odds to flourish in an industry where there is a huge competition and racial prejudice.
Modeling Industry and the fashion world, through their impact, have gone to recognize Africans when it comes to beauty and fashion.
These Successful top African models have gotten many endorsement deals from international brands, done a lot of runway works, and even appear on local and international Magazine covers. Below is a list of the most successful top African models based on their fame, relevancy, and earnings.
Top 10 Most Successful African Models
1. Agbani Darego
Agbani Darego is the most successful top African model and the first Sub-Saharan African native to win Miss World in 2001.
She’s a model and beauty Queen from Nigeria who has modeled for many international brands including L’Oréal, Christian Dior, Sephora, Complete Fashion, Mania, This Day, Marie Claire, Allure, Trace, Stitch, Avon, Cosmopolitan, Essence magazines, Style, Genevieve, True Love, and so many others.
The beauty Queen; Agbani Darego has walked many runways and pageant shows including Frock ‘n’ Roll charity fashion show in Barcelona. She also launched her own brand called AD under which she sells fashion Denim a range of dresses, bags, sunglasses, and so on.
She has also participated in judging numerous competitions and pageant shows, ranging from Miss World 2014 to Mr. Scotland 2002 to Elite Model Look Nigeria 2012 and 2014 to Miss England 2002, and so many others.
2. Alek Wek
Alek Wek is another beauty queen and model from Sudan. Alek is an award-winning model who has gone to advertised for many top brands including Jasper Conran, Xander McQueen, Givenchy, Armani, Fendi and Christian Dior, Victoria’s Secret, Clinique, Shiatzy Chen, John Galliano, Chanel, Donna Karan, and so many others.
She has also campaigned for Political-related projects including that of the U.S. Committee for Refugees Advisory Council, and World Vision among many others.
Like Agbani Darego, she also owns her own brand where she sells top designer handbags called WEK 1933.
Some of her awards include the MTV model of the year, Model of the Decade, and so on. No doubt, Alek Wek is one of the most successful top African models.
3. Candice Swanepoel
Another successful top African fashion model on our list is Candice Susan Swanepoel. She is one of the top South African models, who started Modeling at the early age of 15. She was born in KwaZulu-Natal around the Mooi River in South Africa.
She came into the limelight after her walk in the 2009 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Since then she has gone to walk the runway for many top brands including Christian Dior, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Givenchy, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce and Gabbana, Fendi, and so on.
She also served the Kardashians swimwear line as a model where she wore Royal Fantasy Bra(most expensive) in 2013. According to Forbes reports in 2012, Candice Swanepoelol’s net worth is estimated to be worth $ 3 million.
4. Oluchi Onweagba
Oluchi Onweagba is another successful top African model from Nigeria. She was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria.
Her journey into the fashion world and modeling industry started when she won the M-Net Face of Africa in 1998. She later moved to New York City where she was able to walk many runways for different brands including Victoria’s Secret(7 years consecutively), Chanel, Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, and so on.
She is also featured in many top magazines including Allure, Nylon, Marie Claire, Vogues and so many others. In 2008, Oluchi started her own agency called Omodel Africa where she trained upcoming fashion models.
Liya Kebede is a beauty queen, actress, and model from Ethiopia who has graced the cover of many magazines including V, Flair, i-D, Time’s Style & Design, Italian, American, French Spanish, and Japanese Vogue.
Some of the movies she featured include The Best Offer, Lord of War, and Desert Flower. She also became a Goodwill Ambassador for the WHO for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health in 2005.
Liya Kebede becomes that famous when she was selected for the Gucci show Supermodel by Tom Ford himself. She has also advertised for many luxurious and top brands including Louis Vuitton, Victoria’s Secret, Emanuel Ungaro, Tommy Hilfiger, Shiatzy Chen, Gap, Yves Saint-Laurent, Revlon, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada, and so on.
6. Maria Borges
This is another top successful African Fashion model from Angola. She has walked many fashion runways for many international brands including Victoria’s Secret, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Tom Ford, Emporio Armani, Ralph Lauren, and so many others.
She also campaigned and advertised for brands like Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Tommy Hilfiger, and C&A. Also, she’s duly recognized by many top magazines and she has been featured in many including Financial Times, Marie Claire, Numéro, Tank, The Ones 2 Watch, and Vanity Fair, to mention but a few.
7. Fatima Siad
Fatima Siad is also one of the successful top African Models who has appeared on many magazines’ covers. Ranging from Essence Magazine to Look Magazine UK, Avon’s Mark Catalog, Ebony Magazine, and Marie Claire in July 2010.
Fatima is from Somalia where she lives with her mother and late sisters before fleeing to the US because of War. She is also a citizen of Ethiopia.
She also gets signed to many modeling agencies ranging from Munich Models In Munich, Germany, Ace Models in Athens, Greece as well as to IMG Models in New York City, Paris, Milan, and London.
8. Betty Adewole
Betty Adewole’s uniqueness and beauty are always compared to that of the legendary beautiful; Naomi Campbell.
She is a Nigerian-British model who has achieved a lot in the Fashion world. From being one of the youngest(at the age of 21) featuring Tom Ford Gucci supermodel to Alexander McQueen to Stella McCartney and Givenchy fashion shows.
9. Ajak Deng
Ajak Deng is a 28 years-old beauty Queen and model who was born and raised in Sudan. Like Fatima, she and her late mother fled Sudan to live in an Australian refugee camp, where she later lost her mother to malaria complications.
Ajak Deng is one of the most successful top African models and she has been featured in many campaigns for fashion labels including the Calvin Klein fragrance campaign, Dior and so many others.
The last beauty Queen on our list of 10 most successful top African models is Flaviana Matata. She got a share of her fame in the fashion industry when she won the maiden edition of the Miss Universe pageant of her Country; Tanzania in 2007.
She later proceeded to take part in the Miss World Universe competition where she came sixth. Since then she has been featured in many international magazines including Dazed & Confused, Glass Magazine, and L’Official. She also got signed to New York Wilhelmina Modelling Agency where she walks runways for top brands.
This is the list of our top 10 successful top African models out of the numerous models that paves way for other African beauty Queens in the industry.