#ModelSpotlight: Talking High Fashion, Model Prejudices and Lagos Fashion Week with Ndidi Odogwu

A marketing campaign is incomplete without a star model to give it a holistic umph. Tyra Banks once explained that modeling is all about exaggeration, and that exaggeration is what sells your product. It’s not enough to passively demonstrate a look; you must exaggerate it. Modeling in many ways is quite like acting.  Certain God given qualities including height, nationality, skin tone and so many others make a model a perfect candidate for a certain campaigns. But this does not belittle the fact that modeling involves tonnes of effort and conceptualisation that might be more important than a model’s natural looks.  With the complexity of a campaign comes the increasing mental and physical agility required of them  model to make it all come together. 

This episode of Model Spotlight features the Half Nigerian, Half Camerounian Top Model, Ndidi Odogwu, who has graced  runway shows, including Lagos Fashion Week, Arise Fashion Week, represented so many brands like Vlisco, Imperial Leather,  Grey Velvet and  other glamourous brands. My interview with Ndidi is quite insightful, going beyond the glamour, leading one to a better understanding from a model’s perspective the model lifestyle, struggles and prejudices, especially in the Nigerian context, where the industry is growing. 

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I ask her how  got into modeling in the first place, and she explains as follows:

“It was when I was 16. I went for a tv commercial casting and I got picked for it. That was the first time I ever modeled. My brother was a model before me so he dragged me for the casting. And then later on, I went for Elite Model Nigeria and they picked me for that and that was how I started. “

I ask her what she loves about it the most and what she hates about it the most, she says:

“I hate the pay. It’s not as much as it should be but the excitement of being on the runway and getting to meet people.”

I ask her how she hopes to expand her brand and morph into something else later on.  She candidly tells:

“I have a job, so I don’t really model as much. I’ve been off for about two years, so I just came for this show (Lagos Fashion Week 2018) and I’m back to work.”

She explains why she made the decision to   leave modeling in this way,

“I just needed more. I got tired and I got bored, but I might go into fashion design later on.”

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She also tries to correct less than savoury prejudices falling on models to disabuse the general negative notions against modeling as a career path saying:

“One can’t just say that models are not smart. Models are not riff raffs. They are not people that you just pick off the streets. We are educated and we just happen to be beautiful. So you can’t say because we are beautiful and we look a certain way we don’t have brains. There are so many beautiful girls that are very intelligent. I don’t think one should generalise and say that models are not smart. The type of modeling I do is not pageant. I hear a lot of comments about pageant models not being very smart. I do high fashion; runway. There’s a lot of creativity involved and you have to think very fast. Your moving, you’re walking…there is more to it than looking nice for the camera. I don’t think anyone should generalise and say that models are not smart.”

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Traveling back in time to Lagos Fashion Week 2018, I ask Ndidi what she likes most about LFW and she says:

“LFW came up after Arise Fashion Week, and became really big and made the fashion industry what it is today.  They take a lot of designers out of the country. So they basically build the fashion brand in Nigeria and then even for models they do a lot to push out new faces. So it’s not just about the fashion, they also promote culture. They don’t just go to the high fashion designers. They also come down to the lowest level. This year they are promoting the Aswani market. So there’s a lot of that.” 

Catch all the highlights for Lagos Fashion Week 2018 days herehere and here, as well as awesome street style:)

So guys, what are your views? Hit me up in the comments section.


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