February 2, 2011 – Haute Fashion Africa has released their list of Top 6 African Models of they year 2010. These long legged beauties rocked various editorial spreads in 2010 and rocked the ramps of countless Fashion Weeks. Top of their list is Liya Kebede.
Hailing from Addis Abbas Ethiopia, Liya Kebede was discovered by a film director while attending school at the French Lycee.
In 2009, Forbes ranked Liya Kebede as the 11th highest earning supermodel in the world, having earned $2.5 million dollars in 12 months. Also a talented actor, Liya Kebede took on the role of Waris Dirie, goat herding tribal nomad turned international supermodel, in the movie Desert Flower.
Number 2 on the list is Sudanese-Australian model Ajak Deng who has walked for Jean Paul Gaultier, Chloe, Givenchy and Lanvin, in New York and Paris since her Melbourne Spring Fashion Week debut in 2008. At age 12, violence forced Ajak and her family to flee Sudan for Australia where, inspired by fellow Sudanese Model Alek Wek, Deng began building her modeling career.
Up at Number 3 is Ataui Deng. Born in Khartoum, Sudan, she immigrated to San Antonio, Texas before signing to Trump Management in New York City. Ataui Deng made her runway debuts for the spring Jeremy Laing, Kai Kuhne, L’Wren Scott, Proenza Schouler and Zac Posen shows in New York. Famed photographer Steven Meisel personally requested to work with her. Recently Ataui Deng closed the spring Lanvin show in Paris, alongside Ajak Deng, Jeneil Williams, Melodie Monrose, and Jourdan Dunn – NY Mag.
At fourth place is Yasmin Warsame who was born in Mogadishu, Somalia and immigrated to Canada when she was 15 years old. Her first modeling job was for a Sears Catalog and her first big breakthrough came with a feature for Italian Vogue, by Steven Meisel. Yasmine Warsame has worked for Next Toronto/Montreal, Next Paris, Next London, IMG New York, View Barcelona and Tony Jones Amsterdam. She has been on the covers of Vogue Italia and American Vogue, American and British Elle, and Amica and Surface magazines and has modeled for Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada,Hermès, Shiseido, Chanel, GAP and H&M. In 2007, Yasmin Warsame was a judge on Cycle 2 of Canada’s Next Top Model.
At Number 5 is Betty Adewole. Betty grew up in the U.K and is originally from Nigeria. She has been featured in V and French Revue de Modes and walked for Issey Miyake, Emanuel Ungaro, Maison Martin Margiela and Loewe.
At Number 6 is none other than the amazing Alek Wek. Born to the Dinka tribe, Alek Wek was forced by civil war to flee her homeland of Southern Sudan. She would be “discovered” at a street fair in London. The rest, as they say, is history. Alek has since been named:
* “Model of the Decade” by i-D magazine
* one of People’s “50 Most Beautiful People”
* “50 Most Influential Faces in Fashion” by i-D and Frank magazines.
I’m so happy for these beautiful African sisters. Just disappointed that Kenya is now so far down the totem pole when it comes to modeling