600 Young Models Eye Global Spotlight, Audition for ARISE Fashion Week

Sunday Ehigiator

As preparations for the 20th edition of ARISE Fashion Week (AFW) gathers steam, 600 young models would be competing in an audition to feature in what have been described as Africa’s most influential runway show.

Those selected at the audition which kicked off this Tuesday, would feature on the runway of AFW scheduled for 2nd to 4th February 2023, at Eko Hotel Convention Centre, Lagos.

According to a statement from the organisers, models, both aspiring and established, were given the chance to audition in front of an expert panel made up of ARISE Fashion Week Creative Director, Desirée Ejoh; BETH Models CEO, Elizabeth Isiorho; THISDAY Style Executive Editor and AFW Casting Director, Konye Nwabogor, and serial entrepreneur, Taofick Okoya.

“The model casting this year was focused on finding great new faces who will join fashion stars from previous ARISE shows,” said Ejoh.

“Previous models discovered by ARISE have gone on to have successful careers and take part in international shows and campaigns for brands like Gucci, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vittion and many, many more. At ARISE, we aim to discover more new faces and continue to be a leader and advance the industry forward.”

Nwabogor, who has witnessed firsthand how AFW has been a life-changing platform for unknown faces, said, “The turnout was impressive. What was even more refreshing was the number of new faces. I think overall we have over 40 models who have never been on the ARISE Fashion Week Runway.

“While everyone talks about the designers who through the ARISE brand are allowed to showcase their talent to a global audience, no one talks about the models who are open to the same opportunities. This year’s event will not be different.”

ARISE as a platform has always been the first to showcase new talents, many of whom have gone on to achieve remarkable success on the global stage.

Isiorho, whose agency BETH Models launched the careers of international successes like Mayowa Nicholas, Davidson Obennebo and Nyagua Ruea, described AFW as one of the best platforms for discovering new talents.

“All the major international modeling agencies keep up with ARISE Fashion Week religiously. They are constantly watching to see which new faces will be on the runway, and often this translates to big opportunities for African models in many of the world’s fashion capitals,” she said.

Some of the world’s most iconic models have graced the ARISE Fashion Week runway, including Alec Wek, Grace Jones and of course, Naomi Campbell.

However, ARISE continuously pushes the envelope for African fashion by placing promising new talents on the same runway as these established icons, celebrating previous generations while placing a spotlight firmly on the new.

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