WATCH: African catwalk models step into the spotlight

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

At this modelling agency in Abidjan, trainees pay 23 euros a month to learn how to strut their stuff. It's an investment they hope will pay off.

Fatim Sidime, director of modeling agency in Ivory Coast, said "Today, with all this excitement and the whole revolution around African fashion, you have models who might have two or three shows a month, and we know they'll be paid more than the minimum wage for them. That means that they're probably getting around double the pay of the average person."

Fatim Sidime founded the agency after making a name for herself in London modelling for Chanel.

African capitals are increasingly hosting their own fashion shows -- attracting international audiences. And last year was the first time that a quarter of models at the spring shows in New York, Paris, London and Milan were not white.

Top models in Ivory Coast can earn between 150 and 300 euros per catwalk show. Others take home as little as 15.

Gnenemate Kone, 18-year-old model, said "For me, modelling is a job like any other. You can make a living out of modelling, as with any other job. I'm hoping to become an international supermodel one day."

The growth of fashion in Africa has even created new demand for curvier models. But when it comes to haute couture, Western sizing standards dominate.

Fatim Sidime, added that they have started to align “ourselves with European standards of physical and beauty criteria. When you look carefully, the models, they're very thin, they’re skinny. When you see how African women in general are curvier. So that means that we're making these choices precisely because we are responding to the international market."

Despite these demands, as the continent makes strides on the global fashion scene, wannabe models are lining up for the chance to showcase Africa's unique style.

Top Content Trending