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Adesuwa AighewiPhotography Benedict Brink, styling Emma Wyman

With her dreadlocks, tattoos, and vibrant personality, Adesuwa Aighewi is making waves on catwalks around the world

LocationLondon, United Kingdom

When Adesuwa Aighewi – known best by just her first name – dreadlocked her hair ahead of NYFW, the model was told by a number of people in the industry it was likely she was going to miss out on jobs. How wrong they were.

Born in Minneapolis and brought up between Nigeria and the USA, Aighewi appeared as a Matrix-esque femme fatale at Alexander Wang, as part of Miuccia’s rebellious girl gang at Miu Miu, and joined the line-up of Maria Grazia Chiuri’s protest-inspired Dior show for AW18 (and that’s just the start of it).

Away from the catwalk, the model has plans for a lifestyle and travel TV show she labels ‘Anthony Bourdain meets The Simple Life’, in which she and three friends head out on a journey across Africa, offering up an alternative point of view of the continent. She’s also putting the finishing touches to a children’s book, Akugbe – which tells the story of a young masquerader who gets lost during a parade in Nigeria and spends a year trying to find his way home – in honour of her late brother, who died when he was a teenager.

Intent on celebrating Africa and its vibrant creative scene, Aighewi is using her platform as a rising star in the modelling world to change perceptions of what it’s really all about – stereotypes and myths aside.

Emma Elizabeth Davidson