Africa

6 African models breaking barriers

By Nosmot Gbadamosi, CNN

Updated 4:54 PM ET, Fri April 7, 2017
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For the first time in history, more than 25% of models used in the Spring 2017 season were non-white.

Here are a few of the top African models.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret
Maria Borges made history and headlines when in 2015 she stepped onto the runway at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show with a short afro.
It was her third appearance on the show but the first time black 'natural' hair would appear in its 20 year run.
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
"I wanted to send a message out there. People think to be sexy you have to have long hair, no ... a lot of women around the world have hair texture like mine," she told CNN. Born in Angola during civil war, last month she became the newest face of L'Oréal Paris. Courtesy Amandla Baraka
Born and raised in Uganda, and currently based in New York, 24-year-old Akello has worked with designers in New York Fashion Week from Thom Browne to Naeem Khan.
Courtesy Nuru Kimondo
On runways she's noticed "at least each show had a model of color in it which is a baby step to achieving more diversity in the modeling world.

"And maybe in the future they won't only consider using just one or two but with five out of 10," she said.
Courtesy Nuru Kimondo
Three non-white women feature in Forbes 20 of the world's highest paid models list in 2016. In Spring/Summer 2017 shows, 74.6% of the models booked for runways were white and 25.4 percent were women of color, according to Fashion Spot's Diversity Report.
This was a small increase on last season where 75.3 percent of the models were white. The report examined 299 shows and 8,832 model appearances from New York, London, Paris and Milan.
Courtesy Nuru Kimondo
Born in Sudan and raised in refugee camps in Ethiopia, Paul emigrated to the US aged 10 with help from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Courtesy Bec Lorrimer/Vogue Spain
Scouted aged 15, Paul has since modeled for Vivienne Westwood, and Louis Vuitton among others so far.
"This past season has been the most diverse with many models sharing their experiences so let's hope it's not a trend but a breakthrough," Paul told CNN via email.
Courtesy Muse NYC
"I've had challenges finding work in some countries because black models weren't in season at that time, my hair and finding makeup to match my complexion have been the most difficult."
Courtesy Muse NYC
Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, Siad's two sisters were killed by the Somali army during civil war. Raised in Boston from the age of 13, she's appeared in campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, and L'Oréal. Jemal Countess/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Pictured here, Grace Bol presents a creation for Issey Miyake during the 2015 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collection fashion show in Paris.
Born in South Sudan, as a child Bol's family relocated to the US. The 27-year-old has walked for Givenchy and Vivienne Westwood shows in Paris.
PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Pictured here, Liya Kebede walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton show 2014 in Paris. According to Forbes, in 2007, she was placed eleventh in 20 of the World's highest-paid top model list.

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Kebede moved to Paris at the age of 18 and has appeared on the cover of Vogue. Her latest campaign for Amazon Fashion features her 'natural' curls.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images