Model, maker, activist – for our ‘Place To Be’ issue cover, it could only be Adesuwa. Raised by environmental scientists, her childhood was spent between Nigeria and the United States. Full name Adesuwa Aighewi, she was approached multiple times by scouts before eventually relenting and agreeing to a test shoot in 2010. Since then her career has skyrocketed to super status, opening for Coach 1941’s SS 18 runway presentation at New York Fashion Week and walking for the likes of Chloé, Christian Dior and Alexander Wang (did we mention she’s also interned with NASA?).
Although she’s been lensed by the greats, including Inez and Vinoodh and Ellen von Unwerth, Aighewi doesn’t see modelling as her end game. Rather, she uses her platform to speak openly about social injustice, and harnesses her love of filmmaking to shine a light on cultural representation and her African heritage. Following a controversial Instagram post by Dior before the maison’s SS 20 runway, Aighewi sought out creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri for a conversation about cultural appropriation and artist recognition. She filmed the chat between the two, posting alongside a caption: “… I couldn’t walk a show where multiple Africans had voiced discontent. After our talk, Dior took down the original caption and made sure the conversation was about the preservation of fashion techniques that are being lost was the focus, artisans who need proper recognition for their craft and the need for a conversation between each other.”
As the face of our ‘Place To Be’ cover, Aighewi told us her nickname is “Skinny Oprah” and that her “favourite surrounds are anywhere people are living free”. Get to know her better as the new issue hits stands August 22.