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Betty Irabor, Adesuwa Aighewi, Kenneth Ize & More Africans Make The #BoF500 2019 List!

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Fashion publication Business of Fashion released its annual #BoF500 list earlier this week. The list, according to the magazine celebrates the rising voices shaping the fashion industry.

The BoF 500 is the definitive professional index of the people shaping the $2.4 trillion fashion industry, hand-selected by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on hundreds of nominations received from current BoF 500 members, extensive data analysis and research.

This year, the magazine announced that they will celebrate with the list, rising voices promoting and propagating the diversity movement in the fashion industry.

Too often, when we think about inclusion, it is only at the surface, without a deeper understanding of the issues at play and the history of what has come before. The business rationale and PR risk of getting this wrong is real. But there is still work to be done. Indeed, over the past year, every month it seems another brand put out a product, advertising campaign or statement that some customers found deeply offensive, leading some of them to burn their products, organize boycotts and create social media campaigns to call out the brands publicly.

Africans who made the list include rapper Chika known for her fierce cultural commentary and who very vocally called out Kanye West over his controversial Tweets earlier this year. Also on the list is editor in chief of Genevieve magazine Betty Irabor and model Adesuwa Aighewi.

See the full list of Africans that made the list this year below:

Adesuwa Aighewi -MODEL & ACTIVIST

With a breakthrough year behind her, scoring campaigns for the likes of Chanel and Marc Jacobs beauty, the model-turned-creative director is now seeing through her personal mission to promote the beauty of African culture.

Brendon Babenzien & Estelle Bailey-Babenzien– DESIGNERS, NOAH

The former Supreme design director and his wife founded the label Noah to combine their talents for clothing and interior design while emphasizing the importance of sustainable products and practices.

Chika– RAPPER

Since her video calling out Kanye West’s politics went viral in 2018, the buzzed-about rapper artist has used her creative platform to reiterate the socio-cultural origins of hip-hop, and starred in an ad campaign for Calvin Klein.

Kenneth Ize– DESIGNER, KENNETH IZE

The Lagos-born designer and LVMH Prize finalist is reinterpreting traditional West African fabrics and Nigerian craft through his eponymous label.

Shanelle Nyasiase– MODEL

The South Sudanese newcomer model has quickly risen to star status on Models.com’s Top 50 list and embraced by the likes of Gucci, Givenchy and Loewe.

Ugbad Abdi– MODEL

The breakout star joins the new generation of hijabi models furthering the diversity conversation on and off the runway.

See the full list in BoF here.

Photo credit: BoF

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