Adwoa Aboah refuses to stay silent on stigmatised issues

Adwoa Aboah refuses to “stay silent” because she feels “obligated” to share her personal story with others.The model-and-activist has spoken openly about her experiences through her online organisation Gurls Talk and launched the digital initia…

Adwoa Aboah refuses to “stay silent” because she feels “obligated” to share her personal story with others.

The model-and-activist has spoken openly about her experiences through her online organisation Gurls Talk and launched the digital initiative #CopingTogether last month.

Adwoa, who has worked closely with fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior and Marc Jacobs, hopes the current Black Lives Matter movement will be just the start of change around the world.

“It’s become quite natural to me to speak my truth and talk about subjects that are stigmatised or people find to be taboo,” Adwoa said in an interview with Essence. “I’m not staying silent in general, whether it be talking about mental health or my own story, because I really, truly feel obligated to do it.”

The model hopes #CopingTogether will inspire people to openly discuss what is going on globally at the moment and bring about change for the better.

“I feel ready to make the changes and be part of this new normality. I don’t want to go back to the way it was – in any sense of the word,” she explained.

While Adwoa feels passionately about how she wants to live her life in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, she admits to having doubts and insecurities during these challenging times.

“I switch back and forth from me being in quite a negative head space and feeling like I’m not sure what the next steps are,” the model shared when asked how it feels to be a Black creative at the moment, “and knowing what I want and the changes that I want to see made, but feeling quite overwhelmed by the process and the steps that need to be taken for that to happen…

“(The pandemic) has made me look at how you want to live each day. Not that this is kind of a surprise with the revolution and what’s happening, this was part of our daily lives and we were completely aware of it.”

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Adwoa Aboah questioned identity after reading ex-British Vogue editor’s comments

Adwoa Aboah wondered if she was “black enough” after seeing former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman describe her as “mixed race” and “posh”. The 28-year-old, who has a Ghanaian father and a white mother whose family are members of British nobili…

Adwoa Aboah wondered if she was “black enough” after seeing former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman describe her as “mixed race” and “posh”.

The 28-year-old, who has a Ghanaian father and a white mother whose family are members of British nobility, featured on the December 2017 issue of British Vogue – current editor-in-chief Edward Enninful’s first-ever cover.

In an interview with The Guardian days after the cover was released, Enninful’s predecessor Shulman insisted she had offered Aboah the cover before but the model turned it down, and described her as “the perfect mixture of mixed race, sort of posh Notting Hill royalty”.

In a candid post on Instagram over the weekend, the Gurls Talk founder reflected on the lack of diversity and inclusion on British Vogue covers over the years and admitted that Shulman’s comment made her question her identity.

“Before my @britishvogue cover, black faces had only been featured on the cover 12 times in 25 years. I remember thinking ‘am I even black enough?’ after reading that I was the perfect combination of mixed race, posh, and from Nottinghill (sic),” she wrote. “This felt like a complete disregard for who I was, how hard I’d worked, and my family / heritage, whilst at the same time dismissing anyone who hadn’t grown up the way I had. It seemed for some that I was JUST enough black to be on the cover of a high fashion magazine. It still rests heavy on me, this clarification that there are some out there that don’t see me as a black at all; in the way they talk around me, the language they use.”

Aboah also shared a series of her favourite entries in the Vogue Challenge, in which aspiring photographers and models create their own DIY Vogue covers in response to the conversation about diversity in the fashion industry amid the Black Lives Matter movement.

“All a testament to the sheer brillance of black and brown people, a reminder to be seen, a celebration of inclusivity, and ever-inspiring talent. A manifestation of the want for change and a need for an inclusive approach to fashion. I want to see these faces, I need to see these faces!!!!” she concluded, before making it clear she was “proud” of her 2017 cover.

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Celebrity fashion guru blasts top designers for ‘only working with white stylists’

Fashion star Jason Bolden has claimed some top designers only work with black celebrities if they have “a white stylist”.Earlier this week, a representative for French fashion house Celine, headed up by Hedi Slimane, uploaded a message on Instagram in …

Fashion star Jason Bolden has claimed some top designers only work with black celebrities if they have “a white stylist”.

Earlier this week, a representative for French fashion house Celine, headed up by Hedi Slimane, uploaded a message on Instagram in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the shocking death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 25 May.

“Celine stands against all forms of discrimination, oppression, and racism. Tomorrow’s world will not exist without equality for all,” they stated.

However, Bolden soon took issue with the post and wrote in the comments section: “Wait really, you guys dnt (sic) dress any black celebs unless they have a white stylist @celine. FACTS.”

The Styling Hollywood personality, who regularly works with the likes of Taraji P. Henson, Ava DuVernay, Cynthia Erivo, Janet Mock, Sasha Lane, and Yara Shahidi, didn’t expand any further. However, when moderators at fashion Instagram page Diet Prada picked up the story, Bolden also alleged the team at Saint Laurent, helmed by Anthony Vaccarello, and other leading fashion houses were behind the times with embracing diversity.

“@ysl is another one! I’m only supporting brands who support us,” he added. “NOT JUST THIS BRAND BUT TO ALL OF THEM, BE HONEST ABOUT HOW YOU’VE SUPPORTED THIS TYPE OF TREATMENT OF BLACK PEOPLE! WE SEE YOU AND WONT SUPPORT YOU UNTIL YOU SUPPORT US (sic).”

Bolden’s comments soon racked up thousands of likes, with model Adwoa Aboah replying: “Call them all out. This is the way we have been treated by so many brands for far too long.”

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K-pop star Jessica Jung tapped as Revlon brand ambassador

K-pop star Jessica Jung has been named as the new face of Revlon.Born in San Francisco to Korean parents, the star rose to prominence as part of girl group Girls’ Generation, and has since gone on to pursue a variety of creative endeavours, including a…

K-pop star Jessica Jung has been named as the new face of Revlon.

Born in San Francisco to Korean parents, the star rose to prominence as part of girl group Girls’ Generation, and has since gone on to pursue a variety of creative endeavours, including acting and a fashion line called Blanc & Eclare.

Now, Jessica has been appointed as Revlon’s latest global brand ambassador and will soon begin fronting campaigns for the cosmetics giant across Asia.

“Revlon has always represented the epitome of glamour for me. As a young girl growing up in San Francisco, I couldn’t help but be dazzled by the bold imagery of iconic women wearing Revlon make-up!” the 31-year-old gushed. “To now be part of these legendary Revlon ambassadors is a thrill and an honour.”

While brand executives have not yet announced the exact products Jessica will be promoting, preview images depict her applying powders and eyeshadows in front of a mirror. The first campaign pictures are set to drop in the spring months, and Silvia Galfo, Revlon’s global brand president, is excited to welcome the star to the wider Revlon family.

“We were drawn to Jessica because she is a force of nature, channelling her positive energy and entrepreneurial mindset into achieving her goals and breaking boundaries all along the way,” she praised. “She loves to experiment with beauty and has an unapologetic spirit that helps her transcend convention, perfectly capturing our Live Boldly ethos.”

Jessica follows in the footsteps of current Revlon brand ambassadors such as Gal Gadot, Sofia Carson, Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah, and Eniola Abioro.

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Adwoa Aboah launches #CopingTogether scheme during coronavirus pandemic

Adwoa Aboah has launched a new initiative that offers support to those self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic.The 27-year-old model’s latest campaign, #CopingTogether, has been unveiled through her online platform Gurls Talk and gives much-need…

Adwoa Aboah has launched a new initiative that offers support to those self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 27-year-old model’s latest campaign, #CopingTogether, has been unveiled through her online platform Gurls Talk and gives much-needed assurance to those who are feeling lonely, uncertain and frightened amid the Covid-19 crisis.

#CopingTogether aims to use creativity to promote “healthy, constructive and positive coping techniques” and encourage people to share their artwork with the global community on the website to make people feel less alone.

Adwoa posted details of the initiative on Instagram and told her followers to “process their emotions” by getting creative.

“These are uncertain times and I know that like me, a lot of you out there are feeling anxious and looking for ways to cope,” she wrote. “To that end, and in the spirit of staying connected, Gurls Talk is launching our Coping Together initiative.

“I’m inviting you all to join me in submitting art, videos, photos, poetry, essays, journal entries, humour – anything that helps you process your emotions. I can’t wait to see all your work.”

Famous faces including Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke and Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock will be among those contributing to the #CopingTogether drive, with them telling followers how they’re coping in self-isolation.

The Covid-19 virus has so far infected around 552,000 people, with more than 25,00 deaths, since the outbreak began in China back in December.

Lockdowns to control the spread of the virus are in place in countries around the world, including France, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.

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Adwoa Aboah vows to cut back on wearing tracksuits

Adwoa Aboah has promised to cut back on wearing tracksuits and dress up more.The model/activist reflected on the past year in a new interview with i-D magazine, and during the chat, noted that she would try to focus on herself as she entered the new de…

Adwoa Aboah has promised to cut back on wearing tracksuits and dress up more.

The model/activist reflected on the past year in a new interview with i-D magazine, and during the chat, noted that she would try to focus on herself as she entered the new decade.

“I’m taking more time for myself, more concentration on Gurls Talk,” Adwoa shared, referring to her hugely successful online community. “My friends, the ones who really lift me. Honesty. Good conversation.

“Maybe I’ll let go of wearing tracksuits so often and dress up a bit more – finally use all those great clothes I’ve got,” she laughed.

The British beauty went on to explain that she hoped to find love over the coming year and will be taking her “perseverance and hope” into the upcoming months.

“I’ll be looking for new love in 2020, I’d like to be madly, head-over-heels in love with someone in 2020,” the 27-year-old smiled.

Elsewhere in the interview, Adwoa discussed her biggest personal and professional achievements, and said that while she was extremely proud of her online platform Gurls Talk, she was also impressed at her determination.

“In my personal life, it would be just getting through s**t. That’s success in itself. Getting through the dark times and coming out the other end a better and more rounded human being… I think perseverance is success. I’m constantly moving forward, learning from my mistakes, trying to better myself.”

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Rihanna collaborates with i-D magazine on special issue

Rihanna has teamed up with editors at i-D magazine to create a limited-edition issue.Bosses at the publication announced on Monday that they had collaborated with the fashion and beauty mogul to create the one-off special issue, dubbed the “Rihannazine…

Rihanna has teamed up with editors at i-D magazine to create a limited-edition issue.

Bosses at the publication announced on Monday that they had collaborated with the fashion and beauty mogul to create the one-off special issue, dubbed the “Rihannazine”, which celebrates “her ceaseless reign on the worlds of fashion, beauty and music” and their 40th anniversary.

“For me, this very special issue of i-D represents change and culture,” Rihanna said of the project in a statement. “It is dedicated to some of the people who are progressively reshaping the communities across fashion, music, art, and activism – creating a more inclusive and diverse future.”

Rihanna appears on the front and back cover of the publication, with the images showing her posing in clothing from her Fenty fashion brand. All photographs in the 144-page visually-driven magazine were shot by Mario Sorrenti.

She also helped Alastair McKimm, editor-in-chief of i-D, handpick 43 “incredible people” who have had an “inspirational and progressive impact across culture, art, fashion, and activism” to appear in the magazine. They include models Bella and Gigi Hadid, Paloma Elsesser, and Adwoa Aboah, screenwriter Lena Waithe, Euphoria actress Alexa Demie, and writers Roxane Gay and Zadie Smith, and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke. To accompany the publication, videos of Rihanna interviewing some of the stars will be posted on i-D’s Instagram page throughout the week.

“Working with Rihanna, we handpicked the people featured in this project for many different reasons; they may all represent different things but what unites them is everyone featured in these pages is incredibly inspirational,” said McKimm. “They are artists, writers, activists, musicians, and women on the front lines of the fashion industry.”

The special issue will have a limited print run of 5,000 copies, which can be purchased from 27 January.

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Sofia Carson tapped as face of Revlon

Sofia Carson has been named as Revlon’s new global brand ambassador.Bosses at the U.S. cosmetics giant announced on Thursday that the rising star, known for appearing in Disney Channel movie franchise Descendants, has signed on as the face of Revlon Co…

Sofia Carson has been named as Revlon’s new global brand ambassador.

Bosses at the U.S. cosmetics giant announced on Thursday that the rising star, known for appearing in Disney Channel movie franchise Descendants, has signed on as the face of Revlon ColorStay Foundation, Super Lustrous Lipstick, and ColorStay Eyeliner. Sofia’s campaigns will debut later this year, and accordingly, she couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the iconic beauty brand.

“Since I can remember, one of my favourite places in the world was my mom’s vanity, where I discovered my love of fashion, beauty and the perfect red Revlon lipstick. I wore it at my very first dance recital and every recital, performance and dance competition after that. I felt invincible on stage in my red lipstick, like I could do and be anything,” she commented. “I’m so proud to join the other incredible Revlon ambassadors who inspire me and countless women around the world. Revlon’s Live Boldly platform speaks to the woman I was raised to be; a woman who is fearlessly herself, and who boldly fights for her dreams.”

Sofia joins the likes of Gal Gadot, Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah, and Eniola Abioro in representing Revlon.

And Silvia Galfo, Revlon’s global brand president, is certain the 26-year-old will be a natural fit for the company.

“I have watched Sofia evolve into a passionate, dynamic woman with a sparkling personality and infectious positive energy that touches everything she does from her acting and music projects to her commitment to charitable causes,” she added. “She’s the embodiment of our Live Boldly spirit.”

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Adut Akech thrilled to win Model of the Year at The Fashion Awards 2019

Adut Akech has shared her excitement over winning the Model of the Year award at The Fashion Awards 2019.The model, who was born in South Sudan and raised in Adelaide, Australia, is quickly building up a reputation as one to watch in the fashion indust…

Adut Akech has shared her excitement over winning the Model of the Year award at The Fashion Awards 2019.

The model, who was born in South Sudan and raised in Adelaide, Australia, is quickly building up a reputation as one to watch in the fashion industry, having walked the runway for the likes of Valentino, Givenchy, Prada, and Versace.

At the British Fashion Council’s annual prizegiving on Monday night, Adut was named Model of the Year, beating out other top models Adesuwa Aighewi, Adwoa Aboah, Kaia Gerber, and Winnie Harlow, and she later took to Instagram to celebrate her achievement.

“2019 MODEL OF THE YEAR,” she wrote. “Meet the South Sudanese refugee who comes from nothing, who become (sic) your 2019 Model of The Year last night. I F**KING DID IT!!!”

Adut was presented her prize by British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful and Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli and looked stunning in an emerald green Valentino gown.

During her acceptance speech, she told the audience, “It is important for all of us to remember that someone like me winning this award is a rarity… This is for the young women and men who found representation and validation in my work. I want them to never be afraid of dreaming big like I once did.”

Accordingly, a number of the 19-year-old’s celebrity followers praised her win in the Instagram comments, including Lily Aldridge, Irina Shayk, Elle Macpherson, Karlie Kloss, Shanina Shaik, and Elsa Hosk.

Karen Elson wrote, “You did it. You deserve it! You’re incredible,” Natalia Vodianova gushed, “You worked so hard, baby girl. Congrats,” and Amber Valletta added, “So, so happy for you! Well-deserved beauty.”

While Adut’s mentor Naomi Campbell sweetly commented, “So deserved my baby @adutakech. I Love you.”

Naomi was also feted on the night, taking home the prestigious Fashion Icon accolade.

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Adwoa Aboah and David Beckham launch fashion apprenticeship

Adwoa Aboah and David Beckham have unveiled the British Fashion Council’s new apprenticeship scheme.The 27-year-old model, who is the BFC’s Ambassador for Positive Fashion, and the soccer star, who serves as the BFC Ambassadorial President, launched th…

Adwoa Aboah and David Beckham have unveiled the British Fashion Council’s new apprenticeship scheme.

The 27-year-old model, who is the BFC’s Ambassador for Positive Fashion, and the soccer star, who serves as the BFC Ambassadorial President, launched the Fashion Studio Apprenticeship during a visit at Prendergast Vale School in Lewisham, south London on Monday.

“I am proud to be part of an industry that has so many facets to it,” said Aboah of the initiative. “The Fashion Studio Apprenticeship is proof that not every role in fashion needs an academic degree and that our industry is one that is open to everyone, no matter their background. It is fantastic to be able to support this initiative as part of my role as BFC Ambassador for Positive Fashion.”

Formulated with a group of fashion employers and BFC officials, apprentices will begin by spending time in a studio to learn how a collection is created. They will then spend six months as an assistant, working with a team that creates a range, before undertaking a further 12 months in a specialised area of the business, choosing between product development and production, sales and operations, or fashion marketing and communication.

At the end of the apprenticeship, participants will be required to undertake a work-based project and a practical test.

And Beckham, 44, added that he wanted to encourage students to consider arts education and the creative industries when making decisions about their future.

“Fashion is an industry that should be open to everyone – no matter what their background is or where they are from. I hope that this new apprenticeship programme from the BFC will give even more kids the chance to thrive and be creative. We have such an amazing fashion industry in this country, it’s something we should really be proud of and protect,” he commented.

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