Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eunice Olumide: Nigeria's Super Star on the Runway and Silver Screen

Fast rising Nigerian model and actress Eunice Olumide is a 23-year-old ambitious young woman who is already walking tall as one of the top black models in the UK.
She may not be as popular as her fellow Nigerian supermodel Oluchi Onweagba, but she is definitely more ambitious with her own fashion collection and a role in Hollywood super star Brad Pitt's movie World War Z, an upcoming post-apocalyptic horror film based on the bestselling novel of the same title by Max Brooks, which was filmed in Glasgow in 2011 and will be released in June, 2013.

“I played an office worker. Brad was really friendly, ” said Eunice.

Eunice, who starred in the recent BBC Two series Scots Scuil, is also a talented rapper and MC and last year supported Bob Marley’s son Damian at Glasgow’s O2 Academy.
“I have been rapping for years with my brother Abraham and together we are Northern Xposure.”

Eunice is the daughter of Victoria Monie who moved from Nigeria to Scotland where she and and her rapper brother Abraham were born and raised in Edinburgh.
“My mum was heavily pregnant with me when my dad was posted to Scotland. She came over too and loved it so much the whole family stayed.
“We lived in Wester Hailes and Calder in Edinburgh. It was tough and we used to get a hard time.

Eunice has made the covers of magazines in Paris and New York.

“We had darker skin than anyone they had ever seen.
“It was a rough area with a lot of drugs. You either get sucked in or you worked hard to get out.

“That’s what my brother and I did.”
Eunice, who has been shortlisted for the Scottish Fashion Awards Model of the Year twice, was spotted shopping in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, at 15.
Since then she has become one of Scotland’s busiest models, signed to top agency Colours.

Now the talented seamstress looks set to conquer the fashion world with her dazzling designs.

“When I was starting out, it was difficult to get the bread-and-butter jobs the other girls were getting,” She told Heather Greenaway of the Daily Record.

"A Touch of Whimsy" photographed by Cristina Carra Caso
Photography by Cristina Carra Caso at (assisted by Matt Schofield)
Makeup by Jay Millar
Hair by Laura Toon
Styling by Laura Villaneuva
Modelling by Eunice Olumide (Colours Modeling Agency)
Posted on: Feb 1, 2012

“People were not used to working with such a dark-skinned model and I had to work 10 times harder to get basic jobs.

“Things have changed a lot in the last few years and agencies have more black models on their books, especially in Scotland.
“But it is still rare to see a very dark-skinned model on the cover of a magazine. I’d love that to change.”
“It’s time for people to be fearless and hire women of colour for shoots as society is becoming more and more multicultural.

“Even today the black models and singers who are making it are lighter-skinned – look at Rihanna, Beyonce and Leona Lewis.

“X Factor singer Alexandra Burke is one of the first musicians with really dark skin to be celebrated for her beauty, which is brilliant.

“When someone asks you to name a black supermodel, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks are the only ones who come up but there are dozens just waiting to be given their big break.”

Eunice, who goes into schools to teach children confidence through rapping, added: “I enjoy giving something back to the community.

“Creativity comes through necessity, hence the reason I’m the person I am today.”

Eunice, who studied media at Glasgow Caledonian University, came up with the idea for her Scots-African collection while visiting family in Nigeria.
She said: “After my mum had a stroke, she wanted to visit her relatives in Nigeria. I sketched a few ideas while sitting under a tree on the plains of Africa and my mum encouraged me to buy material and make the clothes.
“A few weeks later I returned to Scotland with my first collection and everybody loved it.

“I’ve tried to combine African patterns with British tailoring as a tribute to my love of my two home countries – Scotland and Nigeria. I hope to start producing my styles on a larger scale.

“At the moment I am still creating all the pieces myself and selling them from my website.”

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