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Ese Otobo

Source: @shxpir / Washington Post Magazine

Agency: STATE Management

Instagram: @nappyese

Claim to Fame: The Nigerian born Ese describes winning a modeling contest in her beloved home country at just nineteen years old as the moment that changed her life.

Some might have reservations about introducing themselves to total strangers on the internet as a “nappy” girl but Ese Otobo wears the label with pride wielding it as sign of her unique beauty. The model, and beauty and lifestyle blogger is the face behind a digital diary that allows her to connect with her audience beyond the impeccable images she’s been captured in for publications like Essence and the Washington Post.

Being a working model used to be about being malleable. Even in the infancy of the now pervasive “supermodel” ethos it was still more about the value of the clothes and less about the value of the woman in them.

Originally, the girls who booked the most jobs were the ones who were the most bland because they wouldn’t overshadow the designer’s vision. But instead of making herself, her opinions, her 4C hair, and her globally influenced political beliefs small, Otobo has joined a generation of models who are introducing their interests and intelligence alongside their long limbs.

She doubles down on her commitment to celebrating her heritage in digital spaces like Instagram, and shares her authentic perspective on everything from career challenges to concealer shade ranges in interviews.

We’re in an age where a model can be ‘more’ and Otobo has plenty more to give.

But just because Otobo’s singular personality helps her stand out doesn’t mean she’s a slouch when it comes to serving looks. She crushes it in everything from geometric afros to gleaming silver box braids for legacy brands like Lancome and Nike.

It’s no wonder that designers looking to create meaningful connections with their consumers like Chromat look to her to add character to their runway shows.

Whether she’s on the runway or in front of the camera it’s evident that she’s confident in her ability to charm without swaying away from what she’s all about.


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#MODELMONDAY: Ese Otobo Has No Problem With You Calling Her “Nappy”  was originally published on