Business of Fashion has unveiled their sixth annual BoF 500 list, 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.
The list puts the spotlight on the most influential entrepreneurs and businessmen and women responsible for shaping the global fashion industry.
See the African game-changers that made the 2018 cut below.
Since signing an exclusive with Saint Laurent for the Spring/Sumer 2017 show, Adut Akech has become one of the industry’s new faces to watch.
Born in South Sudan, Akech was raised in Kenya and moved to Australia, aged six, with her mother and five siblings as South Sudanese refugees. Despite being scouted by local agencies aged 13 and 14, she started her modeling career at 16, signing to Chadwick Models in Sydney, Australia.
British model Adwoa Aboah worked as both a stylist and creative director before prompting an industry-wide intake of breath after Tim Walker shot her for the cover of Vogue Italia. Her frank and honest account of her battle with addiction and depression along with her Gurls Talk project, which gives young women a platform to discuss feminist issues, have made her one of the industry’s most courageous voices.
The hijab-wearing model has been redefining traditional standards of beauty, diversifying the modeling industry and outwardly representing Muslim women — who have hitherto been scarce in the modeling industry — both on the catwalk and in an editorial capacity.
The rising supermodel is one of the hottest new faces in the industry and the name on every casting director’s lips.
With over 550,000 Instagram followers, Hammam promotes diversity within the industry to her extensive audience on social media. “I want to be a role model for young girls who are struggling with racism or struggling with their looks or with their skin colour,” she said. “There aren’t many Arabic models, and being an African-Arabic model, I’m trying to open doors for more Arabic girls.”
Jenke Ahmed Tailly
Jenke Ahmed Tailly is a stylist who has worked with Beyonce and Kim Kardashian, and whose editorial work is largely inspired by his African heritage.
Alongside his work with celebrities, Tailly is a creative director and consultant, having worked with British, US and Italian Vogue, GQ, Garage and The Gentlewoman magazines. He has also worked on campaigns for H&M and Benetton and styled shows for Yeezy and Sophie Theallet. In 2016 Tailly was the creative director for L’Officiel’s “Gang of Africa” issue which ran with the theme “black beauty matters” and featured singer Ciara and model Iman.
The media mogul, who has recently acquired the license for the South African edition of ELLE magazine and co-founded multi-brand luxury store Luminance, is fast becoming one of the country’s leading fashion players.
Dhlomo serves on the advisory board of the University of Stellenbosch Business School. In 2010, she was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.