Model, Brigitte Appiah is Embracing Uniqueness

Briggite Appiah is a Libyan-born Ghanaian high fashion model and actor based in Accra and part of iMullar #WomeninIndustry series.

Briggite has one of those faces that you can not forget, and with more than ten years of experience working within the fashion industry, she remains a force to be reckoned with. From stunning campaigns with GUCCI and Guinness to cameos in popular music videos like JAE5’s Afroswing hit Dimension,  Briggite’s range gives her a powerful, versatile edge. No stranger to a catwalk, Brigitte Appiah has also walked in numerous fashion shows. Bold, eager to learn, and a creative in her own right, Brigitte Appiah is redefining what it means to be a high fashion model in Africa.

M-Why did you start modeling?  

I remembered vividly how I felt when I saw the chief assistant to the Italian ambassador’s wife. She was the head scout for a private fashion show they were going to have. I felt appreciated, loved for how I looked, tall and slender for a 13-year-old, which was the opposite reaction from my father for a long time, who wanted me to gain weight till then. I felt relieved. In short, I felt like a princess for the first time for simply being me and I promised myself to never let that feeling go.  

M-How did you become one of the most “in demand” models in Ghana?

For me, I will say my love for my work, my appreciation for modeling is growing as time goes. My secret is my work ethics, I take everything I do seriously, my relationship with industry people, being on time to work, knowing the background of my work, knowing my market margin, and in all trying to stay as organic and authentic as possible, etc. 

 M-What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on?

I will say the Guinness commercial in 2016 with director Jake Nava. I remember being overwhelmed and cold in this large park in Kenya where it was being filmed and having my hair cut and designed into a football pattern by three stylists at once.   He walked in and told me I was picked out of thousands across Africa because I felt organic and had my own hair(I actually auditioned with my natural afro hair, with a touch of lip gloss which is still my fav go-to simple makeup look). I appreciated that but not until I got back to Ghana, researched him to find out that he has worked with the likes of  Gigi Hadid, Beyonce, and Adele. 

M-What was the greatest barrier to your entry into the modeling industry?

Honestly, I will say the demographic I found myself in. Until just recently, dark skin and natural hair was constantly being compared to bleached skin /light-skinned, bi-racial, wigs and permed hair which were at the time, considered more beautiful and would be picked over someone that looks like me. I even had an encounter where I auditioned three times for 3years  in a row in Ghana and I was denied, I called the director to the side after and asked why, he told me they don’t know what to do with me, that’s when I decided to work for myself and find my own market that will appreciate me for how I looked like the Italians did.  Now, there’s knowledge and appreciation for other skin tones (especially dark skin ), diversely African, and unique features are being embraced at a more positive rate in the industry. 

M-Where did you find the support you needed?

I will say the foreign market, people from the diaspora, or Africans that have stayed in different countries like myself with more exposure to a diverse set of cultures, fashion, etc. They could relate with me and oftentimes see what I see. They would be the ones to incorporate me into their works, giving me the platform to show and exhibiting my talents. 

M-Why should people support women?

I think first is to have a positive view of women, we mean no harm really. We will bring on board our nurturing traits, assertiveness, managerial skills to ensure ideas are made into reality. We foster the idea of sustainability for humanity and the world as a whole.  It’s a great advantage to have women on board ;). 

M-What’s next for Brigette Appiah?

Film. I’m looking to tell my experiences through film. I am currently learning everything through film and I am so excited about this chapter.

Get familiar with Brigitte’s work on Instagram @brigitteappiah.

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