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Style Icon Watch 31: Agbani Darego

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Proven to be one of Africa’s most influential and favorite women, Agbani Darego is this week’s style icon to watch.

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Agbani Darego, a certified psychologist, style influencer, business woman, ex Miss World 2001 and 2001 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria has an outstanding career in fashion and business.

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An African fashion favorite, Agbani’s fashion and style is unique and classy. Agbani is a fan of Nigerian women’s wear brands such as Lanre DaSilva Ajayi, Lisa Folariyo and Tiffany Amber.

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In 2001, Darego was crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria. Later the same year, at the 51st edition of the Miss World in November, Agbani became the first native African to claim the Miss World title.

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With this came numerous modeling contracts and fashion shows; participation in Naomi Campbell’s ‘Frock ‘n’ Roll’ charity fashion show held in Barcelona, a modelling deal with Donald Trump ‘s management to establish links with modelling agencies in America. Agbani was represented by the London and Paris branches of Next Model Management and landed a three-year contract with L’Oréal, becoming only the second Black model to accomplish this feat after Vanessa Williams, and was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue. Other brands she has modelled for include Avon, Christian Dior, Sephora, Target, and Macy’s. Darego has also appeared in Elle, Marie Claire, Allure, Trace, Stitch, Cosmopolitan, and and Essence magazines, working with numerous designers including Oscar de la Renta, Marc Bouwer, Tommy Hillfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Gianfranco Ferre.

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In Nigeria, Darego has appeared in advertising campaigns for hair care brand Gentle Touch with model Oluchi, and is the face of Arik Air. She has also graced the covers of Complete Fashion, Mania, ThisDay Style, Genevieve, True Love, and TW Magazine.

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Agbani Darego has judged numerous pageants, and fashion and modelling competitions including Miss World 2014, Miss England 2002, Mr. Scotland 2002, and Elite Model Look Nigeria 2012 and 2014.

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Ever fashion forward, Agbani Darego in 2010 launched a style and fashion reality show Stylogenic on Nigerian television and in 2013, also launched her denim range, AD by Agbani Darego, which includes jeans, dresses, sunglasses and bags.

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With her statement slicked back hair and nude but glam makeup, Agbani is simple and understated and her free, winning smile is the reason she remains Africa’s beloved Miss World.

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