I asked the Tall, elegant and well-spoken model “What modeling meant to her, Lora Akati said in response to my question ‘ Modeling is about expressionism. I put on clothes and assume a certain character. I get to play with my features and limbs and express myself in a language of clothes, makeup, hair etc.’
I noticed then, her shaved head which was bold and distinguished her on the runway. I had first seen her on the runway at the recent Glitz Fashion Week in Accra, wearing pieces by renowned Nigerian designers like Mai Atafo, Ejiro, Moofa and Vonne Couture. At 6’2, she is truly striking and you can’t help but notice her sleek, elegant form sashaying the runway.
I wondered for a moment, asking Akati ‘How did you get to walk for designers of such repute especially as a new face?’
Her features softened, smiling sweetly she said ‘I’ll tell you what. I walked into the fitting room on the second day and immediately I got in, Mai Atafo stood tall amidst a number of models and he said to me upon entering, where have you been? I’ve been looking for tall girls like you!. In a matter of seconds, I was stripped down to my lingerie and already sliding my legs into this crazy ruffle pants.’
Akati went on to explain that designers knew what they want and what body type worked best with what piece. In the same way, Vonne Couture approached her and asked if she’d like to open their show.
I remember that vivid yellow jacket and batik skirt she strutted as Studio 189 closed the Glitz Fashion Week. I could tell there was something special about this 21-year-old. I was pleasantly surprised to meet her at Lagos Fashion Week a couple of days later.
There, she still towered over her peers, walking with such grace. She wore a yellow number from the Sunny Rose collection, finishing off with Maki Oh on the last day. It’s not often you meet a diamond breaking out of the rough but as I watched Akati on the runway at Heineken Lagos Fashion Week, I knew a star was born
Later in an interview with Carmen & Coco of Marie Claire, she disclosed its her first show in Nigeria as well. She mentioned how immensely supportive everyone seemed especially the designers and their creative team, ‘Elvis of Sunny Rose treated me like a princess’ she added laughing. ‘It’s been a tough 3 days and my feet could use a massage and day off, but it’s been such a wonderful experience.’
I had to ask what her plans for the future were. She revealed a lookbook shoot for American-Nigerian Odio Mimonet the next day and a huge collaboration with Afrodesiac Worldwide which she had to keep under the lid for now
The 21-year old is signed to Scope Model Management in Nigeria and is looking to walk in Milan, NYC and South Africa next season. We wish her the best of luck as we keep a keen eye on her career.