Rwanda’s top 10 models grace global fashion runways

Rwanda’s top 10 models grace global fashion runways

Rwanda’s fashion industry is gaining significant recognition on the global stage. First, it was fashion designers whose collections were embraced by the world’s most famous celebrities; and now, a new generation of models continues to run the show on international catwalks and grace the pages of prestigious fashion magazines.

From New York to Paris, Milan to the UK, Rwandan models have transcended local celebrity to become recognisable faces in the competitive global fashion industry.

In no particular order, New Times We look at the top 10 Rwandan supermodels who have achieved worldwide fame, exploring their journeys and milestones.

Denyse Mushikiwabo

Mushikiwabo began making a name for herself on the global modeling scene by walking on the runways of world-famous fashion brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Balmain Paris, Victoria Beckam, Carven, Gucci, Prada and Dolce Gabbana.

The Rwandan model’s talent was discovered by many management agencies including The Wave, Select Models Paris, and Muse Model NYC. She successfully passed different auditions and therefore took every opportunity presented to her to reach the spotlight.

With her modeling shows, she is now among the most sought-after models in Rwanda.

Christine Munezero

The 26-year-old model continues to fly the Rwandan flag in the international fashion arena, appearing on the stands of major brands at major events such as Milan Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week.

Munezero works with world famous fashion brands such as Maison Valentino, Maison Malgiela, Chloe, Dior, Versace, Maxmara, Gucci, Courrèges, Giambattiste Vali.

Esther Niyirera

Niyirera first began her modeling career when she was among five Rwandan models participating in Paris Fashion Week in early 2024. The platform has since opened many doors for the young but talented model who rose to fame under the management of companies such as Isis Model Africa, Metropolitan Models group and Muse Management NYC.

She is one of the most promising models in Rwanda, considering that she has successfully worked with various fashion brands from the UK, Italy and France since the beginning of 2024.

Anipha Umufite

Umufite, 23, has been experiencing the best moments and milestones of her modeling career since she stepped onto the international scene after passing modeling auditions by Hunt Management.

Since then, she has starred in a number of international fashion shows, showcasing collections for major brands such as Prada, Fendi, Dior, Hermes, Adidas Y3 and Dolce & Gabbana.

see also: From quitter to famous model – Umufite’s story

The young top model, known on stage as Anipha Kay, has signed a lucrative deal to appear in the same magazine as the famous world top model Naomi Campbell, in addition to starring in the advertisements for Kanye West’s ‘Yeezy Gap’ collection in 2022.

With the agreement, the photographs from the American musician’s collection were published in the 2023 issue of the popular London-based fashion and culture magazine “Re-edition Magazine”, and Campbell appeared on the cover of the magazine.

Umufite was also featured in Vogue Italia, one of the world’s most important fashion magazines, in May 2024.

Before entering the modeling world, she was a journalist at Isango Star, a radio and television station based in Kigali.

Agencies currently managing Umufite include The Hunt Management, Elite Modeling Agency Network and Society Management.

Jennifer Girukwishaka

Girukwishaka is one of the biggest models representing Rwanda on the world fashion stage.

In October 2021, she walked in an international fashion show for the first time in Paris, France, and her journey from one runway to the next was nothing short of spectacular.

She works for modeling agencies in Italy, England, France and the USA, as well as the Uno modeling office in Barcelona and Madrid.

Ines Pamela

Pamela’s modeling journey took shape in 2021 with the help of Rwandan modeling agency ‘We Best Models Management’ owned by famous modeling pioneer Franco Kabano. Since then, she has graced different prestigious catwalks around the world.

Among the many catwalks she has attended are the iconic Louis Vuitton fashion show in London, Paris Fashion Week representing the Bamain collection, Bottega Veneta ss23 and the British luxury fashion show Alexander McQueen.

Morella Isheja

The 21-year-old model, who dazzled by attending two concerts, Courrèges and Giambattist, at London Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week, is among the youngest Rwandan models to make waves on the international fashion scene.

Isheja participated in the Miss Rwanda beauty pageant in 2021 and made it to the top 10 finalists.

Kentha Cherry

Kirezi is Isheja’s sister.

The Rwandan model is making a name for herself among rising talents in the fashion industry. She lived her dream when she walked alongside Naomie Campbell and Winnie Harlow at London Fashion Week.

She currently manages various agencies including Isis Models Africa, Mirrrs Model Management, Milk Model Management and Two Management Barcelona.

Ornella Umutoni

Umutoni was also among five models presenting designs at Paris Fashion Week in February 2024. Loewe, Hermes and MIU MIU presented their designs.

Style consulted by Anne Rabeux in Brussels, Belgium in December 2023.

Umutoni has agreements with modeling agencies based in the USA, Italy, France, Barcelona and Greece.

Claude Nionezi

Claude Niyonizeye is a rising star in the fashion industry. He started modeling as a career in 2022, introduced by his mother’s agency, Webest Model Management.

Currently managed by French modeling agency Select Model Paris, as well as Wave Management and Two Management New York, Niyonizeye is quickly making a name for herself on international catwalks such as Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks.

She walked for the famous Japanese Fashion House Mihara Yasuhiro at the 2024 Paris Fashion Week.