This week’s style crush Wednesday is 22-year-old commercial model, Monifah Lawrence. I fell in love with her style when I stumbled on her Instagram earlier this year. With a modern yet minimalistic approach to street wear, Nifah can make even the simplest item of clothing look super chic! You can blame me for wanting to shop her whole entire wardrobe!
Born in Port Shepstone KZN and raised in Dubai, the soft spoken, petite beauty balances getting dressed up while still keeping it casual well, remaining on trend the whole time. “I’ve always had a love for fashion, which is one of the reasons why I decided to pursue a career in the industry”
Tell us about yourself
I’m shy and introverted which is ironic because my job requires me to be the most confident person in the room. Modelling has pushed me to put myself out there, build confidence in myself & meeting other creatives from different paths and learning from them is by far the best thing about my job!
When did you start modelling?
I didn’t really plan on being a full-time model. I started by freelancing back in 2018. I just would do photoshoots here and there, then my ‘big break’ came after I did a shoot with some girls already signed to an agency. Their agent saw me in their pictures and immediately wanted to sign me. That’s when I started taking modeling seriously.
It was extremely difficult at first because I was a full-time student studying. Some castings would be during the day and I’d miss out on a lot of big jobs because I had to be at school studying for tests and submitting assignments. Things got easier after I graduated and I could focus on modelling full-time. I hold a bachelors degree in Education.
Your first job vs your biggest job?
My very first job was an absolute disaster! It was a photoshoot for a renowned clothing company and I was so anxious. I literally had no idea what to do. I was so bad I eventually got sent back home, can you imagine!
*Quick tip for your first photoshoot: Practice poses in the mirror; trust me it helps a lot because you become more familiar with your best angles. Have a set routine of poses to do (kind of like a choreography) so that you don’t find yourself stuck in front of the camera not knowing what to do next.
So far, my biggest jobs have been working with Coca Cola as well as Mobicel. They really expected the most from me and I had to work hard to upraise the brand.
Who are your favorite brands and models?
SA models: Carmen Solomon’s (huge inspo) and Summer Zoe Thompson Brands, Thebe Magugu.
International models: Imaan Hammam (the reason I model) & Zoe Kravitz
Obviously, I’d love to work with FENTY and YEEZY as well as international high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton. Beauty brands like L’Oréal, Maybelline & KKW.
Do you think the Durban Fashion Industry has potential?
The Durban fashion industry has way more potential than we think. We need to create the space and opportunities for ourselves because we are a lot smaller and in saying that we need to support each other! The main restraint in the industry here is that we are not open to inclusivity. Collaborations are vital! There are so many hidden gems in Durban just waiting to be discovered and the only way we can make it work is if we stand together.