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Melanin Wonderful story

Hannah Akua The Face of Melanin Wonder 2019

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The Face of MelaninWonder

A bit about me…who am I?
I am Hannah Ofosu-Oware. I was born in Accra, Ghana, West Africa in the late nighties.

Accra, Ghana source: phdmedia.com

I came to the Netherlands at the age of 15 and have been blessed to enjoy the exciting journey of assimilating into the Dutch culture.

It has been a stark difference from what I left behind in Africa. The unlimited sunshine, heat and abundance of fresh tropical foods. The uniqueness of this deep culture and environment is what I feel adds depth to my character and look.

The Vibrant marketplace in Ghana

I am fun, warm, attentive and love to be around people. I also adore cooking and aspire to one day own a fusion African restaurant in Holland and in Ghana. I cook for friends, family and anyone that loves to eat!

” By nature, I am typically a very shy individual and have always had to motivate myself to break out of my shell. “

Why I took part in the MW contest?

Hannah rocking some Kente fabrics

By nature, I am typically a very shy individual and have always had to motivate myself to break out of my shell. However, I decided to let go of my inhibitions and take the leap of competing in this year’s campaign to be the female face of the Melanin Wonder brand. I have in the past taken up a few modelling projects and found it to be an art form that brings out creativity. I love it. 😊

Photography by: Godfried van Utrecht

For those who may not be aware, Melanin wonder is a Netherlands based online magazine created with the intent to educate, entertain, inspire and also highlight social issues affecting the African youth in the diaspora. 

Hannah

I would like to support and be part of a brand that uplifts individuals to spotlight when they do not have a voice or a face. As the popular saying goes, ‘Black is beautiful’, but many fail to acknowledge that.  

Photography: Vonne in-house Melanin Wonder photographer

I desire to be an inspiration to the Black OR Brown girl, woman (FEMALE) with her unique African lineage and truly believe that BLACK is indeed BEAUTIFUL.

Hannah

Khoudia Diop inspired me a lot she said “Being black it’s not a crime, Be happy with what you have and who you are”.
  

Hannah.

Melanin Wonderful story

Etienne Melanin Plus Size Model to Look out for This 2020!

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Who are you?

My name is Etienne and I am 31 years old. I grew up  and lived most my life in Amsterdam-East with my little brother. Our family is a warm and happy family and as a person I am usually a helpful person. I am royal, loyal sensitive and generous. I currently reside in A’dam Noord.

“Don’t be ashamed of how you look like. Just be who you are. Don’t change for anyone!”

 

Etienne

 

FashionBiggie?

I founded the name ‘Biggie’ due to the fact that I love fashion. My friends used to always call me a Fashionista because I love wearing the dopest outfits. I always want to look good. My mum called me Biggie when i was younger. On the streets they used to use the Nickname Biggie as well because the stature of Biggie. That is how Fashion Biggie came to be.

 

Black & White Photographed by Celso de Sanders

 

Etienne’s childhood

My childhood dream was to be an archeologist some day. I was fascinated by finding old artifacts which end up to be worth a lot of money. These artefacts are always linked to amazing historical stories and a glimpse of how people used to live back in the day. But I had a second dream, which was becoming a fashion designer. I loved Fashion and I still do. Creating clothes and outfits for others was my thing. I’d love people to be wearing my outfits. Especially for the people with a size more.

 

 

My hobbies are: doing sports, gaming, being with family, singing and doing commercials. I have a commercial gig every week. Also, do I go to the gym three times a week. The gym is my medicine, I love it!

 

Art by @irfaan3

Art by @irfaan3

Why modeling?


The first photo shoot i ever did was when i was 24 years old. It was my first time so I was quite nervous. You’ll get the urge to be perfect. The positive reactions after doing the shoots kept coming in and that definitely gave me a confidence boost. It is a fun thing to do and you’ll also learn a thing or two during shoots.

 

“Make sure you feel good and do not listen to people who do not support you.”



In 2015, I started taking photography more seriously, I was about 24 or 25 years old at the time.

Etienne

For people who do not have the confidence to start modeling; just be yourself like they always say. 

Just start talking to people around you or ask the photographer to teach you some basic poses. Ask about what outfits look most flattering on you and learn. you can also DM me on @fashionbiggie, we can always hang out! Take small steps as well, do not try to do too much all at once.

 

Etienne

Etienne Capture Infinity

Make sure you feel good and do not listen to people who do not support you. Whether it is your family or any friends, just do what you feel like doing. That is how I do it too. 🙂

When i do some TV work, I sometimes do get recognized but not regularly though. Ooh wauw, I have so many artists I like;  Tank  or Drake and so many more actually.

What I was seeing all over social media was plus size women being celebrated. Which is a good thing but there also plus size men who would like to be praised in the modeling world. I wanted to be the first black plus size model in this area.

 

By Milton Franklyn Goedhoop

By Milton Franklyn Goedhoop

I want to be a black role model for people of color, the melanated people. My main message is: “Don’t be ashamed of how you look like. Just be who you are. Don’t change for anyone!”

MelaninWonderOfficial on Instagram! -> Go Follow!

 

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Fashion

Afro-Dutch Beauty first to represent The Netherlands in the Miss Eco Netherlands 2020

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Miss Eco Netherlands 2020 captured by Mantiz Photography

Stephanie Omogun is the new Miss Avantgarde 2019 and will be a finalist at the Miss Eco International 2020 competition in Egypt.

Mantiz Photography

Miss Eco International is an International Beauty competition that brings together representatives of different cultures and traditions from all over the world. Its main objective is to promote the importance of saving our planet environmentally in addition to marketing tourism across the world.
This competition focuses on the wellness of the mind, body, and spirit of all the candidates that represent all the countries from all over the world.


MISS ECO INT’L SUPPORTS THE UN SDGS 2030 AGENDA FOR A BETTER WORLD.

Stephanie Omogun receiving her Finalist sash

 

 

Our very own Melanin Wonder founder Stephanie Omogun has been awarded the title of Miss Avantgarde 2019!!!

Stephanie winning the Miss Avantgarde 2019 Title as a black woman – Duane van der Geld as photographer

The Miss Avantgarde is more than just a Beauty Contest for the Netherlands. According to the pageant details the contest focuses on art, creativity, promotes awareness in fields of the environment and sustainability. The awarded recipients are also given the opportunity to advance their career in the areas of modelling, photography and the fashion world.

Some of the categories are extremely unique to the competition. In the Fashion Category, the contestant works with a fashion designer who makes an outfit from recyclable materials.

Photo: Duane van der Geld

Stephanie is the second Melanin Beauty to win the competition. The First Melanin Beauty was Mariana Pietersz in 2016.

Stephanie’s modeling and previous pageant history has prepared her for this moment. She will be the first Afro-Dutch woman to represent the Netherlands in the Miss Eco International competition next year.

She was recently a pageant contender in the Miss World NL in 2018 as well.

Melanin Wonder is extremely proud of this accomplishment by Stephanie.

We are honoured to say that she was awarded the title of Miss Avantgarde 2019! She will directly continue to represent the Netherlands in Egypt and meet Miss Eco Finalists from all over the world!

Congratulations Stephanie Omogun! Hard work pays off!!

Go follow her Facebook Page Stephlike to keep tabs on what she is up to next!



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Entrepreneurship

Eric Jones builds his empire, from Fayetteville, AR to LA – The American dream

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We reunited with Eric Jones, CEO and lead designer at LFLS shoes. He started his business in 2016, after graduating and mourning his late mom and dad. He pulled through and continued building his empire, making his late parents proud, building his life with the goals he in-visioned.

His mother in particular was a big part of designing LSLS shoes. She helped him create the first designs of LFLS’s 1st collection while he was finishing up college. Unfortunately, she was not there to experience the launch of his collection or witness his graduation. She passed away a few weeks before he graduated. Eric’s first collection was very important to him, as he was holding a piece of his mom in his creations.

 

 

We asked Eric how life changed since the first year into entrepreneurship.

”My life has changed tremendously, it is literally like comparing night and day!” 

” My slow success has allowed me to build so much character and it has molded me into an individual that has the influence, courage, resilience and story to inspire a nation. I’ve had the chance to experience so many things that I couldn’t have imagined. I worked with people that I never thought I would be able to work with MJ Harris ,Tasha Page Lockhart, Anthony Anderson and Desi Bank just to name a few.

From left to right MJ Harris, Tasha Page Lockhart, Anthony Anderson, and Desi Bank

I achieved goals that exceed my wildest expectations. I also, recently took a huge leap of faith and relocated to Los Angeles, California a little over a week ago. Coming from Helena, AR, these are things that I could have never imagined doing in my life! ”

Eric’s life changed tremendously in just 24 months!

Exposure – he has been recognized my national and international media and has been featured on Global Grind, Because of them We Can, Melanin Wonder, Voyage LA/Dallas, and a host of other platforms! New friends, gaining MJ Harris as a friend and mentor.

Building his CV, booking multiple speaking engagements and also speaking on panels across the country to share my story. Recognition, being recognized by my Alma Mater and moving to Los Angeles, just 2 weeks ago!

Are your shoes as dapper as you are?

It’s a guarantee because you can’t find shoes like these anywhere else. I have added my own unique touches to each shoe and they have become a high demand for special occasions like weddings, galas, proms, graduations and red carpet events. The shoes are the representation of a lifestyle that many individuals want to live. A lifestyle of modern luxury with a sprinkle of good old classic vibes.

How do you test the product quality?

I test the quality of my products by having a sample developed of a specific shoe that I have designed and want to send into production. Based on how the sample comes out will determine what changes are needed or if I will work with that particular factory or not. 

What was the main reason you chose to start making women’s shoes as well?

I decided to start making women’s shoes because so many women would ask me about shoes for them or if I made kids shoes that they could fit. I tested the market to see if women would actually purchase the pair of flats that I ended up designing. It turned out that they liked them a lot and at times purchased more than my customer base of men would.

 

So to circle back around on the question, the main reason I chose to start making them is to please the ladies hahaha. But then it also became bigger than that because I made sure the women’s flats matched the men’s loafers, which lead to our his and hers collection. My late mother Gloria also loved shoes a lot, I plan to design a women’s shoe dedicated to her in the near future.

 

What’s the next up-and-coming trend Eric?

”I’m not much of a trendy person, I tend to create them versus keep up with them!” 

If you weren’t making shoes, what would be your craft today?

Branding and social media strategy for sure, along with still inspiring people through my journey! I love everything about branding and how a business conveys its story to their potential customers, whether that be through visuals or strategy. This is one reason why I started offer branding/business development consultations. I also love styling too, so I’m sure I would also still be dabbling in that industry even if I wasn’t a shoe designer!

You recently moved to LA, how will this impact the LFLS brand?

” This move will take the brand to the next level!” 

Being in this environment around celebrities, stylist, red carpet events, influencers and a host of other entrepreneurs/creatives is all I could ask for plus more! You never know who you will meet here in LA, so many doors will be opened for myself and the brand that could have never been opened back in Arkansas. I’m thrilled to be here and just honored to be able to have the faith, courage and resilience to take such a huge leap of faith and sacrifice for my future.

 













Get you a pair of LFLS shoes to look just as dapper as Eric
https://www.lflsshoes.com/
GIVE AWAY - GIVE AWAY - GIVE AWAY - GIVE AWAY
P.S. Eric is doing a give-away in collaboration with Melanin Wonder.
Comment under this article and repost it on your socials.
Send us a screenshot of you comment under this post +
your repost on any socials (email: info@melaninwonder.com)
Winner will be announced in the third week of september.
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