[E]unice Olumide is what you’d describe as a creative polymath, cleverly bridging the worlds of art, fashion and philanthropy. Growing up on a council estate in Edinburgh, she was scouted by Select models when she was 15 years old. “I literally knew nothing about fashion growing up,” she tells Hunger. “Fashion didn’t seem like a real job or even an industry. I didn’t take it seriously at all and thought it was a joke. I was then scouted a further three times and decided to give it a go.”
The Scottish model turned curator has enjoyed an illustrious catwalk career – walking for the likes of Mulberry, Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane – and appeared in the pages of Vogue, Dazed & Confused and i-D magazine to name a few. These days she dedicates a lot of her time to arts and activism, and was awarded Design Champion by the Victoria Albert Museum earlier this year. We caught up with the founder of The Olumide Gallery, to talk the lessons she learned from the catwalk, runway diversity and the rising artists shaping Nigeria’s creative scene RN…
Hey Eunice! You’ve modelled for the likes of Alexander McQueen to Christopher Kane, after being scouted when you were 15. Was this a positive experience for you?
I think in retrospect it was the best decision I ever made. It allowed me to travel the world and work with a completely new set of people every single day which was enthralling and dynamic. It really changed my perception of my reality and contributed to me feeling like I could go anywhere and achieve anything.
What’s your first fashion memory?
It was the first time I had ever walked into a room and been complimented on my appearance; ten fifteen years ago the UK was a completely different place and it wasn’t that cool to be a dark skinned woman.