Meet our March muse, the 25-year-old British fashion model/activist Adowoa Aboah, whose ridiculous beauty and unique style is not what actually makes her the most in-demand model of the moment. It's her passion to raise awareness about mental health, diversity and feminism for today’s generation that puts her on top.
In the fashion world Aboah has worked with the likes of Calvin Klein, Fendi, DKNY, Alexander Wang, Kenzo, Chanel and Fenty to name a few. She has also appeared on numerous international covers including Dazed, i-D and Love Magazine, plus most recently for the infamous Edward Enninful 's first December 2017 issue as editor-in-chief of British Vogue. Due to this impressive modelling repertoire she went on to win the Model of the Year at the 2017 Fashion Awards. Aside from these extensive modelling credentials Aboah is an activist first and foremost.
In the past year, she has gone from strength to strength in her activism, working with Save The Children, supporting the Time's Up initiative, being appointed the ambassador of the British Fashion Council, all while raising awareness around mental health issues by partnering with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and working on projects for her company Gurls Talk. Alongside her activism and modelling careers Aboah has also started making a name for herself in the acting world (in fact she studied drama at Brunel University in London). She recently starred alongside Scarlett Johansen in the sci-fi drama Ghost In The Shell and previously won a leading role in the Sundance-awarded feature film to.get.her by Erica Dunton. And if this wasn’t enough to cover her impressive resume, Aboah has also assisted makeup artist Pat McGrath and Céline creative director Phoebe Philo and worked on art direction alongside Juergen Teller to create Burberry's most resent season campaign.
With all that is under her belt you would think the model has had it plain sailing but that is not the case. Fuelled by the searing honesty about her own battles with addiction and mental illness in the past, the beautiful young woman, both inside and out, has been using her modelling and acting profile to open doors to a world of activism.
Aboah was born into the fashion world, her mother Camilla Lowther is one of the world’s most successful fashion agents and her father is Charles Aboah, London’s go-to location scout. Due to this Aboah was introduced to fashion at an early age and signed with Storm Model Management when she was just 16 years old. Even though she was born into the industry Aboah has always wanted to be more than just a model. In 2015, she founded Gurls Talk, an online community that provides young women with a safe place to discuss sensitive topics, including mental health, sex and social media with a resounding message of you are not alone. "2014 was a terrible year for me," she explained to Vogue UK. "I got a lot of help from psychiatrists, doctors and my family, but also from group therapy. I met people from so many different backgrounds and we were all able to relate to each other. It felt like a real community, and I stole that concept for Gurls Talk. I wanted to create the sort of space I needed when I was at school - a space where we could talk about anything...There is this newfound love and space for activism within fashion...I never would have dreamt in a million years that I would have young girls coming up to me at Glastonbury or on the streets of LA, New York, London, and telling me how much Gurls Talk or seeing my picture in a magazine means to them, as a woman of colour.”
Because Gurls Talk is founded on the principle of open communication, Aboah felt that honesty about her own problems was important. She has spoken openly about overcoming addiction, and about a history of depression that began in her early teens and reached its rock bottom with a suicide attempt in her early 20s.
With her brave honesty, she is the poster girl for a generation that is all too aware that life isn’t always rosy. The fall and rise of a star is not the kind of career the fashion industry gets to celebrate, because it’s usually the other way around. Aboah however is the exception to the rule – rising from the lows and using her past to speak with the voice of experience, to create a revolution in such a calm and reasonable way it compels you to focus on the words being spoken, to inspire change in the present for young girls and women and we hope in the future too.
We cannot wait to see what Aboah will do next in her modelling, fashion, acting and most importantly activism careers.
Images found via Aboah’s Instagram