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Oluchi Onweagba Orlandi, A Biography, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  


Oluchi Onweagba-Orlandi
Born Oluchi Onweagba
1 August 1980 (age 37)[1][2]
Modeling information
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[3]
Hair color Black[2]
Eye color Brown[2]

Oluchi Onweagba-Orlandi (born 1 August 1980) is a Nigerian model.[1][2]


Early life

Onweagba grew up in the suburbs of Lagos, Nigeria, with her two brothers and sisters. She is the daughter of a civil servant father and mother who was a nurse.[2]


At seventeen, Onweagba was urged by a family friend to enter into the M-Net “Face of Africa” preliminary screening at the M-Net office in Victoria Island, Lagos.[5] The agency groomed her to be one of Nigeria’s entrants for the 1998 competition (now called the Nokia Face of Africa). This despite the fact that, growing up, she had maintained a relative ignorance towards fashion and modeling.[citation needed] With the support of her family and friends, she decided to compete in the inaugural edition of the Face of Africa in 1998. This was the first-ever continent-wide model competition, organized by the South African channel M-Net in collaboration with Elite Model Management.[citation needed] She won the competition.[6]


After moving to New York City, where she still lives, she began appearing in editorials for American and Italian VogueHarper’s BazaarMarie ClaireAllureNylon and W.[citation needed]Oluchi has appeared on the covers of Italian VogueEllei-DPopUntold, and Surface.

She has walked the runways for GucciCarolina HerreraJohn GallianoMissoniTommy HilfigerChanelBottega VenetaChristian DiorAlessandro Dell’AcquaJeremy ScottHelmut LangFendiAnna SuiGivenchyKenzoGiorgio ArmaniCélineNina Ricci, and Diane Von Furstenberg.

She has appeared in advertising campaigns for Gianfranco FerréLancômeAnn TaylorCliniqueBergdorf GoodmanNordstromMacy’sBanana RepublicGapExpressL’OrealCoca-Cola, as well as working for Victoria’s Secret in print walking for seven consecutive years in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.[7][citation needed]

She has worked with such notable photographers as Steven MeiselNick KnightDavid LaChapelle, and Patrick Demarchelier.[citation needed]

Beyond modeling, Onweagba tries to serve as a role model for other aspiring talents in Nigeria, especially young girls.[citation needed] She volunteers her time and her image for such NGOsas LEAP Africa (an entrepreneurship incubator) and NIPRO. She also is continuing her higher education, having studied for an associate degree in the New York City educational system.[citation needed]

After her three-year contract with Elite expired, Onweagba signed with DNA Model Management.[citation needed] A highlight of her career so far was when she was featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue four times, from 2005 to 2008.[citation needed]

In 2008, she launched a modeling agency in South Africa, OModel Africa, with offices in Johannesburg and recently in Cape Town.[citation needed] The 2008 winner of M-Net Face of Africa, Kate Tachie-Menson, was awarded a US $50,000 modeling contract by OModel Africa.[citation needed] She is currently the host and head judge of Africa’s Next Top Model[8]

Personal life

Onweagba’s first name comes from the Igbo language and means “God’s Work”.[2][9]

In 2006 Onweagba is married to Italian fashion designer Luca Orlandi.[1] In April 2007 their son Ugochukwu was born.


  1. Jump up to:a b c Sewing, Joy (25 March 2010). “Supermodel Oluchi Onweagba takes on the world”Houston Chronicle. Downtown Houston, Texas, USA. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e f g “Fashion Model Directory: Oluchi Onweagba”Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  3. Jump up^ https://www.dnamodels.com/women/oluchi-onweagba/portfolio#/page/1
  4. Jump up^ https://models.com/models/Oluchi-Onweagba
  5. Jump up^ “Facing Off”Times LIVE. Johannesburg, South Africa: Tim. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  6. Jump up^ “Model Bio: Oluchi”New York Magazine.
  7. Jump up^ Marsh, Lisa (11 February 2004). “Show Buzz”New York Post.
  8. Jump up^ https://antmafrica.com/the-judges/
  9. Jump up^ “2007 Sports illustrated Swimsuit Bio -Oluchi Onweagba”. CNN/Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
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