By Johannes Hangula
GONE are the days when male models played a low key role in the world of fashion. The rise of the male model has been a surging trend; in the limelight is Namibia’s own Heiko Prior on the journey to promote menswear on the continent.
Financial manager at Imperial Managed Logistics in Windhoek, Prior (27) was born in South African before his parents moved to Namibia after independence. Prior started off with his modelling career four years ago, when he met his mentor, South African actor, designer and talent scouter Andries Hendrik Potgieter who was a judge at the Trustco Star Performer show in 2013 and Prior was the results’ auditor for the same event.
As a model, Prior who graduated from the University of Stellenbosch as a Chartered Accounted participated in modelling for the first time in the Otto Mühr campaign. This was a local campaign that used local models for their billboards and social media campaign. He further went on to walk at the Windhoek Fashion Week in November.
This year, Prior was selected from a pool of models to represent Namibia at the Lexus South Africa Menswear (SAMW) – South Africa’s only stand-alone platform dedicated to the development and promotion of menswear within the African continent. This event takes place twice in a year and it is one of the biggest fashion platforms that aim to provide a world class stage for menswear designers and brands to showcase their latest collections.
Prior who is not registered with a modelling agency yet, describe his experience at the South Africa Menswear 2017 as intimidating but yet an eye opener. “It was a big pool of people, very menacing but then as you go into it you get to know them and it actually becomes fun. You meet new people, all of them mostly signed with agencies and most of them are international models. The first day was very slow for me but then luckily on the second day I picked up and managed to do five walks because I walked for five designers.”
Having been granted a chance to participate in SAMW, Prior walked for various top designers such as; British- Nigerian designer and creative director Tokyo James, fashion designer Deeva van der Merwe, Mai Atafo a Nigerian bespoke fashion tailor, and another Nigerian fashion stylist, writer, public relations wunderkind, Babatunde ‘papa’ Oyeyemi of Maxivive as well as South Africa’s Nguni Shades. Prior can’t wait to take his modelling career at greater heights as he admitted that he aspires to sign with one of the modelling agencies in South Africa for more modelling opportunities and hopes to get on the commercial side of modelling.
Lessons for Namibia
“We had a lot of international designers from areas up north of Africa especially Nigeria. They are so far ahead and it was actually incredible to see what these designers have achieved, where they are, what platforms they are operating on and to do that it is pretty amazing. So Namibia is quite far behind we need to up our game a bit and I think Africa is moving in the right direction, we got some strong designers and I am confident great things are coming.”
The second South Africa Menswear will be in June this year, and Prior said he is yet to send in his name for approval.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015