Georgie Badiel grew up between Abidjan and Ouagadougou, one of nine siblings, and only started modeling at the age of 14 to afford her school fees. She went on to win Miss Burkina Faso and Miss Africa and relocate to New York to pursue a modeling career. She’s since walked for Louis Vuitton, Lanvin and Marc Jacobs; posed for Pop, i-D and Vogue Italia, worked with Peter Lindbergh and become the face of MAC.
“When I started out all I had was hope and belief. My journey has been one of discovery, perseverance, passion and finally achievement,” Badiel says, whose almond features and expressive limbs have cast a bright spell on the fashion world. “One of my favourite designers is Zang Toi. His runway transforms you into a glamorous diva and recreate the spirit of those larger than life shows of the 80s and 90s that I grew up reading about.”
Badiel also finds time for African fashion events and media, such as Cape Town Fashion Week and New African Woman because, she says, “the best ambassadors for Africa are successful Africans themselves. It's important to give back and use our stories to inspire others. It’s also great to be watching the evolution of African fashion first hand.”
Most recently she’s started her own lingerie and accessories brand Georgie’s Garden, and is actively supporting Ryan’s Well, a foundation providing safe water and sanitation in her beloved Burkina Faso. Here she spills some beans to KISUA.
What’s your nickname?
Linda Evangelista and Gisele Bündchen.
Cheese or chocolate?
I'm from a French-speaking country so you would expect me to say cheese but it will have to be chocolate.
Friday night or Sunday Morning?
In winter, Sunday mornings but in summer, Friday night.
Wild nature or big city?
The biggest of cities, NYC.
High heels or sneakers?
High heels - but why can't those rocket scientists at NASA take a week off to invent high heels that feel like sneakers?
Prints or plain?
I mix them up.
Boyfriend or best friend?
Luckily it's sometimes possible to have both in one.
Images: Fernando Ivarra