The story of the much celebrated Nigerian supermodel Oluchi, is like the ones you read in a fairytale. Born on August 1, 1980 into a humble family in Lagos State, a civil servant father and a mother that was a nurse, growing up Oluchi knew next to nothing about fashion or being a model. In fact when she was a teenager, her skinny physique made her uncomfortable. Little did she know that this same physique, coupled with her height and beauty would someday turn her into a supermodel.
An alluring model that would grace famous celebrity fashion magazines, and walk the runways of famous capital cities of the world, cossetted in fashionables of famous designers like Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Christian Dior, not to mention the sophisticated lingerie designer Victoria’s Secret.
She was just seventeen when she was discovered, thanks to a family friend who encouraged her to go in for the M-Net ‘Face Of Africa,’ initial screening at the M-Net office in Victoria Island, Lagos. It was there she was groomed for the 1998 M-Net face Of Africa (now Nokia face Of Africa), a first ever continent wide model competition organised by M-Net in conjunction with Elite Model Management. Oluchi, supported by her family and friends, eventually proved to the world she was worth it, when she mesmerised the judges with her talent and beauty, winning the competition which also landed her a $159,000 three year modelling contract with Elite Model Management.
From there, the sky would not be her limit. She made her entrance on the runway in 1998 for designer Marc Bouwer, and then was chosen for cover girl of ‘Nars Cosmetics.’ She did print work for Lancome in 2004, and also catalogue work for Bergdorf Goodman and famous Victoria’s Secret she also became a member of the elite Victoria’s Secret angels.
Oluchi, relocating to New York City, pursued her career relentlessly and rose to supermodel status in 2002. She was featured in several fashion magazines, to include spotting the covers of Italian Vogue, Marie Claire, ELLE, Nylon, Untold, Surface, Allure and so on. She has also been featured in Forbes Africa, one of the world’s most influential magazine, and also Arise, Destiny, Mania, New African Woman, Flair and so on.
Oluchi did not stop there, she became the face of campaigns for clothing lines such as Gap, Banana Republic, Gianfranco Ferre, Express, and Ann Taylor. She has worked with prominent photographers such as David LaChapelle, Steven Meisel who photographed her for covers of Italian Vogue, Patrick Demarchelier and Nick Knight.
Oluchi’s highlights in her career include her seven straight years work for Victoria’s Secret, a great achievement. In 2005, the start of her four year work in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in, and the opening of her own modelling agency, OModel Africa in South Africa to establish careers for aspiring African models. It has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. She is the manager of Models Viva Models and DNA Model Management Storm.
Her catwalk runway experience has been with famous designers such as Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Christian Dior, Gucci, John Galliano, Kenneth Cole, and Tommy Hilfiger among others.
Oluchi is not just a beauty but a beauty with brains. Asides her modelling career, Oluchi volunteers her time working with NGOs such as LEAP Africa and NIPRO. She graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in Management. She has featured in TV shows such as, West Africa’s Next Top Model and After the Sunset. She is also known to be an entrepreneur and TV personality.also importantly she is known for her popular role in exposing the world to Africa for supermodels.
Her work takes her across world capitals such as London, Paris, Milan and Tokyo. Oluchi is married to an Italian fashion designer Luca Orlandi. The couple live in the US with their sons, Ugo and Marco.