Children believe in fairytales – dreaming of becoming everything they’ve ever imagined in their wildest dreams: Superheroes, models, rockstars, and everything in between. Society expects that as they become adults, they will be rid of these seemingly childish fantasies and aspire to have more “realistic” goals.
International supermodel, Adesola Adeyemi, is living the life of her childhood dreams, proving that with hard work, perseverance, and resilience, no goal is impossible to achieve. She rose from obscurity to become one of the first indigenous Nigerian models to work with world-renowned international brands like Nicole Miller, Sherri Hill, Rebecca Minkoff, Carolina Herrera, Mac
Cosmetics, Laura Mercier, Nars, Cledepeau, Khaled Weis, Cover FX, Maybeline, Rimmel London, Flesh Beauty, Glam Glow, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macys, Net-a-porter, T.J. Maxx and more.
She has walked runways in New York Fashion Week, as well as for renowned designers like Pamela Roland, chiarabonilapetiterobe, Christian Cowan, Patbo, Custo Barcelona, Bibhu Mohapatra, and has been featured in Vogue Italia, Marie Claire, Moevir Magazine, models.com, among others.
Adesola’s relentless pursuit of her dreams is responsible for her success. When she first ventured into professional modeling in her mid-teens, she knew nothing about the fashion industry. Nonetheless, her intuition told her that she was destined to become a model in America, even though she had never traveled outside Africa before.
During her undergraduate days at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in Nigeria, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, she was discovered by a model scout as she was casually strolling across campus. The scout subsequently introduced her to an agent, who encouraged her to compete in Nigeria’s next super model competition, where she was the first runner up.
Afterwards, she participated in numerous modeling shows across the continent including Ghana Fashion week – where she was voted as best model, Lagos Fashion Week, Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria and more. While participating in these events she garnered interest from both local and international brands and agencies.
Although, she received excellent exposure on the continent, Adesola was dismayed by her discovery of the unsavory side of the fashion industry. For instance: Some agents that did not follow through on promises to further her career and worse still, the many individuals who sought to exploit young models, left her shaken.
Still, she rallied her spirits and became a fierce defender of model rights in Nigeria. Adesola has advocated for industry standards to prevent sexual and financial exploitation of fashion models.
Despite her success, Adesola’s parents weren’t in full support of her modeling aspirations. They were concerned their daughter would not have a viable career and would run into predators in the industry. As a result, they urged Adesola to pursue a career in accounting. Instead, she used her business acumen to further her dreams of becoming a model on the international stage.
During her early career beginnings, many of Adesola’s classmates constantly mocked her seemingly unrealistic dreams, citing the fact that although she was always first runner up in modeling competitions, and always received recognition for her talent, she had never emerged winner in any competition.
However, despite these setbacks, she never gave up on her dreams, instead; she worked even harder and saved up all the money she earned from modeling jobs – never losing sight of her dreams of becoming a US-based international supermodel.
In 2014, her career prospects began to improve when she emerged first runner up at the Elite Model Look Nigeria, as she was able to work with some brands which boosted her visibility.
To the outside world, it seemed like Adesola was starting to get her big break. However, unknown to her friends and loved ones, she held a secret heartbreak: She had spent many years in search of her biological mother, whom she had last seen when she was 2 years old. This took a toll on her mental health, causing her to almost reach a breaking point.
It was during this phase of her life that she began to discover her intuitive abilities, as she poured out her heart to the universe with all of her being on one day – and the next day, through a series of extraordinary events, she found her mother; who revealed that she had also been seeking ways to reunite with her daughter.
Ultimately, finding her mother held the key to Adesola’s dreams of becoming an international model in the US, as her mom just happened to be in the process of finalizing US visa arrangements for her family when she reconnected with her daughter – and so she included Adesola in the application process.
Upon arrival in America, she experienced racism exhibited by some immigration officials at the airport who threatened to deport her. Luckily, her intuitive abilities saved her, as she used her mind to summon a helper who fought for her, and helped her resolve the issue right there and then.
When she arrived in New York, several modeling agencies showed interest in her, but she was told she needed a better portfolio of photos for tear sheets, and for the purpose of sponsoring her visa. While being on the brink of exhausting her life savings and unsure about how she could afford new photos, a photographer randomly discovered her at World Trade Center, and offered to help develop her portfolio for free. The photos from the session helped her get a deal with One management, her first agency in the Big Apple.
Today, Adesola, is one of the most sought-after indigenous Nigerian models on the international scene. She is currently signed to Wilhelmina models, one of the world’s leading modeling and talent agencies.
Apart from being a model, she is an outspoken mental health advocate, and has spoken about the importance of nurturing the psychological welfare of models at events such as the Cornell Fashion Collective organized by Cornell University. She also been invited to give expert guidance on the industry at workshop events organized by Parsons, the Fashion Institute of Technology and Cornell University.
In her spare time, she uses her intuitive abilities to guide, bring healing, light, and love to all who need it. Adesola’s journey reminds us about the power of resilience and determination, and the amazing impact we can have on the world when we pursue our dreams wholeheartedly, and live a life of purpose.