Denrele Edun is one brave soul.
The model-presenter took to his Instagram yesterday to share the horrifying experience at the hands of a Lagos-based designer who humiliated him in 1998, how the model resilience earned him a spot on the runway, although he was never paid for the show.
In the spirit of FashionWeek, allow me to dig out my dusty portfolios and throwback my first ever professional modeling shot! Despite [the] disgusted looks from passers-by, I walked with my defiant confidence to d local bus-stop to board a Molue that’ll take me to another Designer’s showroom.
I had developed a knack for appearing at Fashion Designer showrooms and their houses to present my pictures & my overwhelming personality. All in a bid to convince them to walk in their shows. Mind you; I was the shortest, skinniest Male Model at that time, but that didn’t deter me. The Hustle was real!
I got to a designer’s house and saw a cluster of top models. They all burst into laughter when I walked past but then, who cared? Sighting a familiar face, I ran up to her and was told fittings had begun. In my usual bravado, i saw the designer & walked up to him.
[The] moment I introduced myself & my intentions, he stared me down and asked:
“Are you a Refugee?”
“No Sir, but I’m the model with a unique look who’ll love to walk for u,” I threw back confidently.
He looked me up and down and said, “U can never walk on my runway. U look like a malnourished Somalian refugee”, and with that, he faced his tailors & continued giving directives. “I’ll wait in d Showroom Sir, till [you are] ready to fit me”, I answered bk & walked into the reception.
This designer actually hissed & went in. Came out, dismissed all d other models without me noticing and left the building.
Wit all d bravado I could muster, I waited for an agonizing 12 hours. I was scared to go get something to eat cos i didn’t want to miss his entrance.
At about 11 pm, he strolled in with some other models. They obviously had finished a shoot & he seemed to be in a light mood.
Seein my chance, I walked up to him.
This time, he lost his cool. But that didn’t stop me from walking his show weeks after. He refused to pay me & not only was I stranded but had to walk from V/I to Yaba where Vigilantes made me frog jump on the express! The Designer? We’re friends till date! Why? Denrele get clean mind!”
Read the full story here.