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Adesuwa Aighewi has started 2019 on a high note. “Everything I ever hoped to do in this industry, I’ve accomplished over the last year,” muses the New York-based model. Born in Minnesota to a Nigerian father and a Chinese-Thai mother, her recent hits include campaigns with Versus Versace, Alexander Wang, and, to her surprise and delight, Chanel.

LEFT: All clothing and accessories, Marc Jacobs. RIGHT: Marc Jacobs jacket. Current/Elliott tank top. Re/Done x Levis jeans. Earrings: Saskia Diez (top) and Winden. Moynat handbag. Hermès shoes. Photographed by Jason Kibbler/ART.

LEFT: All clothing and accessories, Alexander McQueen. RIGHT: Brock Collection sweater. Alexander
McQueen pants. Sophie Buhai earrings. Moynat handbag. Y-3 sneakers. Photographed by Jason Kibbler/ART.

“I have tattoos and dreads, so I never saw myself as their type,” she says on the phone from an emergency salon trip (she’s having sand removed from her hair after a visit to Mexico). “But I watched this documentary about Coco Chanel, and she was this super-fire, powerful woman.”

LEFT: All clothing and accessories, Moschino Couture. RIGHT: Sies Marjan blazer. Moschino Couture sweatshirt. Equipment trousers. Earrings: Saskia Diez (top) and Oscar de la Renta. Sergio Rossi shoes. Photographed by Jason Kibbler/ART.

LEFT: All clothing and accessories, Prada. RIGHT: Max Mara blazer and pants. Prada top and belt. Saskia Diez ear cuff. Tabitha Simmons shoes. Photographed by Jason Kibbler/ART.

One could use the same words to describe Aighewi, who has been capitalizing on her breakout moment to spotlight issues she cares about through video projects (a recent one explores Muslim beauty) and a soon-to-début children’s book she wrote (about a lost boy journeying home).

LEFT: All clothing and accessories, Givenchy. RIGHT: Sandro trenchcoat. Polo Ralph Lauren shirt. Givenchy pants. Moynat handbag. Chopard watch. Gucci shoes. Photographed by Jason Kibbler/ART.

LEFT: All clothing and accessories, Gucci. RIGHT: Re/Done jacket. Gucci dress. The Row top. Tod’s handbag. DSquared2 pumps. Photographed by Jason Kibbler/ART.

“I want to bridge the worlds of politics and fashion. It’s like Inception: You think you’re looking at a pretty image, but the joke’s on you. I just taught you something new!”

LEFT: All Chanel. RIGHT: Chanel jacket, belt, bag, and watch (on left wrist). Current/ Elliott T-shirt. Sportmax shorts. Saskia Diez ear cuff. Alighieri necklace. Sophie Buhai bracelet. Jimmy Choo shoes. Photographed by Jason Kibbler/ART.

Photographed by Jason Kibbler. Styled by Julia Von Boehm. Hair: Kevin Ryan for Art + Commerce. Makeup: Ralph Siciliano for The Wall Group. Manicure: Casey Herman for The Wall Group.

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