There comes a time in every models life these days when she might just come to set or to a show and say I do not feel like wearing these hair extensions* any more.
Angolan model Maria Borges was used to wearing straight hair extensions* for her shoots. Recently Maria removed everything and rocked her natural hair like nobody’s business then she sat down with Style.com and told them all about it.
When Angolan stunner Maria Borges first arrived on the scene, she sported the long, pin-straight extensions favored by many top models, but a conversation with Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci changed all that.
“He asked me to change my hairstyle,” Borges tells Style.com. “He had asked me last season as well, but I had booked an H&M campaign that same week and at the time I wasn’t feeling as comfortable with change. This season I finally felt ready, and I’m glad that I did.”
Many people speculate that the growth in natural hair on the runway is inspired by women like Lupita N’yongo who can slay any red carpet at any given time.
I like to believe it is because of us, you and I talking about it, pushing it and wearing our own natural hair in our daily lives.
Fashion moguls like to wow on the runway but they also want to connect with a broader audience as well which might mean natural hair on the catwalk. Maria was asked by Style about how the changes affected the people around.
“They didn’t recognize me at all,” says Borges. “There were people asking backstage, ‘Who is that new girl?’ which I thought was hilarious.”
“I feel like I’ve proved that I can be beautiful with or without the hair. Since I’ve gone natural, I feel younger and fresher.
With my short hair I don’t feel like I need makeup—maybe I’ll use a little foundation, but I’ll skip blush or lipstick. When it comes to clothes, I gravitate toward styles that are cooler, more minimal.”
So you would think this change might have an adverse affect on her career. Well it did just the opposite, things have changed for the better because natural hair on the runway is a ‘thing’ now.
“If I have a job to do where they need me to have longer hair, they can put extensions* in for that shoot, and then I can take them out afterward.
For the most part, I feel like my natural hair makes me look even more high fashion.” Given that Borges was already a regular on the catwalk for Givenchy and Dior, her fashion cred was never in doubt, but she appreciates that she’ll be able to model without the artifice.
“The industry—thank God—has become more accepting of individuality. They accept whatever makes you feel comfortable, cool, and beautiful.
I think that for those of us who grew up watching Naomi Campbell and all the top models who had beautiful long extensions*, it’s freeing because now you don’t have to adhere just to that standard. You can change, you can go natural, you can have different colors, and you can be yourself.”
We have to agree with her because we have had our own conversations with models who have told us that their natural hair gets them bookings and is often a requirement for work.
Maria Borges is gorgeous, we hope she continues to wear her natural hair on the runway not only to lend credibility to a ‘trend’ but as a means of embracing her own individuality.