Behind her eyes: Q & A with International Model Lydia Ezenwa

Photos provided by Rebecca Slater and Ashton Hugh

Lydia is in a league of her own and a definition of the modern-day polymath. She is a showgirl and has a refreshingly candid approach to discussing her struggles with both work and stress. Her success is a testament to patience and avidity. Known for her work with Bottega, Net-a-porter, Koi bird, and the likes…

The fearless and incredibly talented Lydia has made a name for herself in Britain and in the world of fashion. Humbled by viewer’s acceptance, the previous lack of exposure no longer exists as she has been making waves with her unapologetic stance, femme fatale style, and captivating looks.

We caught up with Lydia herself to find out more about her career, style, and the reality of creating amidst a pandemic.

Bade Fuwa: Of course, this year has been slow work-wise, but have you enjoyed taking a step back from working and spending some quality time with yourself and your family? And are you looking forward to getting back into the thick of it?

Lydia: Ezenwa: My journey into the international Market started a month before the lockdown began. At the beginning, it was slow and then a few months after March, it really took off for me. My career changed and I became so busy working. There was a day I just wanted a vacation, so interestingly, I am in the thick of things right now and I’m really busy. I got to go home and spend time with family in Lagos in December 2020 which was fun. Now, I’m back to work.

BF: You recently moved from Lagos to London. What’s the biggest difference between the two coasts for you?

LE: For me, London and Lagos are really similar in terms of the hustle and bustling spirit, so adapting for me was super easy. However, what I can never get used to is the constant change in weather. For instance, you can have sun, rain, wind and snow in a split second…it’s so so crazy! (laughs) In London, it is an every man for himself society, you hardly interact with your housemates or talk to your neighbors. It gets very lonely sometimes.

BF: That sounds great. What do you listen to in your free time?

LE: I hardly listen to music except I’m on the move or doing home chores so in my free time. I’m more of a movie and YouTube person. However, I listen to almost everything as long as it speaks to me and relate to my current emotion or mood.

BF: How have you found reliving your life through modeling – has it been worthwhile at all?

LE: It has been so worthwhile. I’ve worked hard to get here and I’m enjoying it. Modeling has added positively to my life. Although not all roses, but I’m grateful.

BF: How does the collaborative process work between yourself and other creative work?

LE: When I get a brief on what the client wants, either through my booking agency or when I get on a set, I do some research, try to understand what the client wants and ensure I understand so I can deliver on it. Once I understand the vision, it’s so much easier for me. It’s always a new experience each time working with different creative.

BF: If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

LE: It’s very hard to use just three words to describe myself (smiles). Well, I will say determined, shy, and humane.

BF: What have been the most unexpected differences and similarities between walking on a runway show vs. Working on a campaign?

LE: Well, they are both jobs that will give you exposure and help you develop while the difference, first is the pay gap (laughs). Campaigns pay better than Runway shows. Secondly, runway shows are like events. There’s a lot of activity, lights, so many moving parts and then it’s all over. With campaigns, the shoot is just the beginning and it evolves into so much more and is seen by so many people.

BF: What’s been the most “I can’t believe this is happening” moment of your career?

LE: Everything about my career is, “I can’t believe this moment,” because it took me over 6 years before I could get international recognition. I remember when I got the call from my mother agency in Lagos, Pages Model Management, about being signed to Body London and needed to leave Lagos in less than 2 weeks to getting my Visa and being on a flight the next day and getting on the runway for London Fashion Week. It was a race and I was in disbelieve all through. I was so stunned. My most recent is walking the Bottega Veneta show, That was a shocker, I think it took me days to believe it.

BF: Lastly, what’s next for you?

LE: I hope the future is kind to me. As a model, I want to continue to work, get into other continents and conquer them! I also would probably go into scouting and catwalk coaching in a few years. I also plan to go into housing and real estate, and possibly agriculture. There’s a lot planned and I’m excited!

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