Are you watching Africa's Next Top Model?

Since Tyra Banks premiered America's Next Top Model ten years ago, we've seen a proliferation of Top Model shows in countries such as Bulgaria, Russia, Finland, and the UK. The newest international Top Model is Africa's Next Top Model, hosted by Oluchi Onweagba.

Oluchi is 33 years old and from Nigeria. She started modelling at 17 and is currently based out of New York with DNA. Versitile and ageless, Oluchi has done everything from the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show to the covers of i-D and Italian Vogue.

Africa's Next Top Model airs on M-Net across the continent but can be easily streamed online for those of us in North America, Europe, and Asia. 

The first episode (click below to watch) is much like every other international cycle, resplendent with tears and egos and attitudes. But the show features women from several African countries, meaning that the language and cultural barriers prompt drama right from the beginning.

Being cast on a Top Model show is almost always a death sentence to a modelling career. But with a limited audience outside of Africa, perhaps this won't mean instant overexposure for the contestants.

There are some great faces in the cast, and we wish them all the best.

Dubai: A Future Fashion Hotspot?

According to a June declaration, Dubai is aiming to be a fashion hub by 2020. The retail sector is forecast to grow to Dh151 billion by 2015 and tourist numbers are expected to hit 20 million in the next seven years. With no major modeling centre in the region (Istanbul is the closest in the West, with Singapore and India to the East) and plenty of luxury consumers, Dubai could be a viable modeling destination in the near future. It may also perhaps prompt an increase of Arab models, and diversity is never a bad thing.

L'Officiel Dubai

L'Officiel Dubai

Have you worked in Dubai? Would you?"

Read more here.