by Lester Brathwaite on
You can’t keep a good gay down. At least that’s what I took away from the season finale of VICE‘s Fashion Week Internationale on Nigeria, a country of enormous civil unrest and institutionalized homophobia. However, while same sex marriage is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison, hostess with the mostest Charlet Duboc learned that to get ahead in the burgeoning Nigerian fashion industry — or anywhere in Nigeria, for that matter — it (allegedly) behooves one to be a friend of Dorothy. Duboc couldn’t help but notice this conflicting duality which seems to mark the entire country during her time in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city:
“Lagos defies logic. It’s an immensely frustrating place to be. The corruption, homophobia and traffic are a joke, and everything else seems fake, broken or breaking. But the young people are delicious. The models are heavenly, and the way they dance to Nigerian ‘dancehall’ is mind-boggling. No one got paid at this fashion week, but no one seemed to care either. There’s nowhere else like it.”
The models truly are heavenly as Nigeria’s greatest natural resource is clearly its stunning youth. Literally, pluck any girl from the low-rent, no budget knockoff of America’s Next Top Model — imaginatively titled Africa’s Next Supermodel — and throw her on the runway or the cover of Italian Vogue. And the men, while hopelessly narcissistic, kind of have the right to be — just take a look at the part of the episode where some male models discuss the endowment of Nigerian men. Cocky doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Check out the season finale of Fashion Week Internationale below and make sure to catch up on any episodes you might have missed: