UK-based Ghana Lorna Asante is a determined model on the rise. With her flawless smooth skin and likeable looks, the 5.10ft model is currently in the process of re-registering with the popular Mahogany model agency. She started modeling college fashion shows in 2001 and has developed more passion for the industry since. After taking a break from active modeling to pursue a career in childcare, Lorna is set to embark on a rigorous comeback.
Lorna’s role models include Tyra Banks, Gisele Bundchen, Iman and Heidi Klum. According to her, she doesn’t do any job that involves nudity, but has been involved in several editorial and runway modeling. With her adorable and wholesome looks, she has been used in many lifestyle and fitness campaigns for hair and makeup, hands, legs, and eyes. She would also love to present fashion and entertainment shows, do music videos and try out acting in the new future.
I caught up with Lorna to find out her journey, inspirations her opinion on African fashion, her love for children, her aspirations and more.
Ameyaw Debrah: What inspired you to get into modeling?
I love creativity, travelling, meeting new people, innovation and fashion, therefore a combination of this inspired me.
Ameyaw Debrah: What have been some of the major jobs you have done?
Waltham Forest Queen’s Welcoming, Pageant, Diamond Touch in association with Sleek hair.
Ameyaw Debrah: What is your opinion on modeling in Africa?
Brilliant so long as one is not exploited on in terms of nudity and sex, but apart from that bring it on! My auntie has actually bugged me to come and try African modeling and I agree so I have made up my mind to go for it.
Ameyaw Debrah: What’s your opinion on African fashion in general?
I love our rich print fabrics. The core to which it has been designed is amazing! It’s very sad that some African people, including myself, cannot represent in our own clothes and tend to go for European looks. I respect designers such as Christie Brown who can incorporate western and African design to create richness and haute couture elegantly. I have now started wearing it as a mate recommended a tailor, whom I have used for some dresses/suits. I love it!
Ameyaw Debrah: Do you think African models back home can make it internationally?
It depends, if they are business minded, focused and “in control” yes they can make it. The sky is your limit basically. You take opportunities wisely and perseverance pays off. Modeling is a temporary career and you will be rejected by many. But along the way, remember to pick up skills, learn, be strong and you will also be adored by many.
Ameyaw Debrah: What should young girls aspiring to become top models do to ensure success?
They need to be in control of themselves, respect themselves in terms of dignity/professionalism. They should not go for just anything called a job just to make money and lose “everything else within”. They must do what the Romans do. I say this because for example, the Europeans produce portfolio for clients to view when scouting for models, therefore they must be professional in this sense too. It’s very expensive – I remember mine cost me my monthly salary but it was worth it.
Ameyaw Debrah: What have been your highlights so far?
The highlights so far are modeling for Diamond Touch magazine and modeling for friends when they need to use a model in anything from hair and make up. I also very much enjoyed my time in pageantry such as Miss Ghana UK. I am in talks with a few African designers to model their designs and I have managed to contact one of my favorite companies, Vlisco for future work with them which I very look forward to.
Ameyaw Debrah: What else do you do aside modeling?
I teach in early years because I believe in investing in the future generation and I want to give something back to my community. I also supply childcare services to various homes and schools. I love kids and have had over 500 of them in my care so far. I love designing as well and do this as a hobby with my IT “geekness”. I also interpret/translate for firms and local authorities across England – Twi to English and vice-versa. My new venture now is recording voiceovers for children’s book.
Ameyaw Debrah: if you could change anything in the world what would it be?
I would like to change corruption in Africa and create a system where everyone is treated fairly and with dignity. With a salary package that will enable civil servants/workers to stop taking bribes. This would make sure that when things like injustice/rape occurs, the law (which hopefully would have been more effective and direct), would deal with this matter with utmost significance and rule accordingly to bring offenders to a deserving punishment. I would also touch on HIV/Aids, an issue so dear to my heart. I will change the perception that some Europeans have of Africa as a “Third World “. I find it insulting and shameful. Who even has the power to brand nations but God? I believe Africa is full of richness in any sense. We have style, swagger, soul, wealth, even unknown to us. I would also put an end to all suffering by children. They should never ever be allowed to suffer .These are little angels who are innocent and do not deserve that.
Ameyaw Debrah: What is your training or exercising regiment like?
Oh I love walking! I probably walk like at least 2 hours a day. If I don’t, I feel as if my legs are swelling, maybe psychological but it feels very uncomfortable especially since I have had a knee operation. I love swimming too and although am not very good at it, I am learning. I enjoy going to the gym too for the treadmill.
Ameyaw Debrah: Any special diets or habits to stay in shape?
I love wholesome foods, i.e. brown bread, wheat, seeds. I am not allergic to anything and I eat almost everything. I love African kebab and Fanta so much that I could live on that, just throw in my favourites, watermelon, grapes and pineapple. I am a big fan of fruits and veggies and cannot live without it. I must have a fruit a day otherwise I crave for it. If you can, don’t eat heavy foods after 6pm – as is typical of Africans – because it does not digest properly before sleep. I usually eat in bits but before you know it I have eaten it all. Stick to brown sugar and avoid fatty foods.
Ameyaw Debrah: What impact do social networks like face book have on your job?
Social Networks are a great shout out points. Yes I have found it very useful as all my friends now know that I want to get back into modeling and will keep me informed of any shoots. In terms of work, yes a couple of designers have shown interest in me modeling their products.
Ameyaw Debrah: What’s the weirdest thing anyone ever told you on these platforms?
Someone told me that he wants me to be his baby mother. I freaked out considering the fact that there was not even a hiya! So silly
Ameyaw Debrah: Who is your favourite photographer?
Expression photography, Rodney Quarcoo I think. I saw a few of his work, and he is good!
Ameyaw Debrah: What’s your favourite food?
Kebab and jollof rice, fried yam and plantain with turkey tail, and Chinese
Favourite African fashion designers?
I love Christie Brown-Ghana, Sika Designs-London, love Afrik Fashion, Shadders-London
Trendiest fashion accessories of the moment
I love the African prints out now, even the big shops have them in all types of sequential dresses, tops, hats, purses etc. I also love clutch bags such as ones made by Diva Delicious, Kua and Mingle in USA .
Casual or formal wear
Both – I tend to be a bit formal all the time now as you will never know where you will go next.
Thongs or full panties
Full panties for comfortably and thongs for sexiness
Natural or synthetic makeup
I do natural almost all week accept maybe Sunday to church, if am going out or meeting friends. I go to work natural.
Leather watch or metallic watch
Incorporation will be nice but right now I have a metallic watch
Shoes or flip flops
Shoes for formal/corporate events otherwise flip flops all the way,
Roll-on or Deodorant spray
Roll-on lasts longer than deodorant spray. I use both all the time. I prefer the new Sure Women. So good!
Razor or waxing
Razor, I haven’t tried waxing yet except my eyebrows.
Braid, perm, natural hair or extensions
My hair is now natural but I normally braid or put in extension, well it’s time saving really.
Make up or no-makeup
When needed only otherwise natural
Piercing because I think its less painful…..ok maybe not, it’s just hot!
Beer or vodka
I am alcohol free
Cocoa butter or Vaseline
Beads or chains
Beads, they are hot and am currently wearing one. It shapes a female nicely
African print or Western fabric
I must admit, I barely wear African prints but I love them so both! I want a good seamstress, that’s the issue
Big handbags or small hand bags
Gosh big bags, I don’t do small bags; I carry the whole world with me. My friends even nicknamed me “walking supermarket” but it benefits them so yeah, I have from medication to tape measure to pads.
Favorite color of clothing
Hugo XXL, Paco Robanne-Lady Million, Boss-Orange, D&G-Light Blue, Nacisco Rodriguez, Gucci-Guilty, Burbery weekend, Empario Armani-Diamonds, Calvin Klien-Beauty, Obsession, Contradiction, Diesel-Fuel for life, Chanel Chance, Givenchy-Play for her, J.Lo-Miami Glow.
Mac Studio Fix Nw40, Mary Kay foundation 607, Mary Kay Bronzer, Lancôme blusher, Benefit Hoola blusher, Benefit Dr Feel Good cream, Mac glass gloss lip shine.
Favorite fashion designer
Chloe, Gucci, Prada, Armani, Ted Baker, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess, Cavallaro, Versace, Vera Wang, Anna Sui, CK, Oscar De La Renta , Victoria Secrets, Roberto Carvalli, Gucci, Chloe, Dior, Diesel, Pringle, Celine, Chanel, Jean Paul Gautier, Emporia Armani, and Fendi
Harrods, Selfridges, high street shops like T.K.Maxx
Favorite hand bag
All shapes from designers: Lulu Guinness, Mui Mui,Colious, Prada, Gucci, Celine, Fendi, SAC &Co, Paul Smith, Roberto Carvalli, Meli Melo, Chameleon, Mulberry and Charlotte Reid
Favorite pair of shoes
D&G, Prada, Gucci and Christian Louboutine