Badara Ndiaye: “Being black in the modeling industry in my experience has been great. Clients book models based on their concept. I think the market for black models is fair”.
04 set, 2015
I’m originally from Saint-Louis, Senegal but my hometown is Miami. I came to the States on 2005 to play Division 1 college basketball. After four years, i had a knee surgery which took away my basketball career; then I started working in Marketing and sales for Adidas originals and met the late Presscott McDonald, a very talented photographe
I met Presscott at a launch event for Adidas. The following day, I was at his studio doing a test shoot with former owners of a PR company called BRPR Miami. From that day on he started taking me to fashion events, introducing me to the “right people”…etc.
At my 1st test shooting, I was asked to completely shave my head which I was very against, but look at me 5 years later: same shaved head! My height has been an issue as far as modeling. I am 6’11″ (2m11cm), so you can imagine why, but I have been lucky enough to do my own thing thanks to the social media boom.
Having worked for an italian fashion magazine as Men’s Editor has given me the idea of building a team and starting branding what is called now BadaraOfficial. I promote Brands throughout my social media platforms, Instagram being the most popular and my website www.badaraofficial.com where I am the creative director as well.
The best thing about my job is the experience. I meet so many people from all over the world and go to so many places where I am exposed to different cultures and different ways of living. That type of life experience is priceless.
Posing to Photographers and suggesting different angles
I like when there is connection when working with a photographer. Being a creative person, pushes me to often suggest different angles and ideas to the photographers while on set. Some like it, some others don’t, but I don’t force that personality on anyone. If a concept is already presented to me before the shoot, then there isn’t any need for me to prepare myself.
When I have to come up with the concept; then I do the brain storming and come up with which I normally present to the client prior to shooting it. Being naked in front of the camera depends on the photographer and chemistry, but It is not so comfortable for me.
Backstage can be a bit awkward sometimes. If you are with the right people it really is fun.
The catwalks´ experiences
I don’t do much runway shows due to my height which doesn’t show in print. When on set shooting for JLo’s music video “Live it Up”, I got to meet Pitbull who, and JLo herself, would not stop going about my height. It was all fun, and it just made me realize that we are all the same, that we all have the same reactions.
We are all people no matter who you are. I had the same reaction with Dwayne Wade when we were on set for the Lii Ning basketball footwear commercial. Designers I have worked for are to name a few: Lindsey Thornburg New York with new Victoria secret angel Martha Hunt, Moussant, Vilebrquin, Kabaccha footwear, Fabrice Tardieu, Club Monaco, Crasqi, …
The few times I have done a runway show, I told myself look straight ahead like you are going to get phone number .
Male models x Women models: who rule this business?
Women definitely rule the business. Male models definitely come second I believe. I appreciate models who know what they are doing, and you can see it when looking at their print jobs: to name few The Cabral brothers, Edward Wilding, …etc Being black in the modeling industry in my experience has been great. Clients book models based on their concept. I think the market for black models is fair.
Badara´s style? A fashionista?
I wouldn’t call myself a fashionista; however, I appreciate style. I enjoy a pair of jeans or sweatpants and a Tshirt with some comfortable sneakers: basics
Imagine u a famous model surrounded by a huge crowd!
I can never be anonymous in a crowd. That’s something my height has taught me, but I will say this: always treat others the way you would want to be treated.
On show business
It’s business. You work and learn to not let it consume you and who you are as a person.
Super powers and Superheroes
The power to Keep the world in peace!
Anyone who strives to be a noble, humble, loving, selfless person is my superhero.
Fav booking so far and why
JLo’s Music video: “Live it Up”. Why? Because I have such a great time. The other models were awesome. I have made friends on set that day until today.
Atracting someone´s attention
Having fun, enjoying life
Surround myself with fun people to start. I usually go to
restaurants, beach, sometimes a fun night out at a bar or at a club. I enjoy the best of life making the best out of every situation presented to me.
Fav body part and why
Eyes. They tell you a lot about someone.
Fav underwear for daily activities and for those coooool sexy moments (lol!)
Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein all day for me. They fit perfectly and are comfortable.
Music and Food
I listen to about everything really
I am a foodie and a gourmand. I love everything that taste good, and I will say that if you haven’t tried Israeli, you’re missing out. Lol
Food is my guilty pleasure. I have to remind myself that I am shooting the next day or the following. Lol.
Nickname in school
Badou, and I still use it as a nickname. Matter of fact most people know me as Badou.
An unforgettable moment
When I surprised my fiancé for trip to Australia and didn’t find out until we were at the airport.
If you weren´t a model you´d be…
What my actually job is when I am not modeling: Creative Director of www.badaraofficial.com and run my Social Media business :BSMLifestyle (Badou Social Media & Lifestyle)
Unfortunately I can’t discuss them, but I am confident they will be appreciated.
Respect, love and peace
Full Name: Badara Ndiaye Age: 31 Height: 6’11″ Weight: 220 lbs Shoe size: 15
Interview by Ed, the Brazilian editor