Born in 1982, Namsa Leuba grew up in Switzerland to a Guinean mother and Swiss father. “I have two identities, in a permanent struggle, and I just try to reconcile them, to synchronize them,” she said in an interview with Women in the World. “I try to explore both sides, but one side has never been better than the other one.”

In the series “Cocktail”, she aims to fuse high fashion with history, reconstructing how African women are portrayed. “I told her to pose like a queen; like a contemporary African woman, who has more rights, and more power than ever before,” Leuba said. “I want her to be proud of what she is. In this new society, the African woman is tough. She’s got all the same rights as the guys, and she’s well-respected.”

“I was inspired by African queens and African women, because they are warriors and they’re so strong,” said Leuba. “I wanted to re-contextualize African elements, and bring them into a framework of Occidental tastes and aesthetics.”

When asked what’s next on her agenda, she says “I’m going to continue my work with African identity. I have started to trace how Animism, a major religion in Guinea, has moved from Africa to the West. It’s traveled to Brazil, to Cuba, to Haiti, all the way to New Orleans, and has mixed with Christianity. I’m so interested in that hybridization.”

Photograph of African Model by Namsa Leuba
Photo credit: Namsa Leuba

Photograph of African Model by Namsa Leuba
Photo credit: Namsa Leuba

Photograph of African Model by Namsa Leuba
Photo credit: Namsa Leuba

Photograph of African Model by Namsa Leuba
Photo credit: Namsa Leuba

Photograph of African Model by Namsa Leuba
Photo credit: Namsa Leuba
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