Estifanos Berta-Samuel, born 31, July, is an Ethiopian fashion model; fashion coordinator, stylist, actor, dancer and entrepreneur. Along with his younger sister, Estifanos was raised in the United States by his grandmother and mother after his parents ended their relationship. For most of his schooling days, he found himself isolated because of the amount of teasing he had to endure from other children, especially about his long legs and East African looks.
It wasn’t until he was introduced to the world of modelling at the age of sixteen (16) that he used his painful experiences to prove that being different was a blessing that saw him rise to the top as one of the only African male models to obtain his current level of success.
The Howard University graduate is currently based in New York City, Atlanta and Johannesburg, South Africa. He has worked as an assistant to the in house stylist at ENYCE, and appeared in several campaigns such as Absolute Vodka Paris, France; BET Awards Fashion Show, Wonder Bra, So You Think You Can Dance (South Africa), Hilton Hotels, Cartoon Network’s Dance Club, L.A., SA & Joburg Fashion Weeks just to name a few.
Estifanos’ passion for fashion and development has inspired him to do what he loves the most, which is being in the Fashion industry, but with the aim of using his talent and resources to improve the lives of others. He aims to work with young underprivileged people in the fashion and modelling industry by showing them that they can overcome adverse situations, and still manifest their highest form of self. His greatest desire is to see young black people having dignity, self love and a passion to be great, and he is dedicated to going back to Ethiopia to mentor young Ethiopians and help them see the light in their own lives as well as showcasing the majestic and beautiful heritage of Ethiopia through his work.
Recently many young aspiring fashion coordinators and models continuously approached Estifanos for mentorship. He noted a great void that seemed completely dismal regarding a resolve to the absence of sound training in Africa. With the determination to “do something” to fill that void, he graduated from Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg, South Africa with a vision for change. Estifanos then created a training course for fashion coordinators and fashion models entitled “The Fashion Model Life” an in-depth course covering the ins-and outs of the fashion and model industries using practical skills of making it, including business and life skills as well as health basics. The course allows models and fashion coordinators to understand all the fundamentals of the industry holistically so as to open them up to the career opportunities that exist for them internationally.
The course developed and became quickly sought after internationally allowing Berta-Samuel to presently realize his dreams for his beloved Ethiopia and the continent of Africa via African Fashion Incubator. AFInc is a fashion institute and industry council, canvassing the continent and Diaspora, dedicated to eradicating poverty by building economically sound, self-sustainable fashion industries.