Faith Morey: Supermodel Living Her Dream
Words By – Josephine Agbonkhese
Our cover personality today is far more than just a pretty face. An accomplished supermodel, Faith Morey, who is redefining what a model’s career could become, is a proof that a successful cover girl can become a mogul.
Morey has, over the years, been focused on transitions— and is still forging new paths.
She owns a clothing line, Morey Faith Collections, MFC, in the US; and soon opening in Lagos.
Five years ago, she moved to California, became a solar panel consultant and is looking to partner with companies to launch this product in Nigeria to help solve the need for stable electricity.
Morey, who intends to go into acting full time, is an alumna of two renowned acting schools in Los Angeles— Kominsky Method and Acting Center. She holds a first degree in Law from the University of Abuja, and a second Bachelor’s degree in Business Management/Human Resource from Lone Star University, Texas. She also attended Lead City University, Lagos.
Morey speaks about life as a supermodel and an entrepreneur in this interview with Allure.
You are a woman doing many things at a time, modelling, fashion, consulting etc., how did you move from modelling and owning a fashion brand to solar panel consultancy?
Yes, you can call me jack of all trades. Modelling is a way of life for me but there is an expiry date to that as we all know. With my love for fashion, it was only with time I became a designer. But in 2017 when my son and I moved to California, I needed a job that pays regularly, and of course, modelling is not a fixed salary job. There is a saying that when life gives you lemon, make it a lemonade.
My first job was being a phone sales woman; that couldn’t pay for our California lifestyle, so, I took a job as an outdoor salesman. Yes, I said man because it is a male dominated field; walking eight hours a day, knocking on strangers’ doors to switch to solar. So yeah, I do many things and I love it. Can’t wait to explore more things.
Nigeria is a nation in darkness; how can you use your business to help its electricity problem?
I will say since I was eight, I have never seen any home with steady power supply in Nigeria.
Having solar power means availability of power for everyone. When there is light, the way of living improves dramatically. Prices of food stuffs reduce and businesses who run on generator will assign millions of naria used for diesel in expanding their business.
Most companies are running to invest in Ghana while Nigeria is the heart of Africa. One major factor is steady power supply; think about the trillions of naria used to keep a business running with low profit margin. Our aim is to power up the country with our natural resources— sunlight!
The modelling industry in Nigeria is not so organised like it is in South Africa. How were you able to get jobs when you moved there?
I only lived in South Africa for six months during the teacher’s strike in 2009. The agency I worked with at that time received daily email on the criteria needed for each casting; your agency sends models that fit that criteria, you have over 500 models for each casting and you hope you left an impression with the casting directors to get called back.
What was your first runway experience like; and what show was that?
My first model experience was a beauty pageant, Face of South South, in Calabar. How was it? Lol! I went blank when the host asked me a question.
How would you compare the modelling industry in Nigeria to that of the US?
I will say Nigeria’s modelling industry has grown from when I started. We can see a lot of Nigerian models now working for Hermes, Gucci, Prada, etc. So, I’m super proud of the industry.
What is your most memorable show so far?
I will say Nigeria’s Next Supermodel grand finale because that was my first ever appearance on stage, with folks all over the world watching live. It was nerve racking, scary and exciting. It was the beginning of my new life.
You have adorned many outfits; which designer made the most impression on you?
I have been privileged to wear a lot of designer dresses from Gucci, Versace, Balmain, etc., but I will say my recent dress by Nigerian designer, Somo, for my birthday, gives me the gidi feeling each time I recall how beautiful, sexy, and fly I felt.
If you weren’t a model, what would you have done with your life?
Become a criminal lawyer. The Funny thing about growing up in an African home is that you are left with basically three choices: a doctor, a lawyer and an engineer.
Who or what gave you your first big break in modelling?
Hmmm, I have to really think about that carefully. I will say it takes a community to raise a child because it was a group effort from different people. From my fellow models who updated me on casting calls, to a camera man who introduced me to my first agency, and finally, the TV modelling show, Nigeria’s Next Super Model.
Can you recall some of the biggest stages you’ve strutted?
New York Fashion Week, South African Fashion Week, Arise Fashion Week.
Between runway and advertising modelling, which is your most preferred?
I do love both. Runway made me fall in love with modelling but after gaining a few pounds, I branched into other types of modelling, and I must say it pays well; shorter working time and my son can visit me on set.
What are your reservations concerning the Nigerian modelling industry?
Honestly, we have really great agencies like Beth models, Few models and more that have done phenomenal jobs in putting Nigeria on the map. However, most qualified models miss out on opportunities because of issues like age, size and cultural discrimination.
In America, you have Islamic models, plus-sized models up to size 18 and models up to 60 years. But I’m yet to see the diversity in the Nigerian industry.
At what price would you dare to model nude on a magazine cover?
Right now, I will say I have outgrown that; but in the peak of my career, I did some semi nude and, of course, lingerie model paid more.
You were in an interracial marriage; what lessons did you take away from it?
Love doesn’t know skin colour or race; it is universal. I was lucky to have met my ex-husband; he thought me to be open to other cultures, food and tradition. I will say, I’m more open-minded due to my relationship with him.
Who is your most celebrated fashion icon?
Victoria Beckham, Grace Jones.
Let’s talk about your childhood; what was growing up like and in which city did you grow up?
I grew up in Diobu in Port-Harcourt— in a strict Christian home. The highlight of my growing up was spending time with my three siblings and grandma who raised us.
What were your dreams and aspirations as a child?
I can go on and on. We lived in the trenches of Port-Harcourt; I just wanted to get out of my environment. I am living the dreams and aspirations I had as a kid.
What’s your daily beauty routine?
Wash my face morning and night, apply toner, apply serum, apply eye cream, use spot treatment, moisturise, apply retinoid, and apply face oil. Don’t ever forget a good sunscreen.