When Ugandan model Aamito Lagum decided to pursue a career on the runway, she knew it might raise a few eyebrows. “Because the fashion scene in my country is so small, you can’t support yourself modeling—it’s more a hobby than a profession,” she explains. “Now it’s become this stereotype of someone with no ambitions, no job, who wants free things and a rich husband.”
Unsurprisingly, for someone known to shut down racist Internet trolls with one succinct Instagram comment (google it!), she wasn’t afraid to challenge this perception by entering— and winning—the first-ever season of Africa’s Next Top Model in 2014.
She’s since relocated to New York and parlayed that victory into an international career, booking gigs with Gucci and Marc Jacobs and building a reputation outside the shows for her eclectic street style. A jeans-and-T-shirt gal at heart, Lagum says her daily uniform usually revolves around her favorite Frame jeans, “a nice, soft T from Club Monaco,” and to amplify the look, “o