Estifanos Berta-Samuel, is an Ethiopian author; fashion model, multi-hyphenate artist and entrepreneur. While receiving his education between Africa and the United States he found himself isolated due to the amount of teasing endured from other children, especially about his long legs and East African appearance. It wasn’t until he was introduced to the world of modeling 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; So You Think You Can Dance (South Africa), Cartoon Network’s Dance Club, South Africa & 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 industry by showing them that they can overcome adverse situations, to manifest the 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 mentoring young Ethiopians to help them see the light in their own lives as well as showcasing the majestic and beautiful heritage of Ethiopia through his work.
Many young aspiring artists continuously approached Estifanos for mentorship. He noted a great void that seemed completely dismal regarding a resolve to the absence of sound training. 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 a second for 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 to expose them to the career opportunities that exist for them internationally.
The course became quickly sought after internationally and developed into nine others, allowing Berta-Samuel to presently realize his dreams for his beloved Ethiopia and the continent of Africa via Global African Fashion Incubator. GAFInc is a fashion incubator and industry council, canvassing the continent of Africa and the Diaspora, dedicated to building economically sound, self-sustainable fashion markets.