Young, beautiful and natural, Agbani Darego is a young woman full of promise. Born in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the Sixth of Eight Children. At the age of two, she was moved to Port Harcourt, Nigeria of which she recalls her Childhood as loving and memorable, although tainted with the loss of her mom who died of breast cancer, when she was eleven.
She attended Bereton Montessory Nursery & primary school, Federal Government Girls College (F.G.G.C) Abuloma, of which she was awarded “Most distinguished Alumni” later in 2010, and the University of Port Harcourt, where she studied Computer Science for a year before her foray into the pageant world.
In 2001, she achieved great success when she won Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN). During her reign as MBGN she represented Nigeria in the 2001 Miss Universe competition, held in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She placed among the top 10 semi-finalists, finishing seventh. She was the only black semi-finalist that year – and the only finalist to wear a maillot as opposed to the more popular bikini. Encouraged by her position at Miss Universe in 2001, Agbani then competed for Miss World, in November 2001 of which she won, becoming the first native Sub-Saharan African to claim the title. Her victory in the pageant was widely welcomed in her home country, and her one-year tenure included goodwill trips and scheduled appearances on behalf of the pageant. Agbani was honoured with the Nigerian national honour “Member of the Order of the Federal Republic” (MFR) after her win as Miss World in 2001. During her reign, she visited a number of countries which included the United Kingdom, South Africa, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, the United States, Germany, Italy, China, Spain and France. She also was a public favourite, as for the first time in the history of the Miss World Pageant; TV Viewers were invited to participate in the Final Vote. Since then, Agbani has made appearances at and judged the Miss World, Miss England, Miss Bulgaria, MR Scotland, Miss Tanzania and the Most Beautiful girl in Nigeria pageants.
In 2002, She relocated to London for two years. There, she signed with Top Modeling Agency Next Model Management in London and Paris and worked strutting the catwalks during Fashion Week, gracing Magazine Editorials, as well as clinching the distinguished beauty endorsement with L’Oreal which ended in 2005.
In 2003, she made the move to New York, where she signed with Next Model Management NY for four years (2003 – 2007), and later moved to Ford Models NY; featuring in numerous beauty and fashion advertising and commercials including Avon, Christian Dior beauty, Sephora, Target, Macy’s to name a few, gracing more pages of several magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Allure, Trace, Stitch, Cosmopolitan, Essence magazine to name a few, working with respected designers like Oscar de la Renta, Marc Bouwer, Tommy Hillfiger, Ralph Lauren, Gianfranco Ferre, and eminent Photographers; Annie Leibovitz, Markus Klinko, and Richard Burbridge.
Always the multi-tasker she then decided to finish up her education in 2007, enrolling at the prestigious New York University (NYU) where she majored in Psychology, graduating in 2012 and making the Deans list a number of times. In 2011, Agbani was announced as the brand ambassador for two of Nigeria’s leading brands – Arik Air and Nature’s Gentle Touch.
Agbani launched AD by Agbani Darego, a retail clothing brand to great reviews in 2013. She works with Ford Models NY and often shuttles between New York, USA & Lagos, Nigeria.