The muse is a living canvas, breathing life into the designer’s vision and infusing it with personality and charm.
The connection between a designer and their muse is a profound symbiosis, a creative dance where inspiration flows from the muse, and the designer’s vision takes shape. The muse is more than a model; they breathe life into the very essence of a brand, infusing it with their unique personality and charm. This intimate relationship has been the crucible of iconic fashion moments, reminiscent of the dynamic between Jean Paul Gaultier and Madonna, who famously collaborated on the iconic cone bra dress during her Blonde Ambition tour in 1989.
Their partnership birthed enduring pieces that pushed the boundaries of style and defined an entire era. Jean Gaultier once noted, “She knew what she wanted — a pinstripe suit, the feminine corsetry…” This iconic creation has rippled through time, inspiring the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. It serves as a testament to the enduring power of the designer and muse relationship, a creative force that has the potential to shape the fashion landscape.
This powerful synergy between designer and muse was elegantly brought to life in our recent cover shoot, where the exceptionally talented Beverly Naya stepped into the role of muse.
Beverly Naya’s multifaceted role as a muse
Beverly Naya graced the set as the sun’s warmth filtered through. Draped in a denim maxi tube dress, complemented by flats and a sleek black bob wig, her presence radiated style and confidence. With quick embraces and cheerful greetings, she seamlessly transitioned into the makeup chair, signalling the beginning of a transformative process.
The shoot intended to beautifully encapsulate the intricate relationship between a designer, model, and muse. Over the years, Beverly Naya has undoubtedly evolved into an acclaimed muse for numerous renowned fashion designers, and it’s no mystery why. Her journey through the entertainment industry has garnered her accolades and recognition, but her unwavering commitment to championing sustainable beauty truly sets her apart.
Beverly Ifunaya Bassey, known professionally as Beverly Naya, is a versatile Nigerian actress and filmmaker. Her journey began in London, United Kingdom, where she was born on April 17, 1989, and spent her formative years receiving her primary and secondary education.
Beverly Naya’s journey in the entertainment world
After establishing a solid educational foundation, Beverly Naya made a conscious decision to return to Nigeria, eager to connect with her cultural heritage and explore opportunities in Nollywood, the thriving Nigerian film industry. Her acting career in Nollywood took off with notable roles in various movies, including the critically acclaimed “Guilty Pleasures” and “Weekend Getaway.” Beverly’s remarkable acting skills and ability to effortlessly adapt to diverse roles swiftly garnered her recognition and admiration within the Nigerian film community.
Her exceptional talent earned her the Best Actress award at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in 2018, a well-deserved accolade for her compelling performance in the movie “Demon Inside.” However, her impact reaches beyond the realm of traditional acting.
Beverly Naya’s documentary, “Skin,” is a testament to her commitment to driving change and sparking crucial conversations. This thought-provoking documentary received widespread acclaim for delving into the intricate layers of beauty standards and the deeply ingrained practice of skin bleaching within African culture. It resonated deeply with both audiences and critics, who applauded its compelling approach in shedding light on the immense societal pressures faced by Black women due to the colour of their skin.
The documentary’s strength lay in capturing diverse voices, ranging from notable figures like Eku Edewor, Hilda Dokubo, and Phyno to ordinary individuals, including school children, traders, artists, beauty entrepreneurs, and even sex workers. This multifaceted approach offered a nuanced and thought-provoking perspective on a pressing issue that often goes unaddressed.
Such unwavering dedication to transformative storytelling earned Beverly Naya the prestigious AMVCA 2020 award for Best Documentary, solidifying her role as a pioneering force in the industry. Her advocacy for sustainable and ethical beauty products and practices further underscores her commitment to cultivating a more inclusive and accepting world.
Beverly Naya: A style icon
Beverly Naya is known for her stylish choices for events, campaigns, and everyday outfits. In the Nigerian entertainment industry, her appearance at events is always highly anticipated, and Beverly never disappoints.
“The constant dilemma of selecting outfits for events isn’t always thrilling. That’s why I collaborated with Nigerian designers who truly excel.”
Beverly’s attention to detail is a hallmark of her style journey. From the meticulous curation of her entire look to her flawless and seemingly effortless makeup, she leaves no stone unturned in crafting a striking appearance. This commitment ensures that the designers she collaborates with receive ample press coverage from all media angles. Her ability to present their creations in the best light possible is a testament to her dedication to her personal brand and the brands she champions.
Beverly’s main focus while nurturing these relationships with designers is quality, excellence, and the ability to collaborate creatively per her vision. In return, she consistently shows up at the events in the best way possible as an ambassador for these brands.
Looking back on her journey as a cherished muse, Beverly emphasises the transformative power of her enduring relationships with Nigerian designers. Her close connection with designers like Ejiro Amos-Tafiri, whose creations graced her early career and now adorn this cover, has been instrumental in shaping her evolving style. These collaborations seamlessly bridge her love for fashion with her professional endeavours.
“Beyond events, I’ve always wanted these pieces in my wardrobe, especially for my travels. Over time, people grew accustomed to seeing me in Nigerian designs, eagerly anticipating my choices, and it has become an integral part of my brand”.
Sustainable fashion and the BeNaya brand
Amid the global move towards sustainability, Beverly’s advocacy takes on a new dimension, with a spotlight on sustainable fashion. Her message resonates with conscious consumers, urging them to dig deeper into the brands they support. It’s not just about the garments they wear but the values, ethos, and environmental impact these brands represent. Beverly’s call for eco-conscious choices underscores consumers’ pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable future for the fashion industry.
“I believe the fashion industry in Nigeria can flourish sustainably by valuing the people behind the creations.”
Beverly’s fashion journey has evolved, and she’s embraced the role of a fashion entrepreneur with her brand, BeNaya. This brand represents empowerment for the modern woman, celebrating self-worth and boldness through a diverse range of fashion pieces, including dresses, jumpsuits, and stylish sets. Beverly’s genuine passion for fashion has always been apparent, and her foray into this space is a testament to her delight in exploring new horizons.
Over the years, Beverly Naya has continually experimented with her style. Her versatility has been enhanced through the diverse characters she’s portrayed in her acting roles and her collaborations with various brands. “My style has undoubtedly evolved over the years, and I can confidently say that many Nigerian designers align with my style today. My fashion sense has transformed in the past year, and certain elements no longer hold the excitement they once did.”
Beverly’s iconic fashion moments have etched her as a style icon. From the striking panelled black dress she wore at the Prime Video launch to the unforgettable #AMVCA7 peach dress, complete with a bodice reminiscent of an unfurling rosebud and an encrusted corset by Weizdhurm Franklyn, her style resonates as a statement of elegance. Despite her style evolution, Beverly remains true to her minimalist philosophy – a testament to her less-is-more approach. She shares, “Collaborating with designers who appreciate my style has been fantastic.”
The future with Beverly Naya
Beverly Naya excitedly shares her plans and collaborations, which include another SKIN project and a few exciting films she’s producing. We’re looking forward to Beverly’s ongoing work on “SKIN” because it’s not just a documentary – it’s a thought-provoking exploration of the beauty industry and its profound societal influence. Her transformative and inspiring work promises to be a lasting testament to change.
Beverly is also back in Lagos to shoot her first film of the year. If her gleeful smile is anything to go by, this project makes her happy, and she already connects to the fashionable character in many ways. She constantly shares bits and pieces of this character and her thoughts on the project so far on her Instagram. ‘People are going to love it for several reasons, one of them being the fashion because that’s what the producers have been very intentional about. I love it and think it will shine through magnificently.’, she concluded.
As an actress, producer, and entrepreneur, Beverly Naya continues to break boundaries, challenging the norms of her industry and inspiring change on and off the red carpet. Brands love this muse, and we do too!
Talent- Beverly Naya @thebeverlynaya
Editor-in-Chief- Chidera Muoka @thechideramuoka
Content Editor- Coco Anetor-Sokei @heycocopops
Fashion & Beauty Editor- Wumi ‘Tuase @wumituase
Digital Designer- Oyindamola Adedipe @oyindamola.x
Video Editor- Mosadoluwa Akinjobi @m.akinjobi
Writer- Omotola Saba @tola_saba
Photographer- Alexander Ashimole @thelexash. Assistant- Temitayo Lawal @temitayo4t
Stylist- Kayito Nwokedi @Kayito_n. Assistant- Louis Edem (@iamlouie___)
Makeup- Adebukola Hassan @house_of_daffodil & Dada Farian Ayobami @_.farian_
Hair Styling- The Belle Store @thebellestore
Look 1: Outfit- Ejiro Amos-Tafiri @ejiroamostafiri. Accessories- Bland2Glam @bland2glam. Shoes- Lhambi @Lhambi
Look 2: Dress- Odio Mimonet @odiomimonet. Accessories- Bland2Glam @bland2glam. Shoes- Lhambi @Lhambi