Oluchi Onweagba-Orlandi (born 1 August 1980) is a Nigerian model based in New York City. Growing up in the suburbs of Lagos, she won “The Face of Africa” contest at the age of 16.
Onweagba grew up in the suburbs of Lagos, Nigeria, with her two brothers and sisters. She is the daughter of a civil servant father and mother who was a nurse.
At seventeen, Onweagba was urged by a family friend to enter into the M-Net “Face of Africa” preliminary screening at the M-Net office in Victoria Island, Lagos. The agency groomed her to be one of Nigeria’s entrants for the 1998 competition (now called the Nokia Face of Africa). This despite the fact that, growing up, she had maintained a relative ignorance towards fashion and modeling. With the support of her family and friends, she decided to compete in the inaugural edition of the Face of Africa in 1998. This was the first-ever continent-wide model competition, organized by the South African channel M-Net in collaboration with Elite Model Management. She won the competition.
After moving to New York City, where she still lives, she began appearing in editorials for American and Italian Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Allure, Nylon and W. Oluchi has appeared on the covers of Italian Vogue, Elle, i-D, Pop, Untold, and Surface.
She has walked the runways for Gucci, Carolina Herrera, John Galliano, Missoni, Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Christian Dior, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Jeremy Scott, Helmut Lang, Fendi, Anna Sui, Givenchy, Kenzo, Giorgio Armani, Céline, Nina Ricci, and Diane Von Furstenberg.
She has appeared in advertising campaigns for Gianfranco Ferré, Lancôme, Ann Taylor, Clinique, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Banana Republic, Gap, Express, L’Oreal, Coca-Cola, as well as working for Victoria’s Secret in print walking for seven consecutive years in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
In 2006, Onweagba married Italian fashion designer Luca Orlandi. They were friends for a very long time before they got married. They have two sons and reside in New York. Their son Ugo Ugochukwu – has been active in Kart racing.