If you didn’t know, Esther Kamatari is the exiled princess of Burundi. This France’s first African supermodel, author and political activist and a one-time contender for president of Burundi can now add Guerlain beauty ambassador to her impressive resume. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned fragrance house Guerlain came into contact with Kamatari five years ago, in the context of a fashion show called Cultures & Création, now an annual event involving the French cities of Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil.
Exiled from the landlocked East African country Burundi with the rest of the royal family following a military coup in the mid ’60s, Kamatari fled to Paris, where she became a fixture on the catwalks from the ’70s to ’90s. She walked for YSL, Christian Dior and Paco Rabanne and appeared in Issey Miyake’s iconic Twelve Black Girls show in Tokyo alongside Grace Jones. In 2004 she took a backseat from the fashion industry to ran for the Burundi presidency.
Kamatari joins former faces Natalia Vodianova and Michelle Yeoh. Her first campaign is yet to be revealed.