Khadidiatou Donatelli Neumann is a Senegalese model, born in the City of M’Bour, Senegal, just 80 km south of the Capital Dakar. Growing up in a small city with 12 siblings and limited resources Khadija has always dreamt of moving to Paris to become a model and walk the runways of top French designers. Through hard work, determination, in 1998 fearless Khadija had an opportunity to move to Geneva first to pursue modeling and from there she moved to Paris to go after her dream.
In 2000 Khadija gave an interview to the Swiss Publication ‘Le Martin Geneva’ she described the serendipitous process of getting signed to Metropolitan’s roster:
“I woke up in the year 2000 one morning, got ready and left for Paris on the train. I called all the agencies for appointments and finally got somebody on the phone at Metropolitan Models…At all the other ones I could not even get through to speak to anyone. The lady on the phone said that they already had enough black models and it would make no sense to introduce myself…I said to her just give me an appointment and I persuaded her to see me. When I was in the elevator I ran accidentally into the owner of the modeling agency. He asked me if I was new there. I told him no, and that I was just having an appointment and he said, ‘See me right away. We will do your contract.’
On Khadija’s first casting call with Metropolitan she met the European designer Ives Saint Laurent. Saint Laurent described Khadija as one of his artistic muses and has stated in interviews that she was the inspiration for many of his designs. Since posing for Saint Laurent, Khadija has modeled for photo shoots and advertising campaigns for Marie Claire, Elle, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Christian Dior, Azzedine Alaia, Ungaro, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Versace, Paco Rabanne, Louis Vuitton, Canon, Pasquale Bruni , Issac Mizrahi, Elie Saab and many more.
In 2009 Khadija signed with New York Model Management in Manhattan to expand her North American presence. At the time, the agency had already set up a proposed itinerary of modeling events for Khadija including work with Nordstrom, J. C. Penney, Marek & Associates, Kohl’s, Art + Commerce, Target, Neiman Marcus Online, Saks.com, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Jon James Casting and Matrix.
Khadija was featured in the 2001 photography book ‘Amazones of Soul’, compiled by French artist and photographer Thierry Le Goués and Spanish designer Pacco Rabanne. Amazones includes Khadija as a prominent member of the rising generation of black divas celebrated in the book. The title is an allusion to Le Goués’ first book, ‘Soul’.
Khadija is represented by the agency Metropolitan Models in Paris, France. Metropolitan added her to their fashion roster in 2000 after a single, unsolicited meeting. As of 2012, they still represent her in all of her Asian and European business.
In 2012, Khadija was approached by a Swiss company with an incredible formula that was being created for the purpose of ailing women in their menopause stages. She immediately discovered that this formula not only helped aid the pre-menopause and menopause symptoms, but also had a direct effect on the well being and libido of women. This discovery made Khadija jump into this new venture with all of her heart resulting in the birth of Lovera. Involved in all stages of the creation and production of Lovera, she is now working towards distributing this product to women from all over the world.
For Khadija it is even more deeply personal than that.
Experts estimate that more than 90 million women in Khadija’s native Africa have suffered genital mutilation, a practice in which parts or the whole of female genitalia are removed to control a woman’s sexual desire. The procedure is typically performed on pre-pubescent girls without anesthesia — leaving, or resulting in, a lifelong scar that supposedly makes them suitable for marriage.
Lovera has actually proven to be able to aid these women and give them feeling after the mutilation has taken place.