WITH DAZZLING deep melanated skin, Adut Akech, who became a refugee at 7 years old – has achieved what many would say is impossible.
At just 19 years old, Akech is already a powerhouse in the world of fashion. Her career is just beginning but has already reached unbelievable heights. To add to the list, last night (Dec 3), she took away the honour of the 2019 ‘Model of the Year’ at the British Fashion Awards.
While many of the winners chose to thank the esteemed members within the fashion industry that nominated them, Akech took her own approach. The Sudanese-Australian supermodel’s speech called for greater diversity in the fashion industry, something the room overwhelming agreed with due to the standing ovation that followed.
“It is important for all of us to remember that someone like me winning this award is a rarity,” Akech stated after displaying her gratitude for winning.
“This is for the young women and men who found representation and validation in my work. I want them to never be afraid of dreaming big like I once did.
“To them, I say this: Whatever it is you want to do, whether it’s modelling or acting or medicine, you should never doubt yourself. “Don’t let the world convince you that it is not possible.”
Akech was featured in Time’s 100 next list last month. The magazine revealed that the aim of the new list was to shine a spotlight on influential individuals “who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, science, health and more”.
Time writer Cady Lang penned a glowing statement about Akech, praising her for “calling out racism and amplifying the stories of her fellow refugees”.
Despite taking great strides in the industry her speech made it crystal clear that there is still a long journey ahead to reach racial equality in the fashion industry.
Akech was born in South Sudan in 1999 and is one of five siblings. She was later raised in Kakuma, Kenya before moving to Adelaide, Australia with her mother at seven years old as a refugee.
Her modelling career started at just 16 years old, when Akech was signed as a model in Sydney, Australia.
Here are 5 incredible highlights in her promising career…
- Akech made her fashion Week debut at Saint Laurent’s S/S 17 show. She returned to close the show in Paris at the spring/summer ’18 show, at just 17 years old.
- In 2019 alone the model has appeared in 5 Vogue covers; with three during the same month of September. The list includes the Forces for Change issues which was guest edited by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Akech was hand-picked by the Duchess for this feature.
- The supermodel starred in her very first fragrance campaign for Valentino; the Valentina Donna Fragrance. Speaking to Refinery 29 about the campaign video she revealed: “In this video, I got to be myself and that’s what I loved about it. I’m not the best dancer – I’m just going to say that up front — but I love music, and I danced my butt off.”
- Last month she earned a coveted spot on the esteemed Times 100 next list
- This summer Adut Akech was unveiled as a face for the 1990s-inspired Moschino Spring 2019 campaign.