Adut Akech: ‘I will always be a refugee’

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Australian Model Takes Pride in Refugee Status

From life in a Kenyan refugee camp to a career as a globe-trotting International top model, Adut Akech’s story is certainly an inspiring one.

The 19-year-old rising star has opened up about her journey at VOICES, the Business of Fashion’s annual gathering of big thinkers. Talking to BoF’s Tim Blanks, Akech shared stories of her early years in South Sudan and Kakuma, Kenya.

“I will always be a refugee, because that’s who I am,” she told Blanks. “No amount of money or my status or how famous or whatever the case is … I’m always going to be a refugee and I’m proud of who I am.”

South Sudanese model Adut Akech

At just six years old, Akech and her family relocated to Adelaide, Australia. She loved school, and her mother stressed the importance of getting a good education.

Fast forward a few years and the increasingly willowy teen found herself modelling for small local fashion events. According to Akech, it was “love at first sight” when she walked in her first ever runway show.

After signing to Chadwick Models in Sydney when she turned 16, modelling around Australia became a reality. However, it wasn’t until Akech was booked exclusively for Saint Laurent’s Spring/Summer 2017 show in Paris that her global career truly took off.

South Sudanese model Adut Akech

Adut Akech by Dimitra Koriozos at VAMFF 2017

Since then, she has become the ultimate ‘name to watch’ in the fashion industry. In her short time as a model, Akech has already shot with many of the world’s most respected fashion photographers, walked for the biggest design houses, graced a plethora of prestigious magazine covers and gained a global following in the process.

We love how vocal Adut continues to be about her roots and her intentions to be an inspiration for young people around the world.

Check out the rest of the interview with Adut Akech below.

 

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