It’s been a huge year for model Adut Akech—from landing the cover of British Vogue to Karl Lagerfeld casting her as a Chanel bride—and it just got a little bit bigger. Models.com just released their annual ‘Model of the Year’ awards for 2018: Akech won the ‘Industry Vote’ for Model of the Year, while Gigi Hadid won ‘Readers Choice’ for Model of the Year.
The ‘Industry Vote’ is made up of over 250 participants from across the industry, including top stylists, designers, photographers, editors, hair and makeup artists, and casting directors (this year’s voters included Prabal Gurung, Ellen von Unwerth, and Katie Grand).
It’s no surprise that Akech has earned such recognition from fashion’s biggest names: She’s been breaking boundaries since her debut in 2017. As we head into 2019, it’s time to familiarize yourself with modeling’s new household name:
The 18-year-old model made her debut in 2017. The Sudanese-American model’s first official runway moment was at Saint Laurent’s Spring 2017 show in Paris, but the first time she stepped on a catwalk was at age 12 during a local fashion show in Australia, put together by her aunt.
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omg omg @britishvogue cover for December issue shot by the legendary #stevenmeisel just came out!!!! I’m speechless, lost for words. Oh papa @edward_enninful I don’t know how I could ever thank you enough for this cover it is so special to me especially it being for my favourite month of the year. Thank you for all that you do for me and for the amazing opportunities of a lifetime you keep giving me. Congratulations on your one year anniversary at @britishvogue I feel so blessed to be able to share this special moment with you, I love and appreciate you more than words can explain!! 🙏🏾❤️❤️✨ It blows my mind to even think that I am honoured enough to sharing my second @britishvogue cover for this year. Another dream of mine that has been turned into a reality my very own solo cover. Thank you to everyone involved in the shooting of this incredible cover. To all the beautiful women of colour around the world, the little girls and boys who’s talent have not yet been seen by the world. To those who’s dreams are yet to come to life, it makes me so proud to say that I’m honouring and sharing this cover with all of you. Thank you to all my family and friends, all my agents & agencies and my fans who motivate me to get out of bed and keep pushing to do greater every single day!! ❤️🙏🏾😩 Wearing @marcjacobs @bulgariofficial Makeup by mama @patmcgrathreal Hair by @guidopalau Nails by @jinsoonchoi
She landed her first solo Vogue cover for British Vogue. Akech appeared on the December issue of British Vogue wearing a confectionary Marc Jacobs outfit and Bulgari diamonds. In the interview, she shared that Naomi Campbell is like her “second mum.”
“We met on the Pirelli calendar shoot [styled by Edward Enninful] in April last year, and I never thought there would be a friendship, but we got along instantly… Now, she checks up on me all the time in New York, like, ‘Hey baby, are you eating? Are you sleeping?'”
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@chanelofficial fall2018 haute couture bride closing the show!!! 👰🏾😩 Wow where do I even begin. After opening the last Chanel cruise show, I honestly didn’t think it could get any better but I was wrong because I just closed this one. There is no amount of words that can express what this moment means to me. The beauty of having a dream, is watching it come to life. Cannot believe I just made history by being Chanel’s second black couture bride, this is one of my most proudest achievement!!! @karllagerfeld @amandaharlech @aurelieduclos and the whole Chanel team thank you so much from the deepest bottom of my heart for once again believing in me. It was a life time honour being the chosen bride to close your beautiful show in the MOST breathtaking dress I have ever seen in my life. This was just a special moment that I will always remember and cherish for as long as I live. Thank you to everyone who has stuck by my side and continuously always supporting me. You guys really motivate me to thriving for my towards my dreams everyday. Knowing that I am an inspiration to someone is of the best feeling you could endure as a humanbeing. To the young girls and boys who look up to me I want you guys to know no matter who you are, where you come from or what you have, as long as you have a dream it is achievable as long as you put in hard work, give it your all, stay dedicated, determined and most importantly never give up because you will make that dream a reality at some point. Makeup by @tompecheux Hair by @sammcknight1 This is for the dream chasers! ❤️🙏🏾✊🏾😘
Karl Lagerfeld cast her as a Chanel bride. Akech was cast as the much-vaunted Chanel bride for the Fall 2018 haute couture collection, making her the second Black model to ever do so.
She was featured in Edward Enninful’s Pirelli Calendar. The 2018 Pirelli Calendar might be the most diverse and imaginative edition yet. Styled by British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, the calendar reimaginesd Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
She wants to start her own modeling agency in South Sudan. Akech’s family emigrated from Kenya to Australia when she was six, and she’s said, “Even if I become the richest model in the world I will still be a refugee.”
In her interview with British Vogue, the model said she would like to start her own modeling agency back in South Sudan. “There are so many beautiful dark-skinned girls that have the potential,” she said, “but they just don’t have the connections or the resources.”