In a sea of white skinny models, stands a tall beautiful strong black woman from South Sudan. Her name is Alex Wek. Her beauty is so refreshingly unique in comparison to the sea of white women we tend to observe on the catwalks. More needs to be done to improve diversity on the catwalks, however this blog post is not about that, its about Alex Wek and why she’s so standout, other than her striking appearance.
What is wonderful about this woman is that she uses her position of influence for good instead of self serving like so many others.
There are so many reasons for this. For example, she was the first African woman to take the front cover of Elle magazine but for me what is most inspiring, is the work she is doing to raise awareness of the needs of people in South Sudan, her home country.
As a UN Refugee Agency Ambassador, she has been helping to raise much needed funds for the South Sudan people affected by the civil war and famine. She arrived here in the UK as a teen in the early 90s seeking refuge. Before that she and her family were hiding out in the bush in South Sudan, as it was seen as the safest place, having abandoned their home and village due to fighting.
Wek was scouted at the age of 18 in 1995 whilst she studied at the London School of Fashion and since then she has made waves in the fashion world, using her voice to help others. Wek promotes important issues, helps raise vital funds and promotes the celebration of women and diversity in fashion.
What a breath of fresh air.
I heart Alex Wek.