• thelittleboy

the new era's supermodels - Adut Akech

[in light of recent events, I would like to bring your attention to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which is being used to bail out protesters in Minneapolis. please share and donate whatever you can @ minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate]


within the last few years, the fashion industry has been undergoing some colossal changes, with more models of colour like Aweng Chuol, LGBTQ+ models like Hunter Schafer and disabled models like Aaron Philip at the forefront of the diversity struggle. during this time, we have seen the inception of this generation's supermodels (no, I'm not talking about Kendall Jenner). there will be no mention of the nepotism princesses in this post (although hate against Bella and Kaia will not be tolerated), so if you're looking for something on Kendall, you can find her on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

 

moving on, here is some of the fashion jargon mentioned below and their meanings, for those of you who are not as deeply and unhealthily obsessed with the industry as I am:


'exclusive' - a model is 'an exclusive' when they are chosen to walk only for a specific designer.

'mother agency/agent' - the first agency/agent a model signs with before starting their career.

's/s', 'a/w' - 'spring/summer' and 'autumn/winter', when the shows during the two fashion months of the year take place.

'Chanel couture bride' - a model who closes the Chanel Haute Couture shows in a wedding gown.

'first season' - the first fashion month that a model does.

'Vogue Big 4' - Vogue US, Britain, Paris and Italia.

 

Adut Akech: supermodel status, Model of the Year, second black Chanel couture bride in HISTORY and honorary daughter of Naomi Campbell. she achieved all this, as well as shooting covers AND editorials for the (Vogue) Big 4 all before turning 21.


Adut is, like most of us, from humble beginnings, and it is her inspiring story and work ethic that keeps her in the heart of the industry. born in South Sudan, she spent most of her childhood in Kenya as a refugee, before finally settling in Adelaide, Australia.


signed to her mother agency, Chadwick Models in Sydney, Australia, she made her fashion week debut as a Saint Laurent exclusive in their S/S17 show, and closed both of their A/W17 and S/S18 shows. opening and closing fashion shows is a HUGE deal for models, and opening/closing a show in their first season means their name is on everyones' lips.


Saint Laurent isn't the only time she's been an exclusive, as she was chosen especially at 19 by Valentino's creative director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, to be the face of his Donna Born in Roma fragrance, alongside industry veteran Anwar Hadid. it's safe to say, she has gone from strength to strength, and has let nothing get in her way.


known by the moniker 'Adut', she has already taken on legendary status, with only a handful of models being known by their first names, including Naomi, Gisele, Adriana and Doutzen.


she has a bubbly personality, and is an industry favourite amongst designers, photographers and other models. and yet, she is so much more than just a pretty face. she has been an advocate for mental health, encouraging conversation and awareness, speaking candidly about her own struggles with anxiety and depression. as a public figure, it is important for platform holders like Adut to use their platform for the better, sharing the harsh realities and struggles of life in the spot light, and she does just that.

in an interview with Glamour, she explained how "you have to let things out, and if I can't let it out to people close to me, I prefer to express it with my writing".

racism is another huge topic that she refuses to be silent on, and she often uses her platform to speak out against police brutality and the inherent, systemic racism, tokenism and blatant lack of diversity in the fashion industry. speaking recently on the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, she used her Instagram account with almost one million followers to speak out against the crimes, and promote the stories, calling them nothing short of "disgusting".

back in August 2019, Australian magazine - Who - posted a photo of "Adut" for a story on her in their magazine, which actually turned out to be fellow Australian model Flavia Lazarus. it's safe to say she was unimpressed with the blunder, and rightfully so, considering it's something that almost every dark skin model, actor/actress, and overall public figure in the limelight has experienced.


speaking to Glamour in 2019, she said: "we're in 2019 and I'm still experiencing people tagging me as another black person of a different model. it just blows my mind that people care so little. I'm calling people out for it and I will keep calling it out. I say 'have you ever mistaken Bella for Gigi before?'"


she's had her fair share of discrimination throughout her life and career, telling The Telegraph that she informally changed her name to 'Mary' in Australia "because teachers couldn't pronounce [her] name", (which sounds like a major micro aggression to me - how can you not produce Adut? it's literally spelled the way it sounds...) Thankfully, she reclaimed her birth name (as she should!), saying that she wants "to be Adut; Adut is unique".


she has graced the covers of the world's most famous magazines, and achieved her dream of being on the cover of Vogue Australia, "feeling blessed and grateful" for the opportunity.

legendary in her own right, Adut has achieved so much during her short career. she's gone above and beyond, serving looks, face, attitude, and a strut which embodies "90s Naomi" to the absolute fullest. with a mentor like Miss Campbell, there is nothing she can't achieve.



French film director and author, Loïc Prigent, described her as: "the most iconic model of all time" with one of "the best walks of the season" in his video ADUT AKECH! HER FULL FASHION MONTH!

for a model, a Prigent endorsement is one of the highest honours. along with that, beating the competition to win Model of the Year and being featured on Time's 100 Next list, where Adut's career will take her next is unknown - but it's a journey we all want to be a part of.



- thelittleboy xo


[all photos have been taken from @adutakech on Instagram].

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