Adut Akech’s Inspiring Journey to Supermodel Status


Jan. 4 2024, Updated 5:34 p.m. ET

Adut Akech has made a meteoric rise from being a refugee to dominating the world of fashion as a supermodel. Many models and supermodels have inspiring back stories to their success. You will hear stories of how they were rejected or bullied at a young age for their different looks. However, it is hard to find one as powerful and moving as that of Adut.

Here’s how Adut has made it straight to the top of the modeling world without missing a beat.

Growing Up in a Refugee Camp

Adut’s mother gave birth to her daughter as she was fleeing to escape violence in her home country of South Sudan. Part of the model’s childhood was spent in a refugee camp. While she was too young to notice everything around her, Adut remembers that life was very hard at the camp. The people had to look after one another due to the ever-present threat of attacks and inadequate food and other necessities. However, this worked to help her understand the importance of being grateful for whatever she has as she knows things could always be worse.

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Moving to Australia

The model, her mother and siblings acquired asylum in Australia when she was about seven or eight years old. This marked the start of her next stage in life. Her new life in a foreign land reinforced her unshakable belief in herself. She recalls being targeted by bullies, telling The Guardian, “I was this tall, super-shy, awkward kid. I had a weird name, and a gap tooth.”

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However, that did not stop her from starting her modeling career at the age of 16, and by the age of 20 she had landed on the cover of 16 Vogue covers internationally.

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Modeling Excellence

Since she started her modeling career, Adut has swiftly and consistently risen through the ranks to become one of the most popular names in fashion modeling. She’s been named the Model of The Year by the British Fashion Council in 2019 and Moschino and Marc Jacobs are just two of the major brands she has worked with over the years.

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Other notable moments in her career include her appearance in Beyonce's Black Is King music video for “Brown Skin Girl,” and she was one of the models selected by Meghan Markle to appear on the September 2019 cover of British Vogue.

Adut credits her mother for her modeling success.

The model has a lot of adoration for her mother. She says that her mother showed her how important it is to work hard. Adut’s mom also backed her daughter to pursue her modeling dreams even as her extended family tried to pressure her to quit and focus on school. “I’m like a mini version of my mum,” she told the outlet. “Everything I am is exactly who she is.”

The model also calls supermodel Naomi Campbell and former British Vogue editor Edward Enninful her second mom and dad, adding, “I used to idolize these people. Then I met Edward and Naomi, and not only were they nice, but they became my family.” With her looks, attitude and formidable support system, it is clear that Adut is going straight to the top when it comes to her modeling career.

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