Alek began fashion modelling and was signed to Ford Models in 1996. She also appeared in the “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” music video by Janet Jackson that year and was named “Model of the Year” in 1997 by MTV. She also became the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle that year.
She appeared in dozens of advertising campaigns, on the cover of several magazines and has walked for numerous major fashion brands in the UK and the United States making her the first dark-skinned model in the high fashion industry.
Alek was hailed by Oprah Winfrey who said: “if [Alek] had been on the cover of a magazine when I was growing up, I would have had a different concept of who I was.”
Being the first black model who didn’t conform to a Caucasian aesthetic, Alek influenced many dark-skinned girls including Kenyan actress, Lupita Nyong’o, who mentioned her as her inspiration to step up and feel more appreciated.
She released an autobiography in 2007, entitled Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel, which documents her journey from Sudan to the fashion industry. She has appeared in many television shows and movies as well as campaigns for products.
Alek who moved to the United States has designed a range of designer handbags called “Wek 1933” named after her father’s year of birth and inspired by his brass-clasp briefcase.
Alek Wek has been raising awareness about the refugee situation in South Sudan as an ambassador for World Vision, Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, UNHCR and other bodies including the U.S. Committee for Refugees Advisory Council.
Newer news items:
- South Sudan Cracking Down on Black Market Money Changers - 12/02/2018
- South Sudan court sentences rebel spokesman James Gatdet Dak to death - 12/02/2018
- South Sudan: Govt Objects to Rules for Peace Talks - 12/02/2018
- South Sudan Peace Talks Stall As Govt Rejects Liability Clause - 11/02/2018
- South Sudan parties begin talks on pre-transitional period - 10/02/2018
Older news items:
- South Sudan Government Objects to Rules for Peace Talks - 09/02/2018
- South Sudan churches call for Feb. 10 day of prayer to support peace talks - 09/02/2018
- Can more restrictive measures on South Sudan end civil war? - 09/02/2018
- An arms embargo against South Sudan comes better late than never - 08/02/2018
- Clan Fighting in South Sudan Leaves 15 Dead - 08/02/2018
Popular news items:
- No oil in troubled waters - 25/03/2014 - Read 18625 times
- Former Lost Boy Gives Back to South Sudan - Care2.com (blog) - 31/05/2012 - Read 13858 times
- School exam results in South Sudan show decline - Bikya Masr - 01/04/2012 - Read 13270 times
- NDSU student from South Sudan receives scholarship - In-Forum - 29/09/2012 - Read 13193 times
- With prisons full, South Sudan to introduce mobile courts to clear backlog of ... - Washington Post - 11/10/2012 - Read 11172 times