Top Sudanese model Ajak Deng took to her Instagram yesterday, to announce that she is quitting modelling having had enough of “the fakes and the lies” – a move regarded to be linked to the industry’s diversity problems and Deng also having had enough of being overlooked by her white colleagues.
The beauty, who has graced the ramp for many top labels, including Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Lanvin, and starred in campaigns for Marc Jacobs, and Kenzo, wrote:
“I am happy to announce that I am officially done with the fashion industry, I will be moving back to Australia in order to live the life that I fully deserved. Which is real life.
My life is too short for this dramatic life.”
Shortly after, her model pal Nykhor Paul posted;
READ MORE: NYKHOR PAUL TELLS FASHION “STOP DISRESPECTING MY RACE!”
“I am sad to lose one of the most beautiful top models from my country because of these ignorant people in fashion who forgot what a fashion show consist of. We need variety in the runways and magazines because this shit is getting boring!!!
They are breaking our backs with these racist shit! We came to the west to find peace and stability instead it’s been unbearable to just exist.
Can we just be beautiful and have you accept that and be comfortable with that!!!”
READ MORE: SPICE TO HOLD PANEL TALK ON WAYS AFRICAN MEDIA CAN TELL THE AFRICAN FASHION NARRATIVE
Though Ajak’s post didn’t address racism directly, the model has also been highly vocal online in the past – once posting to Twitter (before deleting her account) about being booked then cut from a show;
“This is how it feels when you get kicked out of Balmain for being Black and that their [sic] didn’t invited you. Fuck you and fuck you. Balamin.”
The stunner also told Australian Vogue in an interview that supermodel Alek Wek had advised her that;
“This industry can be really hard, but all you’ve got to do is just think of it as something you’ve already started and you really want to finish. You don’t want to quit in the middle of it, so just don’t quit.”
– concluding herself that;
“I’m definitely not going to give up until I see where this is going to end.”
Speaking to Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Deng’s manager echoed opinion on the industry’s different attitudes towards black and white models, saying;
“They’ll book the big Caucasian girls, spend the big dollars, and fly them in from L.A., but I’m yet to see them book a dark-skinned girl in that way.”
While the model advises her followers to “put your best foot forward” and commented that she is “thankful and grateful for every [one of the] sweet souls that I have crossed path with,” Team SPICE think it’s the industry that needs to think about the steps it takes next in these times of change, when models and professionals are openly calling out racism.READ MORE: TOP MODEL LEOMIE ANDERSON CALLS FOR MORE BLACK CREATIVES BACKSTAGE AT FASHION WEEK
As we wait to hear what happens next, it looks like fashion’s lost a brilliant beauty who seemed to be on her way to the top – though those glass ceilings are becoming increasingly evident.
Not that Ajak Deng is leaving the industry bitter, posting a follow up snap captioned;
“Thank you for your blessings God.”
But what do you think? Tell us how you feel about Ajak Deng’s departure from modelling and the fashion industry, in the comments box or online @SPICETVAFRICA.
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