Ajak Deng Quit the Fashion Industry


CcCMIPxWwAA4zJ6 Stunning model Ajak Deng has been turning heads since her discovery in 2008. Her almost decade long career has an impressive track list, appearing in campaigns for Kate Spade, Kenzo and The Gap. She has also graced the runway for  Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton, and Lanvin. Despite her success, she has always been vocal about the diversity problems plaguing the fashion industry and in Instagram post announced she is "officially done with the fashion industry."

Ajak reveals that she has been a direct victim of discrimination, she was kicked out of Balmain for being Black. With nearly a decade worth of memories and successes earned from modeling, as well as the connections and friends made, Ajak Deng decided that there was no better time than now to be done away with the fakes and the lies.

The model plans to move back to her home of Australia and live a much more fulfilling, peaceful life.

Fellow model Nykhor Paul took to Instagram to share her support:

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!!! We sure as hell don't treat you this way when you come to Africa!! We black models have to stand together and support each other without fear of losing your job or being label as the big mouth angry black person, or lose the white privileges that you now think you have because we are all going through something but are not organized to speak in unison about these nonsense!!Kisses and smiles don't mean anything, modeling is a job, a regular job! The only difference is the job requirements! This is an industry where we the blacks models are at the bottom levels as much as they shoot us everyday we will never reach the white models level. We are in a business were ignorants white people put themselves at the pedestal constantly because they think they are the most beautiful, the most intelligent, the most creative, the most heroic, the best at everything. We are the added on last minute options not a priority!! They have manage to destroy us and shred us to pieces with no one to speak us for us. This is fashion but it's way deeper than just pretty girls walking down catwalks!!! This is extreme bullying!!! Illusions will get us nowhere! Stop hurting us in this way, God don't like ugly!!!🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 @ajak_deng

A photo posted by nykhor (@nykhor) on

Ajak's abrupt departure serves as a reminder of the racism that Black models continue to face in the fashion industry. How do we have more meaningful conversations about how diversity on the runway should look?


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