15 Facts About Alek Wek


Alek Wek was born on 16 April 1977 and is a South Sudanese-British model and designer who began her fashion career at the age of 18 in 1995.


Alek Wek has been hailed for her influence on the perception of beauty in the fashion industry.


Alek Wek is from the Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan, but fled to Britain in 1991 to escape the civil war in Sudan.


Alek Wek enrolled in the London College of Fashion and studied Fashion Business and Technology.


Alek Wek was discovered at an outdoor market in 1995 in Crystal Palace, London by a Models 1 scout.


Alek Wek appeared in the music video for "GoldenEye" by Tina Turner that year, and shortly thereafter began fashion modeling.


Alek Wek was signed to Ford Models in 1996 and appeared in the "Got 'Til It's Gone" music video by Janet Jackson that year.

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Alek Wek was named "Model of the Year" in 1997 by MTV, and was the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle that year.


Alek Wek has appeared on the cover of American, French, German and South African Elle as well as i-D, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Forbes Magazine Africa and Ebony.


Alek Wek has been featured in editorials in American and British Vogue.


Since 2002, Alek Wek has been an advisor to the US Committee for Refugees Advisory Council, which helps to raise awareness about the situation in Sudan, as well as the plight of refugees worldwide.


Alek Wek is a missionary for World Vision, an organisation which combats AIDS, an ambassador for Doctors Without Borders in Sudan, and devotes time to UNICEF.


In 2012, Alek Wek teamed up with Amarula as the face of their campaign African Originals.


Alek Wek was in a relationship with Riccardo Sala, an Italian real estate developer, for twelve years; they separated in 2013.


Alek Wek is the aunt of the runway model Ataui Deng.