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Alek Wek

Alek Wek

Profile

Birth date: April 16, 1977
Country: Sudan
Height: 1.8 m / 5.9 ft

Overview

Alek Wek was born in South Sudan. And as a young child, the catwalks of Europe seemed like an unreachable dream. In 1991, Wek moved to Europe with her family as a result of the civil war in her homeland, and four years later was discovered at an outdoor market in London. She was the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle magazine (1997).
  • Fall
    2005
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The First Face Countdown follows the models who open each of the season fashion shows, giving higher ranking to the model with the most show openings.

Alek Wek Videos

Model Bio

Rocking the Runway

In the ’90s Alek Wek appeared in several video clips, but her official debut on the runways was at the beginning of 1997. That season, Wek walked for top designers such as Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel and Ralph Lauren at the Paris and New York fashion weeks. Fashion journalists, photographers and other fashion royalty watched on as she owned the runways, and immediately booked her for future shows and fashion productions. Throughout her career, Wek has also walked for the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta and many other great names in the fashion industry.

Ad Star

Wek's unique look has earned her numerous advertising campaigns over the years. She has featured in campaigns for top brands like Moschino, Issey Miyake, Victoria's Secret, and Gap amongst others. Her most recent advertising campaign was for Kenzo, in 2012.

In 1999, Wek was pictured for the prestigious Pirelli Calendar, alongside other supermodel greats, and brought a new spirit to the photoshoot.

Off the Runways

In 2005, Wek designed a handbags line under the name “Wek 1933.” The inspiration for the collection was her father who died in Sudan while escaping from the civil war attacks. He was born in 1933.

Asides from fashion, Wek has not forgotten her roots. She is actively involved in philanthropic work to help raise awareness of refugee issues that still existing in Sudan today. She is also a part of a worldwide organization that combats AIDS, an ambassador for Doctors Without Borders in Sudan and dedicates her time to working with UNICEF.