From Child Refugee to Supermodel

When the Megan Markle released her list of 'trailblazing women she admires' as part of her guest editorship of British Vogue's September issue, all eyes were on who she had chosen to include.

And no one could have been more delighted than 19-year-old South Australian model, Adut Akech.

While as a child refugee, Adut moved from South Sudan to Kenya, where her family was too poor to send her to school, nowadays Adut is one of the biggest modelling names in the world.

And she regularly mingles with the likes of designer Stella McCartney and ex Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld.

Who is Adut Akech? 

Adut was born on Christmas Day 1999 in South Sudan, before her family later moved from the war-torn country to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

The Akech family moved again when Adut was seven, when they emigrated to Australia and settled in Adelaide's northern suburbs.  

Several years later, Adut made her modelling debut, after her boutique-owning aunt asked her to be in a parade.

The then-16-year-old caught a taste for modelling afterwards, and was later snapped up by Chadwick Models on a chance trip to Melbourne in 2016.

Adut later got a representative in her home state of South Australia, and was later signed on the spot by Finesse Models Australia.

Since then, Adut has walked for 16 different shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, as well as garnering international gigs for the likes of Chanel and Saint Laurent.

In 2018, she became only the second black model ever to close the Chanel haute couture show, the first of which was Alek Wek in 2004.

'I promised that I was going to make something out of myself; something really good that would make people proud of me, especially my mother,' she said. 

'And that is exactly what I have done.'

Regarding her royal ties, Meghan Markle presented an award and Adut was nominated for Model of the Year at last year's British Fashion Awards. 

She has also become fashion royalty, after she modelled for the latest Chanel campaign, which was photographed by designer Karl Lagerfeld.

These days, Adut calls supermodel Naomi Campbell her 'second mum'.

She also attended the prestigious Met Gala hosted by Anna Wintour, where she was dressed by Valentino.

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