The fashion industry was not left out on all the Black Girl magic that swept the world in 2018. Over the past year, black models stood out proud, appearing on covers of high-end fashion magazines, cat walking for the most luxurious brands and inspiring millions of girls all over the world to accept their rich black skin.
From Winnie Harlow, Slick Woods, Khoudia Diop, Duckie Thot, Fatima Siad to all the other black models, 2018 definitely was the year for the black model rising and Diop’s groundbreaking success is just icing on the cake.
Models.com has come out with their Model of the Year Awards and 19-year-old Sudanese-Australian model Mary Adut Akech Bior popularly known as Adut Akech came tops as the 2018 model of the year.
Akech dethrones Ghanaian-British model Adwoa Aboah who took the number 1 spot in 2017.
The decision was reached by a jury made up of over 250 voters representing a wide range of the industry’s top professionals, including many of the industry’s top stylists, designers, photographers, editors, hair and makeup artists, casting directors, and a wide range of emerging creative talents including thousands of readers and industry enthusiast. Every year, they make a choice of their top models each year under 11 specific categories including model of the year, breakout star, social media star and celebrity model of the year, among others.
This year, Akech also beat the readers’ favourite model Gigi Hadid, Slic Woods and 12 other top female models to take the number 1 position.
The model of the year who has plans of opening a modelling agency in South Sudan is mentored by supermodel Naomi Campbell. She ventured into the industry while living in Australia at the age of 13 but started professionally at 16.
Her breakthrough came in 2017 when she gained global recognition at the Saint Laurent Spring and Summer fashion show. Considering her age and modelling career, the prestigious Model of the Year recognition is a huge milestone for her.
Born on December 25, 1999, in South Sudan Akech was raised in Kenya by her mother with 5 other siblings. The family moved to Australia as refugees when she was 7 and have lived there since.
The successful model took to her Instagram and went live on New Year’s Day to share personal details about her struggle with depression. She confessed to crying herself to sleep every night in 2017 and 18 despite having a very successful career.