Ajek Deng Quite via I.G.
Sudan born and Australian raised international model, Ajak Deng, announced her retirement earlier this week on her Instagram page to 67,000 + followers. She will retire from her career as a model and return to Australia. There is no specific address to racism influencing her decision. However, she has been known to speak out against racism and colorism in the fashion industry via her Twitter page. One circumstance that stands out was in 2014. She vented on being canceled from Balmain’s Fall 2014 runway show. Ajak felt it was due to her race.
Ajek Deng has faced many adversities even before becoming a runway star. Deng and her family fled Sudan when she was 12. The family headed to Australia to start a new life. Deng mother later died in the refugee camp of malaria. She was later to be scouted by the Bucknail agencey while in high school. She signed to FRM 2008.
Her manager at FRM Stephen Bucknail, has expressed his anger and frustration regarding booking gigs for dark skinned women in Australia.
“Ajak has said to me many times, its like there isn’t more work for dark skin girls in Australia, as she would look to book more work he ,There budget probably aren’t big enough for Deng , because she is a big money earner, but they will spend the money on Miranda Kerr or a Jess Hart. They’ll book big Caucasian girls, spend the big dollars and fly them in from L.A., but I’m yet to see them book a dark skin girl in that way.”, Says Stephen Bucknail
Ajak Deng has graced us with her presence on the runways of Dior, Louis Vuitton, Valentine, Marc Jacobs, and Jean Paul Gautier. As well as featured campaigns for Barney’s New York, Gap, Marc Jacobs, Kenzo, and Kate Spade. She will be well missed in the fashion industry. She had a unique look and a smile that lite up the runway. I commend her for leaving the industry with class and her head held high!