Alek Wek was born in Sudan in 1977 but moved with her family to England in 1991 to escape the country’s civil war. After being spotted by a Models 1 scout when shopping in Crystal Palace in 1995, she appeared in the video for Tina Turner’s Golden Eye, quickly launching her onto the modelling scene. She has graced magazine covers all over the world, including flashing a couple of winks for i-D, most notably against the bright pink background of The World Class Issue, in 1998, and has been featured in campaigns for Issey Miyake, Moschino, Victoria’s Secret and Clinique. In 2001, drawing inspiration from a briefcase her father carried, she turned her attention to designing bags under the name Wek 1933, a reference to the year her father was born. In 2007 she published an autobiography titled Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel. Alek is a member of the U.S. Committee for Refugees’ Advisory Council that helps raise awareness towards the plight of refugees worldwide.
Photography Simon Harris
Styling Pippa Vosper
[The To Die For Issue, No. 291, September 2008]