This Sudanese-Australian Model Just Quit the Fashion Industry to Make a Powerful Point

Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

On Tuesday, Sudanese-Australian model Ajak Deng announced on Instagram she was quitting modeling because she "can no longer deal with the fakes and the lies" of the fashion industry. 

Read more: Erykah Badu Is Bringing Black Lives Matter Back to New York Fashion Week
Read more: This Is What a "Diverse" Runway Looks Like — and the Fashion World Should Take Note

A photo posted by (@) on

Deng, who fled Sudan during a civil war in 2005 with her family and moved to Australia, was discovered in 2008 and has since walked the runway for Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Thakoon, to name a few.

In her Instagram announcement, she explained her decision to retire from modeling:

"Put your best foot forward. I am happy to announce that I am officially done with the fashion industry, I will be moving back to Australia In order to live the life that I fully deserved. Which is real life. I can no longer deal with the fakes and the lies. My life is too short for this dramatic life. I am thankful and grateful for every sweet souls that I have crossed path with."

On the same day Deng posted her statement, she also shared an image with a bag emblazoned with "Black Models Matter," an accessory that's gone viral as part of a growing conversation about fashion's entrenched biases regarding race, age and size. 

A photo posted by (@) on

Only underscoring her point was fellow model Nykhor Paul's Instagram post reacting to Deng's announcement, using the same photo but with her own commentary.

"I am sad to lose one of the most beautiful top models from my country because of these ignorant people in fashion who forgot what a fashion show consist of," Paul wrote. "We black models have to stand together and support each other without fear of losing your job or being label as the big mouth angry black person, or lose the white privileges that you now think you have because we are all going through something but are not organized to speak in unison about these nonsense!!"

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Natasha Noman

Natasha is a News Staff Writer covering global affairs. She previously reported on regional affairs from Pakistan. Natasha is based in New York and can be reached at natasha@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Another sign marking a scene from Emmett Till's murder has been vandalized

It's at least the second time in the past year a sign marking Till's murder has been vandalized.

South Carolina woman faces charges for ripping Confederate battle flag off driver's truck

The woman reportedly backed into the owner's truck, then fled the scene.

These amazing photos marking the end of Ramadan show how Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Fitr

Twitter users flooded social media with selfies and family snaps.

Philando Castile's family reaches $3 million settlement with Minnesota police

The settlement is the latest in a string of multi-million-dollar payouts that have followed police-involved deaths of African-Americans.

Chance the Rapper demands justice for Chicago at BET Awards, with an assist from Michelle Obama

Two high-profile Chicago natives call for action.

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Another sign marking a scene from Emmett Till's murder has been vandalized

It's at least the second time in the past year a sign marking Till's murder has been vandalized.

South Carolina woman faces charges for ripping Confederate battle flag off driver's truck

The woman reportedly backed into the owner's truck, then fled the scene.

These amazing photos marking the end of Ramadan show how Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Fitr

Twitter users flooded social media with selfies and family snaps.

Philando Castile's family reaches $3 million settlement with Minnesota police

The settlement is the latest in a string of multi-million-dollar payouts that have followed police-involved deaths of African-Americans.

Chance the Rapper demands justice for Chicago at BET Awards, with an assist from Michelle Obama

Two high-profile Chicago natives call for action.

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.