Adut Akech was so overwhelmed at being chosen to be Chanel’s haute couture “bride” that she kept breaking down in tears during her fittings.
The model, who was born in South Sudan and raised in Australia, made her runway debut for Saint Laurent’s spring/summer 2017 show in September 2016 and has since gone on to walk for the likes of Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Kenzo.
But in July (18), she shot to fame after Karl Lagerfeld handpicked her to wear the bridal outfit at Chanel’s Paris Couture Week show, making her only the second black model to do so, an honour she has now described as extremely overwhelming.
“He (Lagerfeld) had asked me after shooting with him, ‘Oh do you want to be my bride for couture?’ and I was like, um, ‘Yeah,'” the 18-year-old told Vogue Australia backstage at the David Jones spring/summer show. “When I did my first fitting, every time I did my fittings, I would just cry because I was just so speechless and I couldn’t believe it. I just don’t believe it.”
Adut, who was inspired by model and fashion icon Naomi Campbell to pursue a career in modelling, admitted she had always wanted to work with Chanel, Valentino and Versace, all of which she has now achieved. However, she still can’t quite believe it has happened at times.
“It’s crazy,” she laughed. “Ninety per cent of the time I’m like wow, this is really my life, wow what’s going on!”
Having already ticked off a chunk of her career ambitions, the model, who lived in Kenya before entering Australia as a refugee, is keen to realise some philanthropic goals.
“I would have liked to accomplish my long-term goals of building a school or a hospital back in South Sudan,” she explained. “I’ll see how far this modelling thing can take me and see if I would still be doing this in five years’ time. I’m going to work hard towards that.”
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