Pierpaolo Piccioli avoids hiring same models for runway shows

Pierpaolo Piccioli makes a point of hiring different models for each of his runway shows.The creative director of Valentino has opened up about his career in an interview with Vogue Australia, and during the chat, revealed he demands diversity and incl…

Pierpaolo Piccioli makes a point of hiring different models for each of his runway shows.

The creative director of Valentino has opened up about his career in an interview with Vogue Australia, and during the chat, revealed he demands diversity and inclusivity on his catwalks.

“For me, I’m a designer. My job is creating images, and through this people can feel emotions and can also reflect about something. Inclusivity for me means embracing a world, so it’s about living together in tolerance,” he explained. “To make inclusivity happen – and not just thinking and talking about inclusivity, because sometimes you talk about it, but you don’t act – I think it’s (about) just acting.”

In recent seasons, Piccioli has also tapped high-profile names to appear in his presentations, with Naomi Campbell closing the spring/summer 2019 couture show in January 2019 and iconic model/actress Lauren Hutton walking the runway during the fall/winter 2019 couture spectacle.

And he’s adamant it’s his passion for diversity that drives him to keep his shows fresh.

“I always encourage women to be themselves, because it is much more interesting – a real woman – than the role she plays, because those are stereotypes, always,” the designer shared. “That’s also the reason why I don’t use models for two times in a show.”

However, one exception to Piccioli’s rule is South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech, who serves as his unofficial muse and has regularly appeared in Valentino presentations.

“In Adut, I feel a fragility and her fears and her strength, which are very interesting,” he touchingly commented of the 20-year-old.

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Adut Akech ‘beyond honoured’ to feature on U.S. Vogue cover

Adut Akech is “beyond honoured” to star on the cover of U.S. Vogue alongside Ugbad Abdi and Kaia Gerber.The South Sudanese-Australian beauty fronts the April 2020 issue, which celebrates models from around the world, including Paloma Elsesser, Liu Wen …

Adut Akech is “beyond honoured” to star on the cover of U.S. Vogue alongside Ugbad Abdi and Kaia Gerber.

The South Sudanese-Australian beauty fronts the April 2020 issue, which celebrates models from around the world, including Paloma Elsesser, Liu Wen and Adesuwa Aighewi, in an effort to represent the 25 international editions of the fashion bible.

In the groundbreaking cover, Adut wears a Vera Wang Collection bra, bustier, and corset with Diesel jeans, and shared the image with her 873,000 followers on Instagram.

Sweetly tagging the photo’s location as “on cloud nine”, she wrote in the caption: “wow mum look at on the cover of American Vogue, I don’t actually have real words for this right now but I’m so beyond honoured to be sharing my first-ever American Vogue cover with you all.

Adut continued: “This has been a dream of mine from the start of my modelling career and it just came true!!! I just want to thank every single person involved in making this possible. To Anna Wintour and the entire vogue team @felicitybwebb thank you so much for the bottom of my heart for giving this South Sudanese refugee little girl this opportunity to represent.”

The 20-year-old also shared her excitement to become only the second black model, after trailblazer Naomi Campbell, to have starred on the covers of the Big Four – British Vogue, U.S. Vogue, Vogue Italia, and Vogue Paris.

“I finally have the big 4 vogue covers and the second black girl to do it in history after my mama @naomi I’m gonna cry myself to sleep now bye (sic),” she touchingly concluded her emotional post.

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Storm Reid makes runway debut at Miu Miu show

Storm Reid made her runway debut during Miu Miu’s Paris Fashion Week show on Tuesday. The Euphoria actress opened the Italian fashion house’s fall/winter 2020 presentation at the Palais d’Iena wearing a bronze crushed satin dress and a dark grey tweed…

Storm Reid made her runway debut during Miu Miu’s Paris Fashion Week show on Tuesday.

The Euphoria actress opened the Italian fashion house’s fall/winter 2020 presentation at the Palais d’Iena wearing a bronze crushed satin dress and a dark grey tweed overcoat, with her braids shaped into a ’40s updo.

The 16-year-old later took to Instagram to show pictures and video of her walking the runway and expressed her excitement in the caption.

“Wow. Wow. Wow. Today I walked in my first fashion show. Not only did I walk, but I opened the show. In Paris. For @MIUMIU. Insane right?!?” she gushed. “Thank you to the whole @miumiu team and (stylist) @kegrand for not only allowing but trusting me to do this. I always felt like I could walk in a show, and (creative director) @jasonbolden told me to be patient, and I’m so glad I was. We did it J! This is something that will be etched in my mind and heart forever. XO.”

Storm received praise from celebrities in the comments section, with her A Wrinkle in Time co-star Mindy Kaling writing, “Wow wow wow!! You are (fire) Storm!!” and Janelle Monae posting, “Gooooo stormie !!!!!” with a fire emoji.

The star was joined by the likes of models Adut Akech, Gigi Hadid, and Bella Hadid on the runway, while British singer Rita Ora made a surprise catwalk appearance wearing a floor-length military-inspired navy coat.

Rita shared images from her runway moment on Instagram too, and posted, “So your girl gave you a walk today Hunay on this fine Tuesday! Such an honour to walk for you #MucciaPrada @MiuMiu So amazing to work with such an amazing team thank you (sic).”

The 29-year-old is no stranger to strutting her stuff on the catwalk – she has previously appeared in shows for DKNY and Moschino.

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Isabel Marant serves up minimalist chic for fall 20 line

Isabel Marant has unveiled a line of chic separates for fall/winter 2020.The French designer presented her latest collection as part of Paris Fashion Week on Thursday night, with the show drawing in a large crowd of editors and fashionistas.While Maran…

Isabel Marant has unveiled a line of chic separates for fall/winter 2020.

The French designer presented her latest collection as part of Paris Fashion Week on Thursday night, with the show drawing in a large crowd of editors and fashionistas.

While Marant is known for her signature Parisian aesthetic, she opted for a much more minimal vibe this season, with the first model taking to the catwalk in a large cream poncho jacket and slouchy silver-studded leather boots.

A line-up of boxy sweaters, white trousers, and cosy coats followed, with each look accessorised with leather boots, dangly earrings or layers of gold chain necklaces.

Gigi Hadid first stepped out in a white jumper with large sleeves and white shirt that was cinched in at the waist with a wide black leather belt, and later returned in a black velvet sweater with beaded detailing, high-waisted trousers, and matching calf-length boots.

Though Marant mostly stuck with a muted colour palette, she injected a few touches of teal partway through the show, with highlights including a pleated skirt matched with floral print top and a long leather coat.

Amber Valletta rocked a grey menswear-inspired suit and carried a shiny silver tote, Irina Shayk sported a long black coat and pair of matching boots, and Doutzen Kroes modelled a simple white coat with wide shoulders and a large black button on one side.

To conclude, Marant offered up a parade of head-to-toe black ensembles, with Adut Akech in a shiny ’80-inspired number, and Anna Ewers in a stylish jumpsuit featuring an off-the-shoulder neckline and silver elements.

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Slick Woods thanks friend for saving her life during medical ordeal

Slick Woods has credited her friend for saving her life during an “unexpected” seizure.The model, real name Simone Thompson, announced on social media in November that she was battling a type of skin cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. Slick has be…

Slick Woods has credited her friend for saving her life during an “unexpected” seizure.

The model, real name Simone Thompson, announced on social media in November that she was battling a type of skin cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy.

Slick has been regularly sharing updates with her fans, and on Wednesday, took to Instagram to post a video of her smiling and laughing in her hospital bed after recently suffering a scary medical ordeal.

“Now that I’m feeling a million times better and walking again thanks @cheyalli (Chey Allegra) for saving my life during an unexpected seizure in the middle of the night, man there’s so many people going through way worse #staygoofy,” she captioned the clip.

It’s not known if Slick had suffered seizures before, or if the event is related to her treatments.

But a number of the Fenty Beauty star’s celebrity pals were quick to comment on the post, including Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Janelle Monae, and Karrueche Tran.

“Thank god, quick recovery! We love you @slickwoods,” wrote Adut Akech, while Jasmine Sanders posted, “Praying for you baby!!”

And singer-songwriter Miguel added: “Sending love and lightning.”

Last month, Slick shared a string of videos on her Instagram Stories showing her joking around with friends while at The London in New York City and noted that she was able to enjoy a night out when she was provided with a wheelchair by staff at the hotel.

“Legs numb left hand still numb I hate bulls**t and The London gave me a wheelchair,” the 23-year-old stated.

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Adut Akech candidly discusses battle with anxiety and depression

Adut Akech has opened up about her struggles with anxiety and depression over the past year.The South Sudan-born model achieved a lot of success with her fashion career during 2019, landing campaigns for the likes of Valentino and winning the Model of …

Adut Akech has opened up about her struggles with anxiety and depression over the past year.

The South Sudan-born model achieved a lot of success with her fashion career during 2019, landing campaigns for the likes of Valentino and winning the Model of the Year award at The Fashion Awards 2019 last month.

However, in a new Instagram post, Adut shared how she hit a low point in her personal life after losing some family members.

“I started becoming numb to everything. It got really hard for me to express any emotion and the people around me started noticing,” she wrote. “It became really hard to express my excitement and gratitude for all the amazing things happening with my career.”

Adut went on to explain that she soon reached out for professional help and began sessions with a therapist. But she continued to experience panic attacks every night, and in the end, decided to take two months off to spend time at home in Australia.

“I felt depressed to a point of wanting to end it, but for my family and myself I had to fight what I could say was the hardest battle of my life. Every day was a struggle but I did everything I could to get a better mental state of mind. I started feeling better and I started seeing things clearer,” the 20-year-old insisted. “Biggest lesson I learned after all this, is the importance of letting go of all things toxic. Don’t hold on to toxic relationships because of comfort, or how long you’ve known the person or the type of relationship ya’ll have. Always put yourself, mental wellbeing, peace and sanity first.”

To conclude, Adut explained that she wanted to share her story so others battling the same issues will know “they’re not alone”.

Accordingly, the star’s post attracted comments from many of her celebrity friends, including actress Storm Reid, models Naomi Campbell and Lily Aldridge, and writer Janet Mock.

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Naomi Campbell ‘thrilled’ to receive Model of the Year honour

Naomi Campbell was “thrilled” to receive one of the top honours at the Models.com 2019 Industry Awards.The 49-year-old supermodel icon was named the Readers’ Choice Model of the Year by the fashion industry outlet, beating the likes of Kendall Jenner.”…

Naomi Campbell was “thrilled” to receive one of the top honours at the Models.com 2019 Industry Awards.

The 49-year-old supermodel icon was named the Readers’ Choice Model of the Year by the fashion industry outlet, beating the likes of Kendall Jenner.

“What an honor to be @modelsdot 2019 ‘Model Of The Year’ by readers choice! This is such a wonderful surprise, and I am so touched and thrilled,” Naomi wrote on Instagram after the news was announced. “I wouldn’t be who I am without all of you readers I thank you all deeply, and am so grateful for your continuous support, it means so much.”

The British beauty also won the Readers’ Choice Social Media Star award, which recognises those in the fashion industry who have “leveraged their followings into key bookings and heightened influence, inciting a media frenzy with each and every post.”

For that prize, Naomi beat Bella Hadid, who went on to be named the Industry’s Vote Social Media Star, beating Ashley Graham, who has candidly documented her pregnancy on Instagram.

Naomi also shared her delight at fellow model Adut Akech, who she sweetly calls her surrogate daughter, landing the Industry’s Vote Model of the Year honour, as well as American male model Alton Mason, who was named both the Industry’s Vote and Readers’ Choice Model of the Year in the male category.

“And I am so happy to be alongside my divine, graceful beautiful daughter @adutakech who deserves this recognition, hands down!! And massive congratulations to @altonmason who absolutely earned the ‘Model of The Year: Male’ honor. So incredibly proud of you both,” Naomi gushed.

The Models.com Model of the Year (MOTY) Industry Awards panel features 250 of the industry’s top professionals, including British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, stylist and journalist Katie Grand, and model/activist Bethann Hardison.

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Adut Akech wins top modelling honour for second consecutive year

Adut Akech is feeling “blessed” after winning the Model of the Year honour from Models.com two years in a row.The 20-year-old South Sudanese beauty took to Instagram to share her joy at scooping the honour at the Models.com Model of the Year (MOTY) Ind…

Adut Akech is feeling “blessed” after winning the Model of the Year honour from Models.com two years in a row.

The 20-year-old South Sudanese beauty took to Instagram to share her joy at scooping the honour at the Models.com Model of the Year (MOTY) Industry Awards.

“This can’t be real!” Adut gushed at the news she’d been named the Industry’s Vote Model of the Year. “I’ve been waking up to the best news lately. I’m so honored to be @modelsdot 2019 “Model of the year” by industry’s vote again for the second year in a row!!!”

The model went on to thank her mentor Naomi Campbell, who was named the Readers’ Choice Model of the Year.

“And to be right beside this iconic woman, congratulations mama I’m so proud of you! @naomi,” she gushed. “From the bottom of my heart thank you so much to everyone in the industry who has been a part of my journey this year. Without you I would not be living my dream.”

Adut later acknowledged that while it’s been a “challenging year”, it’s been the best 12 months of her life.

“I’ve done more than I ever imagined I’d do in my career and 2019 has been proof of that. I’m so proud of all my accomplishments this year. I remind myself every single day how blessed and grateful i am for everything and everyone I have in my life,” she sweetly wrote.

Other winners at the Models.com awards included Alton Mason, who was named the Industry’s Vote and Readers’ Choice Model of the Year in the men’s category.

“To wake up to this award for 2019 Model of the Year @modelsdot is truly a blessing & resonates deeper than ever!” he wrote on Instagram. “Thank you again @modelsdot for this recognition and acknowledgment.”

The 22-year-old American model also won the Industry’s Vote Social Media Star in the male category and was declared to have the best male street style by both sets of voters.

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Adut Akech uses five different foundations to achieve perfect coverage

Adut Akech uses five different foundation colours to get the perfect coverage thanks to advice from Pat McGrath.In an interview with Britain’s Glamour magazine, the South Sudan-born model explained that the legendary make-up artist has educated her a l…

Adut Akech uses five different foundation colours to get the perfect coverage thanks to advice from Pat McGrath.

In an interview with Britain’s Glamour magazine, the South Sudan-born model explained that the legendary make-up artist has educated her a lot about the art of cosmetics.

“She taught me how to get to know my skin and how to choose a foundation. I remember learning all about the different undertones and how to tell whether a foundation was too red or too yellow,” Adut explained, noting that she mixes products from NARS, Too Faced, Maybelline Fit Me, L’Oreal True Match, and Pat McGrath Labs to get flawless coverage.

And Pat even created a foundation for her Pat McGrath Labs line that was inspired by the 20-year-old. However, Adut prefers the more natural look on her days off.

“I’m not too crazy on make-up, I can really go without it. I like to let my skin breathe and give my skin a break because I’m always wearing make-up when I’m working,” she shared.

Adut has also revamped her skincare routine thanks to tips she’s received while working on photoshoots and backstage at catwalk shows, and has dramatically cut down the number of products she uses, instead adhering to the valuable lesson of “less is more”.

“The fewer products you use, the better the results. My routine went from being between eight to 10 steps, to two to three steps. I cut out all the unnecessary steps,” the star stated, before revealing that she finds products from luxe skincare brand Dr. Barbara Sturm best for her sensitive complexion. “I’m young and my skin doesn’t need (lots of products). I just cut down to cleanser, and then, moisturiser is a must for me.”

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Adut Akech: ‘Talking is the medicine for anxiety and depression’

Adut Akech finds it difficult to open up about her feelings even though it helps her cope with depression and anxiety.The 19-year-old model, who was born in South Sudan, revealed her battle with the mental health issues in January in a candid New Year …

Adut Akech finds it difficult to open up about her feelings even though it helps her cope with depression and anxiety.

The 19-year-old model, who was born in South Sudan, revealed her battle with the mental health issues in January in a candid New Year Instagram post, in which she confessed she “would wake up every morning crying” and cry some more when she got home during 2018.

In a new interview with British newspaper The Times, she explained how she makes time for talking and writing about her feelings to help her manage.

“I suffer from anxiety and depression, and I’ve learnt that talking is the medicine. It’s a challenge for me, as I grew up keeping everything in,” she told British newspaper The Times. “Writing my feelings is a way for me to let them out, without feeling vulnerable.”

Akech spent her early years in Kakuma, one of Kenya’s largest refugee camps, before moving to Australia at the age of six with her mother and siblings. She’s now writing a book to document her experiences and eventually wants to return to South Sudan to open a hospital and school and start a modelling agency representing South Sudanese women.

“I’ve never really spoken about my story, not because I was ashamed of it, but because no one really asked,” she explained. “Now I see the impact that I’m having and the type of inspiration I can give to someone. I’m not just Adut the model, I am more than that. I am the little girl who was once in a refugee camp with no food, and I made my way out of that – that is what my story is.”

The catwalk regular, who is the face of Valentino’s new fragrance Born in Roma, was honoured with the Model of the Year accolade at The Fashion Awards earlier in December, and she called the prize “equivalent to an Oscar”.

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