Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek turns 35 today, and she has much to celebrate. Had she not fled her native country of Sudan 21 years ago and been discovered at a London street fair, her life would have been completely different.
Today her lists of accomplishments are much to boast about. The Sudanese beauty, known for her flawless chocolate skin and long, lean legs, has graced ad campaigns for top designers including Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors. She’s walked for every major runway show imaginable from New York to Milan, and has been shot by some of the world’s most notable fashion photographers, including Bruce Weber and Annie Liebovitz.
But Wek’s work extends far beyond magazine covers (she graced ours in September of 2000). The supermodel is just as recognized for her charity work as she is for her looks, particularly for being a refugee advocate.
Here, we take a walk through a few of her runway moments from 2000 to present.