Alek Wek graced the cover of the ESSENCE September 2000 fashion issue in a striking black and white edition!
Wek was first discovered in 1995 by a scout from Model 1 Agency in London. She soon became the most sought-after working model. In 2001, she opened for several runway shows including Valentino, Christian Lacroix and Yves Saint Laurent.
Here, she struts her stuff for the Paco Rabanne Fall 2002 ready-to-wear show in Paris.
In 2002, Wek made her first film debut in The Four Feathers, in which she played the role of a Sudanese princess alongside Heath Ledger and Kate Hudson.
Here, the model walks in a rainbow of colors that pop against her skin at the Peter Som Spring 2003 ready-to-wear show in New York City.
Wek was the first African model to land the cover of Elle Magazine.
Mattiolo Spring 2004 ready-to-wear show in Milan, Italy.
Wek has been involved in many charitable causes, including the launch of the Bracelet of Life campaign along with Doctors Without Borders to help raise public awareness of malnutrition.
Chado Ralph Rucci Spring 2005 ready-to-wear show in New York City.
Wek ventured into design in 2005, debuting a line of handbags called Alek Wek 1933, named after the year her father was born.
Jenny Packham Spring 2006 ready-to-wear show in London.
Wek was a catwalk staple at Kimora Lee’s infamous Baby Phat runway shows.
Baby Phat Fall 2006 ready-to-wear show in New York City.
She released an autobiography in 2007, titled Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel.
How beautiful does she look at the Dior 2008 Cruise Collection runway show in New York City?
In 2008, the supermodel graced the stage at the ThisDay Africa Rising Festival in London, alongside Jay-Z, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown.
Wek has received many fashion accolades including i-D magazine’s Model of The Decade in 1997 and People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People” in 1999.
The Miss Bikini Luxe runway show Spring 2010 in Milan, Italy.
Wek was among numerous Black models selected to appear in Italian Vogue’s iconic Black Issue.
Louis Vuitton Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear runway show in Paris, France.
In 2011, Wek was selected to be the keynote speaker at the UN Refugee Agency’s 60th anniversary gala.
Kenzo Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear runway show.
Today, Wek walks a select few runway shows during fashion week, including designer Zac Posen.
The model sashays in a stunning floral fish tail style at Zac Posen Spring 2013 fashion show in New York City.
Most recently, the model appeared in Zac Posen’s Fall 2013 runway show in New York City looking just as flawless as when she hit the scene in the 90s.
In lieu of the runway, these days Alek Wek can be found on the red carpet of philanthropic and fashion events. Wek’s positive impact was reinforced by actress Lupita Nyong’o earlier this year at ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, when the honoree gave a touching speech about how the model inspired her.