Adut Akech Says Even As Richest Model In The World: "I Will Still Be A Refugee. I Am A Refugee."


Adut Akech Covers Vogue Australia December 2018 With In-Depth Look At Life + Family AOC Fashion & Style

It’s been a phenomenal time for Adelaide, Australia’s rising star model Adut Akech. Launched as a Saint Laurent exclusive beginning in September 2016, she became the second black woman to ever close a Chanel fashion show, finding herself center stage with Karl Lagerfeld in the Chanel Haute Couture Fall 2018 presentation. In between these major fashion career milestones, Adut was center stage in Tim Walker’s 2018 Pirelli calendar, with its first all-black cast.

Now the former refugee finds herself on the cover of Vogue Australia’s December issue, in a feature about her life, her friends and family, even her school. Adut is also one of four models covering separate issues of British Vogue’s December issue.

Full stop. Back up Anne. Adut Akech corrects you, telling CNN:

“Even if I become the richest model in the world I will still be a refugee. I am a refugee.”

AOC doesn’t care about Adut’s favorite makeup tips. Backstage snaps of Adut at a runway show are not our motivating life force. Her family life and history as a South Sudan refugee in Adelaide, Australia do get our attention, and Adut’s Vogue Australia December cover editorial adds rich soil to her personal global story.

Born in a refugee camp in South Sudan — at war with Sudan in the north since it achieved nation status in 2011, Akech grew up in Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp, before moving to Adelaide with her mother and five siblings. Note that Kakuma was also home to rising star Halima Aden.

"Even if I become the richest model in the world I will still be a refugee. I am a refugee," Adut tells CNN. This full stop from Adut is one I will not forget soon. ‘Refugee’ is not a past-tense identity. Rather, it’s a primary part of your psychological DNA.

Adut still remembers those early years in Kenya, and her mother's struggles to support her family. "When I first moved to Australia at age six, I promised my mother I would finish school, buy her a car and make something out of myself."

Still, I didn’t know until tuning in to CNN Style that Adut Akech has a number of dreams: “ One: Earn a business degree and open and open schools in her native South Sudan. Two: Become a journalist and inspire other women to lead. Three: Build her own empire by the age of 30, so she never has to work for anyone else ever again.”

The beauty of Adut Akech is that she continually reminds us that two seemingly disparate notions can be true. She dreams of building schools in South Sudan and creating her own global empire. At the same time, Adut offers the simplest, superb holiday advice to humans drowning in the sadness of primarily materialistic lifestyles.

US president Donald Trump comes to mind in America, as someone who could reflect on Adut’s advice, words that are profoundly insightful to someone who was born in his list of s-countries:

“You need to live your life being grateful every day, waking up and having something to eat, having somewhere to live – it is more than enough.” 


Adut Akech Model Archives @ AOC

Kate Upton+Justin Verlander Celebrate First Year Of Married Magic With Baby Genevieve

Kate Upton baby girl.png

Top model/talent Kate Upton and baseball star Justin Verlander have enjoyed a whirlwind first year of marriage, culminating in the birth of daughter Genevieve on Nov. 7.


“Didn’t win #cyyoungaward, but I can’t be too upset when I have this little girl waiting for her daddy off camera!” the MLB pitcher, 35, captioned the Wednesday snapshot.

We’re sure that Genevieve will bring buckets of joy and family bonding to the Upton-Verlander marriage. Right now, the touching note that Verlander posted on Instagram on the couple’s first wedding anniversary captures our heart. AOC has been in Kate Upton’s corner for years.

“I feel like the luckiest man in the world to have married my best friend. Every day you inspire me to want to be better,” he said. “You are such a strong woman but yet still so very caring. You stand up for what you believe in. You are just as beautiful on the inside as you are out.”

“You are the first thing I want to see every morning for the rest of my life,” he continued. “You are the first person I want to talk to when something good, or bad happens. You are the person I always try my best to make happy. I know that together is where we are supposed to be. In good times and in bad together is when we are at our best!”

“You are my everything and I am so blessed to experience this crazy journey of life together with you,” Verlander concluded. “Happy 1 year anniversary to the best wife anyone could ever ask for!”

Now THAT is a man with a whole lot of genuine class. And this reissue of a spectacular image from the Upton-Verlander wedding to celebrate their anniversary makes it a poignant and beautiful time in the life of Kate Upton.


Kate Upton Model Archives @ AOC

'See Know Evil' Documentary By Charles Curran Revisits Davide Sorrenti Story & Rise Of Heroin Chic

 Davide Sorrenti images of Jaime King (l) and Frankie Rayder (r).

Davide Sorrenti images of Jaime King (l) and Frankie Rayder (r).

On May 20, 1997, Amy M. Spindler wrote for the New York Times about the fatal heroin overdose of the promising young photographer David Sorrenti, 20. Spindler questioned the degree of complicity the entire fashion industry embraced in the advancement of the trend known as ‘heroin chic’.

Unlike the music industry, which has rallied with interventions and programs to get musicians off drugs, or the film industry, where known users have been subjected to drug tests for insurance on movies, the fashion industry has done little to combat the problem among the young in its ranks. The only event mounted to commemorate Mr. Sorrenti's death was a photo exhibition in his memory, called the ''Art of Fashion Photography,'' at a Flatiron district studio during March fashion week in New York. The drugged-looking photos from Detour were on view at that show.

In May 1997, President Clinton denounced the American fashion industry for cynically abusing teenagers and helping spread heroin usage to a new and younger group of people. “Some fashion leaders are admitting flat-out that images projected in fashion photos in the last few years have made heroin addiction seem glamorous and sexy and cool," President Clinton stated. “And as some of the people in those images start to die now, it's become obvious that is not true. The glorification of heroin is not creative, it's destructive. It's not beautiful, it is ugly. And this is not about art, it's about life and death. And glorifying death is not good for any society.”

As his name implies, Davide Sorrenti came from a family of photographers including his mother Francesca, his older brother Mario and sister, Vanina — “the Corleones” of fashion photography according to Francesca. His girlfriend and muse at the time Jaime King had her own struggles with heroin use, writes

A key reason for the Naples-born Sorrenti family coming to New York in the early 1980s was Davide’s painful blood condition, Cooley’s anemia. The disease required frequent blood transfusions and caused the young Sorrenti to look even younger than his age.

Last week Charlie Curran premiered his seven-year-in-the-making documentary “See Know Evil”, a film attempting to tell Davide’s story, at Manhattan’s SVA Theatre, A second screening was held Thursday night, November 15.

Curran launched his Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for completing the film in 2012 when he was a college student. 49 backers pledged $4,701.

Curran described his film then as “an intimate look at the life and work of Davide Sorrenti, a young fashion photographer who met a tragic fate at the height of the 90's New York fashion scene. It's a story about coming to America, about family, about art, about fashion, about photography, and about the way media shapes the stories we tell. “

“I remember being awestruck when I saw Davide’s work for the first time. He was my age and already creating images with an effortless confidence. When I learned Davide suffered from a rare anemia and likely would not live past his early twenties, I realized it was the raw urgency in his photography that spoke to me,” said Curran, in a statement accompanying the film’s release.

“I knew I wanted to tell Davide’s story, and fortunately the Sorrenti family graciously welcomed the project. All these years, and a film later, Davide’s story still speaks to a time and place. He was a boy coming to terms with his own mortality while fearlessly documenting his experience in the world.” shares additional introspection and perspective from Francesca Sorrenti around the film’s release.

See No Evil Davide Sorrenti.jpg