Ajak Deng Quits Modeling Due to "Fakes" and "Lies"
The stunner — who has walked for Givenchy, Chloe, Lanvin and more — is giving up the gig and returning to her adopted home of Australia.
While you may not recognize her name, Ajak Deng is a model whose face is sure to ring a bell. Since signing with IMG in 2010, the beauty has walked for countless designers and starred in plenty of campaigns — from Chloe, where she made her runway debut, to Calvin Klein and even Sally Hansen, Deng has had no shortage of work.
But despite her overflowing portfolio, the Sudanese stunner announced via Instagram Tuesday evening that she's done with the modeling world. "I am happy to announce that I am officially done with the fashion industry, I will be moving back to Australia In order to live the life that I fully deserved. Which is real life," she writes.
She adds, "I can no longer deal with the fakes and the lies. My life is too short for this dramatic life. I am thankful and grateful for every sweet souls that I have crossed path with."
Deng doesn't elaborate on "the fakes" and "lies" to which she alludes, but she has been vocal about racism in the industry in the past. In 2014, she reportedly took to Twitter (her account has since been deleted) to accuse Balmain of removing her from the brand's show for "being black." Earlier in 2010, Deng hit Alber Elbaz's Lanvin runway leading a pack of five ethnically diverse models down the runway in a statement-making display.
Even Deng's manager, Stephen Bucknall of the Australian firm FRM, commented on the undertones of racism in the industry. Bucknall told Melbourne paper The Herald Sun that it's difficult for him to book jobs for Deng in her adopted home of Australia because Aussies aren't willing to pay for dark-skinned girls. "The budgets probably aren’t big enough for [Deng], because she’s a big-money earner, but they will spend the money on a Miranda Kerr or a Jess Hart," he said.
Though the loss is one that will surely be felt within the fashion industry — especially at a time when diversity is finally being addressed in meaningful ways, such as Zac Posen's "Black Models Matter" demonstration with bag maker Ashley Chew — Deng seems to be looking forward to a more fulfilling "real life." After all, she's only 26.
After some fans questioned her decision, mentioning that they would do more to support Deng in the industry, the model posted a separate selfie to confirm that she's happy with her decision. "Thank you for for your concerns but I am good and very happy with my decision. I am a fighter and a go getta, I will figured out what to do next."
Put your best foot forward. I am happy to announce that I am officially done with the fashion industry, I will be moving back to Australia In order to live the life that I fully deserved. Which is real life. I can no longer deal with the fakes and the lies. My life is too short for this dramatic life. I am thankful and grateful for every sweet souls that I have crossed path with.