She’s walked the runways of Valentino and Louis Vuitton but this week Melbourne model Ajak Deng announced her retirement from the fashion industry as she “can no longer deal with the fakes and lies”.
Posting to Instagram, the 26-year-old Sudanese Australian model wrote a lengthy post explaining her abrupt departure.
“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.”
She continued, “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.”
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. 😘😘✌🏿️🙌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿✌🏿✌🏿
The news comes after Deng’s manager, Stephen Bucknall of FRM Model Management, told the Herald Sun earlier this week that he struggles to book Australian jobs for Deng as the industry favours “caucasian girls”.
“Ajak has said to me many times, it saddens her there isn’t more work for dark skinned girls in Australia, as she would like to book more work here,” Bucknall told the Herald Sun.
“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.
“They’ll book the big caucasian girls, spend the big dollars, and fly them in from LA, but I’m yet to see them book a dark skinned girl in that way."
Deng, who fled Sudan when she was 12 for a refugee camp in northern Kenya before arriving in Melbourne followed up her announcement with a post thanking her fans for their concern.
“Awe you guys are so sweet and kind. Thank you for for your concerns but I am good and very happy with my decision," she wrote.
“I am a fighter and a go getta, I will figured out what to do next. I love you all and thank you.”
Update: Since this story was published Ajak Deng posted to Instagram that she will no longer be retiring, captioning her post with, "I thought giving up was easier but I am going to stay and fight this war with kindness, forgiveness, love and support to all humanity."
I remember my first season in Milan, walking through the the airport and saw @philipppleininternational campaign. Wishing I could one day be one of the faces up there, NOW all I can say is thank you for making my dream come true. P.s my first season in Milan, no one booked me and I was so destroyed because they won't booking black girls like me that season and thank god for my sweet and encouraging agent @meansss who told me that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me and that I was one of the most beautiful girl in the world, so wiped off those tears, come back to New York and let's change their minds one day at a time. She continued to support and still have my back even though I decided to throw it all away after our hard work and for that I came to realize that she is my spirit and a guiding angel. I was selfish to only think of my self and forgetting the people that has always been there for me through the worst times and good times. I feel like I have touched so many young people's lives, gave them hope. Just because I come from NOTHING does not mean that I can't make something for myself and for that I will still want to continued to touched more lives. Yes sure giving up is easier but who will fight the war that we are so in denial about? I am just getting started and modeling isn't the only Thing I will be successful in, in my life time. I apologize to every kind souls/hearts that I have broken in the past week. I thought giving up was easier but I am going to stay and fight this war with kindness, forgiveness, love and support to all humanity. We are all beautiful and deserved to be respected. #BigLoveToHumanity.