Wau, Wau State, Sudan (now South Sudan)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Alek Wek went to the Hackney Free & Parochial CofE Secondary School.
Later, she got enrolled at the London’s College of Fashion to study Fashion Business and Technology.
Model and fashion designer
- Father – Athian (Education Official)
- Mother – Akuol (Housewife)
- Siblings – She has 6 older and 2 younger siblings.
Alek Wek is represented by
- Storm Models – London
- IMG Models – New York
- IMG Models – Paris
- IMG Models – Sydney
- Mega Model Agency – Hamburg / Berlin
- D’ Management Group – Milan
5 ft 11 in or 180 cm
56 kg or 123.5 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Alek Wek has dated –
- Riccardo Sala (2003-Present) – Alek started going out with Italian real estate magnate Riccardo Sala in 2003 after reportedly meeting at a dinner. After dating for a while, they moved in together and had even bought a house together.
Race / Ethnicity
She has Dinka ethnicity, which is an ethnic group from South Sudan.
- Long limbs
- Very short cropped hair
34-23-35 in or 86-58.5-89 cm
4 (US) or 36 (EU)
9.5 (US) or 40 (EU) or 7 (UK)
She has also done advertising for Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Clinique ‘Happy’ Fragrance, Ellus, Eluxury, Fashion Breast Cancer Campaign, Gap Jeans, Issey Miyake, Jeanie, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jones New York, Joop!, Kenzo, Kitsho, Michael Kors, Moschino, Nars, Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, St. Emile, and XOXO jeans.
Best Known For
Having served as one of the leading international models for two decades.
Alek debuted with 2002 romantic drama film The Four Feathers for her role as Aquol.
First TV Show
In 2007, Alek appeared in a single episode of the talk show Tavis Smiley as herself.
Alek Wek doesn’t believe in crazy diets that are often followed by models. In fact, coming from a country with a widespread starvation problem, she was shocked by the calorie-cutting diets followed around. She likes to eat almost everything in moderation.
She lays special emphasis on eating rice, okra, and fish. Plus, she makes sure that she is working out regularly.
Alek Wek Favorite Things
- Her Photoshoot – Issey Miyake Spring 1997 campaign
Source – IMGModels.com
Alek Wek Facts
- Being herself from the war-torn country, she is very sympathetic to the plight of the refugees and has worked as an advisor to the US Committee for Refugees and also with the UN Refugee Agency.
- In 2007, she published her autobiography Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel, which focused on her journey from a poor childhood in Sudan to becoming a top model.
- She has supported a number of AIDS charities including DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS).
- She has worked as a missionary for World Vision, which is a Christian humanitarian aid and advocacy organization.
- In 1997, she created history by becoming the first African model to grace the cover of Elle Magazine.
- Alek was discovered at the age of 19 in 1995 at the market fair in Crystal Palace, London by a scout from Models 1 agency. However, her mother wasn’t initially keen as she thought it wasn’t a respectable work.
- She has launched her range of designer handbags under the Wek 1933 label. The second part of the label name refers to the year her father was born in.
- She has worked as an ambassador for the Doctors Without Borders organization, which is known for working in war-torn regions and developing countries battling endemic diseases.
- As a child, she was diagnosed with psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by abnormal skin patches that have scaly texture and cause lots of itching. It was cured at the age of 14 after she moved to London.
- She grew up in poverty and her childhood home back in Sudan didn’t even have electricity or running water.
- In 1998, the i-D magazine named her model of the decade.
- She almost left modeling on two occasions – at the very beginning and then after 5 years because she felt she didn’t belong to this industry and was taken only in exotic modeling projects.
- She migrated to England at the age of 14 after the civil war tore apart her home country, Sudan. She got an asylum in England through her older sister.