South Sudanese model Ajak Deng has declared that she is retiring from international runways and relocating back to Australia where she started her career for the life that she fully deserved.
The model made the declaration on her Instagram page to her fan base of 67.000+ followers.
Her farewell comes after claims from her manager that she does not have as much glamorous success as other US-based Australian models in Australian market due to her dark skin.
While speaking to Daily Telegraph, Stephen Bucknall of FRM Model Management’s said, “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.”
“The Australian market doesn’t want to take the risk of using darker models as mainstream models but if you go to New York, you’ll see African American, Asian, and all these diverse cultures. Australia just doesn’t get it.
Deng left Sudan for Australia when she was 12 years old subsequent to her mother’s death in a refugee camp. Bucknal scouted her while she was still in high school. She was soon seen on the Australian catwalks after signing with FRM in 2008. She featured in Sydney and Melbourne fashion weeks and also for David Jones.
She became a firm runway favourite for high profile designers such as Givenchy, Lanvin, Chloe and Jean Paul Gaultier after her first international haute couture show for Valentino. She also had shot campaigns for United Colours of Benetton, Top Shop, MAC Cosmetics, Louis Vuitton, Banana Republic, Kenzo, Levi’s and Kate Spade.