Melbourne-based model Ajak Deng was born in Sudan and has become a fashion favourite on the runway for Lanvin and Louis Vuitton.
Deng fled Sudan when she was 12. Her mother died of malaria in a refugee camp in Kenya.
Australia became the Deng family’s home in 2005.
She describes Marc Jacobs as : “the most outgoing person I have ever met. He makes me laugh with everything he does – walking, talking, even when he’s not doing anything he is so funny. Louis Vuitton surprised me because I wasn’t cast for the show, this season they just booked me and then they called me in because they wanted me to try on all the looks. It was just a great way to spend more time with Marc and [stylist] Katie Grand and the whole crew.”
Her first haute couture show was for Valentino. It was always my dream to walk for Valentino because I just love the couture look. I went for a casting and when they called me back for the fitting I was like ‘Oh my God, am I really going to do Valentino’s couture show with the long beautiful dresses.’ It was crazy; I thought I was dreaming until I was actually there on the day for the hair and make-up. You can never really get your hopes up with modelling because they can book you, fit you, and then cancel you on the same day.
Her aim is to appear in a campaign for Gucci or Dolce & Gabbana.
She appeared in the March, 2011 issue of Vogue Australia.
She appeared in the Calvin Klein fragrance campaign for Steven Meisel. “I felt like I was the luckiest person in the world. The casting was a little tricky because you had to do a little dancing or show a little talent and do something silly.”