Ajak Deng is a Sudaness-born, Australian-raised model who fled Sudan during a civil war with her family at the age of 12 and moved to Australia as a refugee. Deng did not let prejudice and the plight of being a refugee deter her from pursuing a career in modeling in which she has excelled and become one of Australia’s most successful international models. Deng is represented by IMG Australia, New York and Paris, and has walked the runway of big name designers like Valentino, Marc Jacobs, Bottega Veneta, Sophie Theallet and Zimmermann.

Ajak Deng
Zimmermann Fall 2016 Ready-to-wear collection. Photo: Monica Feudi / Indigital.tv
Ajak Deng
Sophie Theallet Fall 2016 Ready-to-wear collection. Photo: Monica Feudi / Indigital.tv
Ajak Deng
Marc Jacobs Fall 2016 Ready-to-wear collection. Photo: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigital.tv

Deng was all over the news last month for a post she shared on her Instagram account about quitting the fashion industry because she could no longer deal with the fakes and lies.

However, five days later she recanted her retirement and apologized for thinking only about herself and forgetting the people that stood by her side during her worst and good times. She promised to stick around 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.

A photo posted by AJAK DENG (@ajak_deng) on