HOME OF THE BRAVE: Model Citizens - models: Alek Wek , Asgok Mayen (+ daughter Alyieth), Ajak Deng, Grace Bol & Achok Majak - photographer: Inez & Vinoodh - text: Robert Sullivan - sittings editor: Camilla Nickerson - hair: Christiaan - makeup: Aaron de Mey - Vogue January 2017
“If you or your family are from South Sudan, you worry. The country is embroiled in a bloody civil war, the world just barely taking note. Grace Bol, Ajak Deng, and Alek Wek are immigrants. Angok Mayen has refugee status, and Mayen’s daughter, Alyieth, is a U.S. citizen - born here, like Achok Majak. They are all models (including Alyieth, in this instance). “ I would like to see everyone get along,” says Bol. “I love all our tribes.” While here sisters grew up in South Sudan, Majak grew up in L.A., where she saw the sort of anxiety that war refugees feel on the arrival in the U.S. “I want a bright future for those who are younger - who are the future,” she says. Wek stresses the need to listen - especially to women - “to really show the beauty of the diversity of us within the continent.” she says. “I think it teaches the younger generation that they can be kind to one another. South Sudan has so much hope-I mean, look at the U.S.: Almost 250 years, and we still have challenges.”
featured designers: Michael Kors Collection - A.L.C. - BY Bonnie Young
This is one of the most insulting things that I have ever seen, it makes me so mad I actually want to cry. I can’t believe magazines think that they can just dip a woman in brown paint, give her clothes from my culture to put on for a couple hours and then have audacity to call her an “African Queen”. Growing up I heard every joke about Africans and saw the negative stereotypes portrayed by the media that tried to make me feel so bad about where I come from. Yet Ive noticed when fashion magazine want to do spreads portraying poise and exoticness they often turn to Africa ( and many other foreign continents/nations) proving time and again that Africa is more than the negative images you see in the media) but this time, to try and take parts of my beautiful culture just to have white women play the role of an “African Queen” proves that beauty cannot be seen in our countries/cultures unless it is represented by White people.