A fashion industry icon has had enough. On Wednesday, South Sudanese model Ajak Deng announced she is retiring from fashion on Instagram. The 26-year-old blamed “the fakes and the lies” on her sudden departure.
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“I am happy to announce that I am officially done with the fashion industry, I will be moving back to Australia in order to live the life that I fully deserved. Which is real life,” she wrote. “I can no longer deal with the fakes and the lies. My life is too short for this dramatic life. I am thankful and grateful for every sweet souls [sic] that I have crossed path with.” She wrote in a separate post, “Thank you for your blessings God.”
It’s a shocking turn for the model, who walked in several high-profile New York Fashion Week shows including Zac Posen and Marc Jacobs. She currently stars in fashion campaigns for Barneys New York and Philipp Plein, among others. Originally from South Sudan, she was scouted while still in high school and signed with IMG Model Management in 2008.
Known for her rich cocoa complexion, cherubic cheekbones, and closely shaved ‘do, Deng was known for helping to usher in more diverse beauty ideals in the industry overall.
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(Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)