Hot on the news of Cindy Crawford’s graceful exit from modeling, the industry is losing another seasoned vet, Ajak Deng. The 26-year-old high-fashion runway regular announced she’s retiring from modeling on Tuesday to leave a life she calls too “dramatic.”
Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty
She announced her departure on Instagram, saying, “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 doesn’t stop there, though: “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 that I have crossed path with.”
Deng followed her announcement with an Instagram thanking God for his blessings.
The news comes just a week after a successful NYFW schedule, walking in some of the hottest shows of the season, including Tome, Sophie Theallet, Zac Posen and Marc Jacobs. (She’s also starring in several major spring campaigns, including Barneys New York and Philipp Plein.)
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The model was originally from South Sudan, but fled to Melbourne in 2005. She began her career in high school, after being scouted by FRM director Stephen Bucknall in 2008 and later teamed up with IMG Model Management, where she landed major shows including Chloé, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier and Lanvin runways in 2010.
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According to IMG, Deng credits fashion editor Edward Enninful and photographer Emma Summerton for catapulting her career when she landed the cover of i-D magazine in 2011 (and for Enninful’s recent birthday she sent him a sweet message on Instagram, saying he’s “always been so supportive” toward her).
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— Colleen Kratofil