Being a refugee should not be seen as something that limits you. It should be seen as a testament to what you have endured to get to where you are today.

Our ‘Influential Refugees’ series aims to demonstrate not only the range of people who can find themselves in need of asylum, but also the great things that people of a refugee background can go on to achieve in their lives.


Influential Refugees: Alek Wek

wekicon2Born in 1977, Alek Wek is a world-famous model, designer and refugee activist.


Originally from what is now South Sudan, Wek had to flee from her home when a civil war broke out in 1985. Arriving in London when she was 14, Wek studied at London’s College of Fashion, before beginning modelling in 1995.


Wek’s career has seen her working with many of the world’s best respected designers, as well as appearing on covers for magazines including Elle, Cosmopolitan and Forbes. Alongside her modelling career Wek has developed her own line of designer handbags, been a vocal campaigner and advisor to the U.S. Committee for Refugees Advisory Council, and has been hailed for challenging the perception of beauty within the fashion industry.


Look out for more posts in our ‘Influential Refugees’ series coming soon!