Sudanese model Anok Yai becomes first black model to open for international fashion house after 20 years

#PressForProgress Lifestyle Part 1

As International Women's Day beckons, PulseLive.co.ke decided to feature one of the women setting foot in the goal to gain inclusivity of African women.

The 19 year old made history after becoming the first black woman to open a fashion show for giant company Prada since Naomi Campbell in 1997.

Yai stepped onto the runway at Prada’s Fall 2018 show in Milan on the 22 of February.

"It was an honour and I'm proud that I was the one chosen to open, but this is bigger than me. Me opening for one of the top fashion houses is a statement to the world - especially for black women - that their beauty is something that deserves to be celebrated," she told Vogue.

Prada had come under criticism for their lack of diversity and this was seen as a step in the right direction.

Anok Yai got her break after a photograph of her went viral.

She was scouted at a Howard University celebration when photographer Steven Hall spotted her. He took her photo and shared it on Instagram.

The image went viral, amassing over 22,000 likes and getting the attention of modelling agencies.

Soon after, Yai was signed with Next Models.

She grew up in Manchester after her family moved from Egypt in 2000. She is a second year student at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, USA.

Her participation in one of the largest fashion events in the world is much welcome as people continue to embrace the beauty of melanin.

Anok’s acceptance of the role put before her will help pave the way for more inclusion of black women in the industry. And perhaps will open an even bigger path for more black women in all other industries where their diversity is much needed.

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