How South Sudanese Model Anok Yai Made History

How South Sudanese Model Anok Yai Made History As The First Black Woman To Open A Prada Fashion House Show In 21 Years

A Groundbreaking Runway Debut

South Sudanese model Anok Yai became the first Black model to open a Prada runway show in over 21 years. This remarkable achievement solidifies Yai’s status as a trailblazer in the fashion industry.

Yai hit the Prada runway at the new Fondazione Prada complex in Milan, wearing a black puffer coat with a structured bag and ankle boots. Expressing her excitement on Instagram, Yai said, “PRADA WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE.

This is something that I’d only dream of. Thank you Ms Prada, Olivier Rizzo @willyvanderperre @ashleybrokaw @kylehagler and the Next team for giving the little girl from Manch a chance. Can’t believe I’m the first black woman to open for Prada since queen @iamnaomicampbell, forever grateful.”

Prada’s Landmark Diversity Milestone

Prior to Yai’s groundbreaking achievement, the only other Black model to open a Prada show was the iconic Naomi Campbell in 1997. This means that it took over two decades for Prada to feature another Black model in this prestigious position.

Jourdan Dunn was the second Black model to walk for Prada, making her debut on their Fall 2008 runway. However, it wasn’t until Yai’s historic moment that a Black model once again had the honor of opening a Prada show.

Championing Diversity in Fashion

Yai’s landmark achievement not only highlights her own remarkable talent and success but also underscores the fashion industry’s slow progress in embracing diversity on the runway.

While Prada has taken steps to increase representation, with up-and-coming Nigerian model Eniola Obioro also appearing on their Fall 2018 runway, the lack of Black models opening shows for the luxury brand is a testament to the persistent challenges faced by models of color.

A Trailblazer Inspiring the Next Generation

Anok Yai’s historic moment on the Prada runway serves as a powerful inspiration for aspiring models of color.

Her groundbreaking accomplishment demonstrates that the fashion industry is slowly, but surely, making strides towards greater inclusivity and representation.