The Milan Fashion Week 2018 witnessed history being repeated as Sudanese model Anok Yai became the second black model to open the show for the Italian fashion brand, Prada. Prior to this, the first-ever black model to open a show for the high-end luxury brand was former supermodel Naomi Campbell in 1997. It was definitely an important moment for models of colour but it also reminded us of the fact that the fashion industry has a long way to go when it comes to inclusivity.
Yai, who walked the ramp wearing a puffer trench coat at the show took to Instagram to express gratitude, “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. And thank you to @patmcgrathreal @cheriejohnson56 and @guidopalau they made me look extra chic – PRADA CHIC”
During an interview to Vogue Magazine, the model told that it was a milestone in the fashion industry and beauty deserves to be celebrated, “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.”
Yai was initially discovered by a photographer while she was attending the Howard University’s homecoming. After that she made her runway debut at Prada’s Menswear Fall 2018 show.