All Eyes on Adut Akech

Photographs by Rafael Pavarotti
Styled by Ibrahim Kamara
Interview by Jenny Comita

Adut Akech in a Burberry trenchcoat, corset top, fishnets, and boots on the cover of W Magazine's 50...
Adut Akech wears a Burberry trenchcoat, corset top, briefs, and boots; Boucheron earrings; stylist’s own fishnets.

The 50th Anniversary Issue of W is an all-out supermodel celebration featuring 17 cover stars ranging from the world’s most famous names to women who are well on their way to total fashion domination. See every cover model here and read Jenny Comita’s essay about the evolution of the beauty standards that define the industry here.

What appealed to you about being a model?

I wanted to be a model because I was inspired by models like Naomi Campbell from a young age. One thing that came as a shock was how hard this job is. I never thought it was going to be the easiest, but you truly don’t know until you’re doing it.

Valentino shirt and shoes; Patricia Underwood hat; Boucheron earrings and necklace; stylist’s own bra, briefs, crinoline, gloves, socks, and fishnets.

Prada jacket; Christian Siriano gown (worn as skirt); Boucheron necklace; Manolo Blahnik shoes; stylist’s own bra, thigh-highs, and fishnets.


What is a moment in your career so far that you find particularly memorable or defining?

One of many memorable moments in my career was making history by becoming the second-ever Black girl to close a Chanel haute couture show as the bride back in 2018. I was handpicked by Karl Lagerfeld himself.

What role do you think social media has played in changing how the fashion world views beauty?

Social media has allowed models to have a voice. We can call out brands for not being diverse enough. It’s forcing everybody to change their old ways and do what should’ve always been done: be inclusive of models from all different backgrounds.

Loewe top; Boucheron earrings; Burberry boots; stylist’s own bodysuit, gloves, and fishnets.

The Brazilian photographer Rafael Pavarotti has established himself with a clear eye for composition and a fondness of vibrant colors. He captured Adut Akech, Bella Hadid, Anok Yai, Kendall Jenner, and Precious Lee—models with a strong point of view and an even stronger sense of self.

Hair by Eugene Souleiman at Streeters; makeup by Chiao-Li Hsu for Lashify at CLM; manicures by Eri Handa for Chanel Beauty at Home Agency. Casting by Michelle Lee at Michelle Lee Casting. Set design by Mary Howard at MHS Artists.

Adut Akech at the Society Management; produced by PRODn at Art + Commerce; production manager: Mitch Baker; producers: Kait Robinson, Ian Milan; photo assistants: Felix Turnbull-Walter, Valdrin Rexhepi, John Griffith; digital technician: Paul Allister; on-set retoucher: Pawel Okol; retouching: DTouch London; fashion assistants: Felix Paradza, Marion Kelly; production assistants: Ryan Carter, Rance Gensemer, Kelli McGuire; Adut Akech’s braiding by Tenishar Marson; hair assistants: Pamela Baumgartner, Christine Moore, Anastasiia Milyaeva; special thanks to David at Fourteenjay Salon; makeup assistants: Mert Nazlim, Iona Moura; manicure assistant: Yoshimi Muranashi; set assistants: Montana Pugh, Michael Newton, Kylie Baker, Jason Beaucourt, Brendan Galvin, Ben Redding, Breanna Dejesus; tailor: Olga Dudnik; props: Hook Props; special thanks to Hook Studio.