Alek Wek “Youthful Look Help Career”

The 35-year-old model is famed for her cleanly shaved head and youthful face. She thinks her skin has helped secure her a lot of work, although she claims talk of the industry being ageist is out-dated.

“I’m glad I still look ten years old! OK, maybe I’m pushing it. The fashion business is actually more relaxed than it was ten or 20 years ago – you can get married and have kids, for instance, and still have a good career,” she said. “The lifestyle is demanding though – most of your time is spent in planes and hotel rooms.”

Alek was discovered in London aged 18, five years after she’d moved to the country from her native Sudan.

She traveled to New York to see how she would go down with designers and was immediately booked for Italian Vogue by photographer Steven Meisel. On the shoot, she realized how important modeling was to her.

“They tried to put me in this wig for the photoshoot, and he was like, ‘No, just put on this dress and go for it.’ When I realized I could just be myself, that was it,” she told British newspaper The Observer.