Conquering Your Dreams While Making History at the Same Time

Anok Yai becomes the 2nd black model to have ever opened for Prada since 1997

“Mysterious. Just a tall, dark-skinned and insanely beautiful person, said Steve Hall about Anok Yai, the photographer who made this all possible.

Back in October 2017 Anok Yai decided to attended Howard University’s (HU) homecoming with a friend. Yai, who was not affiliated HU, was encouraged by her friend to dress the part, in order to fit in with the surroundings of the illustrious HBCU and it’s homecoming culture. HU’s homecoming has been known to be a big deal and those whom attend and found on the yard are normally dressed as a fashion statement. Yai’s friend basically informed her in so many words, that she wouldn’t be caught dead with her if she didn’t dress the part.

That being said, Yai made sure that she showed up and showed out. The day she stepped on HU’s campus for Yardfest, with a sheer black top and denim shorts sporting a curly fro, appalled by the number of compliments she received, even catching the attention of photographer and creator of The Sunk, Steve Hall. Hall asked Yai if he would be able to snap a few pictures of her. She obliged.

Fast forwarding to a day later Hall posted a few of his edited pictures on Instagram, Yai’s pics being among those selected. Although Yai was not particularly a fan of one of the pictures Hall posted of her, the photos went viral almost instantly. According to Yai, she went from “being a random girl living in New Hampshire to an Instagram-famous model,” within minutes. Modeling agencies begin to reach out to her left and right and she decided to pursue a dream she had put on the back burner and shortly after signed with Next Management (Next Models).

Now just a short four months later, she has made history in being the second black model to have ever opened for Prada during fashion week. Humbly acknowledging supermodel Naomi Campbell, who was the first and only Black model to open for Prada in 1997, Yai expresses her gratitude on Instagram following the show.

If Yai continues to follow in Ms. Campbell’s footsteps, that long dream of being a cover feature of a magazine may be a lot closer than Anok Yai could have ever imagined.

Watch video below to see Anok Yai open for Prada’s Fall/Winter 2018/2018 Collection:

Prada’s Fall/Winter 2018-2019 runway show featuring Anok Yai


The Washington Post


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