Akiima on a fast catwalk to stardom
The view is pretty good from where Akiima is standing.
It was only five months ago that the Adelaide-based South Sudanese model made her catwalk debut in Sydney at Australian Fashion Week, but she has just returned home from taking the international catwalks of Milan and Paris by storm, appear- ing for labels including Prada and Valentino.
“Every place is so different — I’m just happy that I can adapt to any place,” she told The Australian. “Going to Milan to walk for Prada would have to be the highlight. (Designer) Miuccia (Prada) was dressing me as well. She looked so stylish, so good.”
Akiima, who was born in Kenya, moved to Canberra when she was 10, and then to Adelaide at the beginning of this year.
Brigette Mitchell of Finesse Models Australia signed her in Adelaide as soon as she was brought in by another model on their books. She is now represented worldwide by IMG. “The minute she walked in I just knew,” said Mitchell. “She was so beautiful and just had a glow about her.”
Vogue Australia editor Edwina McCann has just returned from the international shows, where another Adelaide-based Sudanese model Adut Akech was also walking. “We saw them on the runway so often in Milan and Paris, they were just everywhere,” McCann told The Australian.
“I think they’re just exceptional beauties and they clearly hold themselves well and wear clothes very well.”
While she thinks their careers are going from strength to strength quickly, McCann believes this story has a ripple effect well beyond fashion.
“It’s so wonderful for the com- munities in Australia; it’s such a great, positive immigrant story. They are beautiful women and we’re so proud to be able to call them Australians on the runway.”
Akiima is back in her hometown as the face of this week’s Adelaide Fashion Festival, where she opened the first show for designer Tiff Manuell on Wednesday.
Model Akiima, wearing a Cristina Trident gown, looks over her hometown Adelaide from the helicopter pad on Royal Adelaide Hospital