Alek Wek, the Sudanese supermodel, will be the star of the show at this week’s Mercedes-Benz Africa Fashion Week in Pretoria.
The event’s organiser, Africa Fashion International (AFI), has confirmed that Wek will be a guest at Saturday’s show.
AFI spokesperson Nicholas Maweni confirmed that Wek (36) would be a judge for the AFI Fashion Awards.
“There are a couple of people showing on Saturday who are up for awards. We can’t have Alek wearing their clothes and modelling.”
Wek will be in the front row for the week’s important collections. Thereafter, she will model the creations of designers including Angelina Masike, Wetive Nkosi and Khothatso Tsotetsi.
“It would be nice for the young designers to know that an international supermodel wore their clothes,” said Maweni.
Wek is also scheduled to attend next Sunday’s fashion awards at Montecasino.
There are also plans to have a breakfast session with her, where she will interact with and inspire young local models and designers.
“The African connection was important to us. We didn’t want anyone who would create controversy. Alek is an African model who … is inspirational,” said Maweni.
In 1997, Wek became the first African model to feature on the cover of Elle magazine.
Africa Fashion Week began yesterday. It will move to Pretoria from Wednesday until Saturday before returning to Joburg for the awards on Sunday night.
The event is being hosted by the City of Tshwane.