There are moments in a fashion that a true fashionista will always remember. The moment you saw your first Christian Louboutin shoe. The first time you tried on an expensive pair of designer jeans. The first clutch purse you purchased. And for urban fashionista’s everywhere it was the first time we saw the beautiful Alek Wek on the cover of American version of Elle Magazine.
When Elle featured Wek on the cover of their November 1997 issue, they were taking a considerable risk. The conventional wisdom stated that featuring a dark-skinned African girl on the cover of a major American fashion publication would not sell issues. The result, however, was quite the contrary. Who could have predicted the monumental reader response from women and men of all ages? Fashion followers around the country were ecstatic about seeing the standards of American beauty being expanded and redefined. As Oprah Winfrey commented when Alek appeared on her show, “If you’d been on the cover of a magazine when I was growing up, I would have had a different concept of who I was.”
Wek was born in Southern Sudan. At fourteen the civil war forced her to flee to London with her younger sister, where they waited two years to be joined by their mother and three more of their eight siblings. It was in London, while attending school for art and design, that Alek was discovered. Since that day she has graced covers and catwalks around the globe.
But this sister refuses to just stop at walking down the catwalk. She has ventured into design with her first handbag line, WEK1933. The handbags come in various shades and textures to compliment any occasion. Wek has said that the vivid recollections of her beloved late father’s handsome briefcase inspired the line. Alek integrated his influences into the collection as well as her brand: WEK1933, which ties together the family name with the year of her father’s birth. The unique top quality brass hardware and fixtures adorning the bags evoke a feeling of extraordinary craftsmanship. Hopefully, Alek’s bags will earn a place in fashion history right along with the modeling accomplishments that this beautiful black woman has achieved.
To learn more about Alek Wek and her collection please log-on to www.alekwek1933.com