Anok Yai Is The First Black Model To Walk For Prada In Decades

Human Interest

Now, here's a real life Cinderella story.

Imagine being 19 years old and casually enjoying the festivities of Howard University's homecoming when a photographer snaps your pic, uploads it to Instagram, and BOOM - you've gone viral.

And land a modeling contract.

Well, that's exactly what happened to Anok Yai.

On top of all those blessings, there's another one. Anok Yai just made history by opening Prada's Fall 2018 show in Milan this past weekend. Yai's debut on the designer's catwalk makes her the first Black model to open a Prada show in over two decades.

And just last month, Anok Yai was also the first woman model to walk out for Prada's Men '18 line. Can you say killing it on both sides?

The last brown beauty to sashay down the designer's runway was none other than Naomi Campbell. Campbell walked the ceremony back in 1997, meaning Yai wasn't even born the last time a Black model opened a Prada show.

After Naomi's 90's debut, it would be 11 years until another model of color ever walked for Prada again (Jourdan Dunn was casted in 2008 but was not a show opener).

Back in October 2017, Anok was spotted at Howard University Yardfest, where photographer Steven Hall captured her photo at the end of the homecoming event:

Talk about saving the best for last.

Steve's photo of Anok quickly went viral on social media, and within a few weeks, the Plymoth State University student was signed to 'Next Model' agency. Fast forward, and in just a semester's worth of time, Anok has already graduated from student to supermodel, walking the runways of Milan Fashion Week years before she's even set to walk a graduation stage. Epic!

Since signing to 'Next,' Steve and Anok have kept in contact, with Anok often booking the photographer for her more intimate shoots.

Steve even took to Instagram back in November to reflect on his chance meeting with the student-model, revealing both of their lives have since changed since that day:

"Meeting Anok on the Yard during homecoming was serendipitous, literally one of the last faces l saw after being there for 5 hrs.
"That day has changed both of our paths and she's inspired me. Definitely wishing her well on her new journey, she's going to kill it. Also thank you to everyone that has supported us and continue to. The good vibes are felt. P.S. No one will ever have a problem pronouncing her name by next year."

Indeed we didn't, and indeed we won't.

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