Anok Yai

1 min read
Photo courtesy of Aidan Cullen

Anok Yai was born December 20, 1997 and is an Egyptian-born American fashion model of South Sudanese descent.

She is the second black model to open a Prada show after Naomi Campbell, and the first South Sudanese model to do so.

She was born in Cairo and her family moved to Manchester, New Hampshire when she was 2. Her mother is a nurse and her father works for Easterseals; her sister Alim is her manager and a financial consultant.

She graduated from Manchester High School West and attends Plymouth State University studying biochemistry, intending to become a doctor.

Yai was discovered in October 2017 during Howard University’s homecoming week, by a professional photographer who asked to take her picture. He posted the photo on Instagram, accruing over 20,000 “likes”, and modeling agencies, including IMG Models, asked to get in touch with her. She eventually chose to sign with Next Model Management, who had called her daily for several weeks.

Within 4 months, she became the first Sudanese model to open a Prada fashion show, which is deemed the highest feat in fashion modeling because of the careers Prada has launched.

She has also appeared in the Prada SS 2018 campaign and an upcoming Nike campaign designed by Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci.