I had the pleasure of meeting Akech at my very first fashion show in November 2018. Fate brought us together when I was looking for one more model to walk the runway and the organizers introduced me to Akech - a beautiful, bubbly soul with an infectious smile and warm personality (who by the way stole the show in the Eden Set). After Slate's launch in August 2020 I knew I had to work with her again and I'm so happy we were able to! Akech is one of the most down to earth, easy going, and lovely humans that I have had the pleasure of working with.
What do your friends call you?
My friends call me Akech, kechy!
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a South Sudanese, East African! I was born in Sudan and when I was about five months old, my family moved to Kenya, where we lived for the majority of my childhood. At thirteen, my family immigrated to Canada. We first lived in Alberta, Red Deer and Edmonton for my Junior high years and then I finished high school in a small town called Brooks, south of Calgary! I moved to Vancouver in 2013 for college and a better life!
How would you describe yourself to someone who has never met you?
This is a tough one. Well, I’m a people person. I genuinely enjoy people's company, meeting new people, and learning from different backgrounds and cultures! I’m very big on history, quite adventurous and a daredevil, I blame the Sagittarius in me!
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day is waking up at 4 AM, going for a run, yoga, or playing tennis! Read, eat breakfast, walk the seawall to wherever I need to be. I love the ocean, so I never skip my seawall walks!
When did you get into modelling and how did it happen?
Growing up, my family and friends would call me “Model” and because of my height, people always assumed I was a model. I was actually against it - I would correct them and say "no, I’m an actor," simply because that was something I was more passionate about. As time passed, I started getting hired for small jobs and got a consistent gig from the film school make up department. They hired me for their demos for the makeup students and I would get paid (fifty bucks)! That was my first payed gig! I started charging people so I could pay for my acting classes. I did that for about six years - fast forward to August 2020 when I shot with a local beauty photographer, Kate Whyte, and from there I signed with my first, current model agency.
You had such positive energy on our shoot, how do you stay happy, confident and comfortable when you're working with different brands and people?
When I go to shoots I’m just happy to socialize and create. It’s a learning opportunity for me and being around creatives makes me happy. It literally fuels me, the conversations, looking at things from a different perspective, the collaboration, and the magic that we all get the opportunity to create, which is something I look forward to! It's my drive and inspiration! It's what keeps me motivated in my day-to-day life!
We worked together in both of our first fashion show! What was it like walking on the runway for the first time in Slate?
I was so nervous, swinging my entire body, I didn’t know how many people were out there until I hit the stage! The cameras were flashing, the lights were on and too much attention was now on me. I literally sprinted through the runway just so I could go backstage! I was proud of myself for doing something out of my comfort zone. I felt confident and elevated. It was an honour to wear Slate and more so working with you (Shelby) for my first runway experience! You were very supportive!
What’s one thing you wish you could change about the world and why?
There are many things I would love to change about the world. One thing for certain is to have a universal passport, where we can all freely move around living wherever we wish! Learn from one another! I believe this would be very beneficial as it would help us grow to our biggest potentials and be more connected as a human race. I also think this would put an end to the economic gap that a lot of people face in the world and as a society we would care more about the environment and be more considerate obtaining sustainability because we’re all benefiting!
Your dream job and why?
My dream jobs are running and acting. I love running, it has helped me centre myself. I've felt a lot of healing from it and the whole idea of moving forward is my motto. Acting is also pretty cool. I get to be a different character and the inner child in me likes to play - I have a big imagination and love storytelling!
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I’m still working on this, but anywhere oceanfront. Ideally I would like to live on a private island just me and horses - a farm island!
A piece of clothing you can’t live without?
Anything comfortable and easy on the skin. I love shorts and tights! Definitely linen is a top tier fabric!
What’s your favourite Slate piece?
It’s so tough to choose just one piece from Slate because everything is so amazing, beautiful, comfortable, and reversible! I love the Ballina Set, the black is so classy and you can literally wear it just about anywhere and it would fit whatever event you’re attending! In my womanhood that is just the style I am looking for.
You can follow along for all things Akech on her Instagram page, @akechyak.