Kenyan-raised Adut Akech has beaten supermodels like Gigi, Bella Hadid and 12 other top female models for the Models.com Industry Awards.
Akech was born in a refugee camp in South Sudan on Christmas Day 1999. She was raised in Kenya by her mother with 5 other siblings.
The family later moved to, Adelaide, Australia as refugees when she was just 7-years old.
She ventured into modeling while living in Australia at the age of 13 but started professionally at 16.
Akech who plans to open a modelling agency in South Sudan is mentored by supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Her breakthrough came in 2017 when she gained global recognition at the Saint Laurent Spring and summer fashion show.
In July 2018, Adut was chosen by creative director Karl Lagerfeld to be the first black Chanel bride in over a decade at Couture Week.
The last black Chanel bride was the British-Sudanese model Alex Wek in 2004.
Considering her age and modelling career, the prestigious Model of the Year recognition is a huge milestone for her