Born in April 1977, Alek Wek is a South Sudanese-British model and designer who began her fashion career at the age of 18 in 1995. Wek, from the Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan, has been hailed for her influence on the perception of beauty in the fashion industry.
She fled to Britain in 1991 to escape the civil war in Sudan. As of 2009, Wek resided in Brooklyn, New York. She was in a relationship with Riccardo Sala, an Italian real estate developer, for twelve years; they separated in 2013. She is the aunt of the runway model Ataui Deng.