Model Madel Ajok in new Ulla Johnson ad campaign in New York

STARDOM: Madel Ajok appears on a New York billboard. Photo: Instagram
STARDOM: Madel Ajok appears on a New York billboard. Photo: Instagram

Thirteen years ago Madel Ajok's family moved to Mandurah on the south west coast of Western Australia after fleeing the South Sudanese conflicts - and now she is modelling her way to stardom.

The exotic beauty has appeared in an ad campaign for fashion brand, Ulla Johnson, including on a massive billboard.

New York-based brand Ulla Johnson used 21-year-old Madel to appear in the pictures captured by Yelena Yemchuk for its autumn 2021 campaign.

This time the model sported violet and pale yellow dresses featuring Johnson's signature ruffles, painterly prints, and voluminous silhouettes.

"Work hard and everything else will fall into place. Happy to share my first billboard from the @ullajohnson campaign," Madel wrote to her Instagram followers.

Madel's Instagram also shows her recently in Paris, Milan, New York, Greece and Russia.

Her life is a far cry from the Kenyan refugee camp in which she spent her early years.

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She was born into the camp where her mother fled to after her father was killed in the South Sudanese conflicts, and later moved to Mandurah with her family in 2008.

She was working at McDonald's in Perth at the age of 16 and customers would always approach her saying "you shouldn't be working here, you should be modelling".

The shoot features Ulla Johnson's signature ruffles, painterly prints, and voluminous silhouettes. Photo: Yelena Yemchuk (Ulla Johnson)

The shoot features Ulla Johnson's signature ruffles, painterly prints, and voluminous silhouettes. Photo: Yelena Yemchuk (Ulla Johnson)

One day she woke up and decided to take the advice of the strangers and sent some digitals to Vivien's Models agency, who signed her up the next day.

Her first campaign was Kevin Murphy and she went on to walk for brands such as Tom Ford, Moschino, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Salvatore Ferragamo and Burberry.

Her inspirations, she says, are her mum as well as supermodel Naomi Campbell, whom she has spent much time watching and being inspired by her walk.

Her favourite part of modelling: "I love fashion month and runways, but they're so exhausting so it has to be photoshoots," she told CR Fashionbook.

And the hardest part is facing makeup artists who didn't knowhow to do makeup on dark skinned girls.

"I know that I look different from other models and it isn't a pleasant feeling when a makeup artist sees you and start panicking," she told Tomboy Beauty.

Another image that forms part of the Ulla Johnson campaign. Photo: Instagram/@ullajohnson

Another image that forms part of the Ulla Johnson campaign. Photo: Instagram/@ullajohnson

This story Far cry from a refugee camp: Aussie model Ajok features on New York billboard first appeared on Mandurah Mail.