Adut, who lived her formative years in a United Nations camp in Kenya, gets candid with the magazine about what it felt like being a refugee, landing a feature on British Vogue‘s September issue, Forces of Change which was guest-edited by the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, and how she is using her platform for good.
On growing up in a Refugee Camp
I grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya. My family fled from war in South Sudan and landed in Kakuma. That’s where I spent the first seven or eight years of my life before I moved to Australia. We didn’t know what a magazine was and we didn’t know much about fashion. We didn’t have a lot of clothes. I grew up very, very far from fashion, and I only discovered the love that I have for fashion when I moved to Australia.
On Being Chosen By The Duchess of Sussex
I didn’t know the Duchess of Sussex had anything to do with it until she called me. I got a call from an English number, and I thought: ‘Who could it be?’, because I have Edward’s number saved, and he’s the only person from England who would call me. I picked up, and it was Meghan. She was very sweet, very calm and said: ‘Hi, is this Adut?’ She told me that she was the guest editor for this issue and the reason she picked me – I was mind-blown. The Duchess of Sussex is on my phone telling me it was only right that she has me on that cover, that she finds me inspirational and finds my story and what I do standing up for refugees inspirational.
On Using Her Platform For Good
I want to use my position and my platform to speak about things that are very important that need to be discussed, and things that need to change. Sustainability is definitely something very important that we all need to come together for, and sit down and see what changes we can make.
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Photo credit: Australian Vogue