Ajak Deng Quits Modeling: 'I Can No Longer Deal with the Fakes and the Lies'

02/24/2016 at 11:57 AM ET

Hot on the news of Cindy Crawford’s graceful exit from modeling, the industry is losing another seasoned vet, Ajak Deng. The 26-year-old high-fashion runway regular announced she’s retiring from modeling on Tuesday to leave a life she calls too “dramatic.”

Ajak DengVictor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

She announced her departure on Instagram, saying, “I am happy to announce that I am officially done with the fashion industry, I will be moving back to Australia in order to live the life that I fully deserved. Which is real life.”

She doesn’t stop there, though: “I can no longer deal with the fakes and the lies. My life is too short for this dramatic life. I am thankful and grateful for every sweet souls that I have crossed path with.”

Deng followed her announcement with an Instagram thanking God for his blessings.

Thank you for your blessings God.

A photo posted by AJAK DENG (@ajak_deng) on

The news comes just a week after a successful NYFW schedule, walking in some of the hottest shows of the season, including Tome, Sophie Theallet, Zac Posen and Marc Jacobs. (She’s also starring in several major spring campaigns, including Barneys New York and Philipp Plein.)

@themarcjacobs @kegrand @bitton and on this team thank you so much. Xoxo

A photo posted by AJAK DENG (@ajak_deng) on

#ZacPosen F/W16. Xoxo

A photo posted by AJAK DENG (@ajak_deng) on

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The model was originally from South Sudan, but fled to Melbourne in 2005. She began her career in high school, after being scouted by FRM director Stephen Bucknall in 2008 and later teamed up with IMG Model Management, where she landed major shows including ChloΓ©, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier and Lanvin runways in 2010.

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According to IMG, Deng credits fashion editor Edward Enninful and photographer Emma Summerton for catapulting her career when she landed the cover of i-D magazine in 2011 (and for Enninful’s recent birthday she sent him a sweet message on Instagram, saying he’s “always been so supportive” toward her).

What do you think of the news? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

— Colleen Kratofil

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Showing 15 comments

Natalie on

Good for her to know when it’s time to go. Ajak enjoy the new chapter in your life.

nope on

I honestly thought this was a man.

NaturallySonja on

Peace and blessings to you Ajak. You made your mark and blessed the fashion industry with your beauty and grace. Enjoy your new peaceful life at home.

VirgotheVirgin on

So she used an industry that disgusted her to make a buck? Says all I need to know about her.

Hopefully, unlike Cara, this woman will be gone for good.

Sue on

For that salary, I’d deal with the “fakes and lies”, and do everyday anyway! Lol!

cloeyny2mn on

The fashion industry is one of the most vile industries to work in. I applaud her for finding her way out of a nightmare.

Reality on

I hoped she saved her money and knows her next career path otherwise she may have to come crawling back to make a buck.

Grace on

She is so thin. I thought the fashion industry was shying away from the anorexic look? Anyway, she seems to have a good head on her shoulders and to know when she has had enough. Enjoy the next chapter

Vamanos on

Modeling is basically being a walking mannequin. Of course there’s nothing meaningful in it.

Kar on

Give me a break — what did she expect. She looks like a dude anyway so she probably wasn’t in high demand.

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