Say hello to Duckie Thot, the catwalk star who calls Kim and Kanye pals, has walked for Rihanna and is here to shake up the beauty industry for good

Very few models manage to make it so big they’re known by their first name, and first name alone. Yes, you have Cara, Kendall and Gigi, but ask anyone to name 10 big-right-now names and we bet they’ll be mute after the first few. Yet, despite it being almost impossible to break into that circle of supers, Duckie Thot has stepped right in. With 1.1 million Instagram followers, and as the face of fashion’s biggest brands, who’s mates with Kim and Kanye, it only takes a glance at her long list of wins and it’s clear the model’s next in line to join the one-name club.

Duckie Thot

Photos: Rex Features, Getty Images

The Australian star, who came just third in the country’s Next Top Model franchise, has been outspoken about the lack of demand for black models down under. Leaving behind her native Australia, it was a move to New York and a chance encounter with Kanye West that catapulted her into the spotlight. Chased by Kim after leaving a casting for another brand, Duckie – a moniker, her real name is Nyadak but friends at school couldn’t pronounce it – was told by the reality star that Kanye would love her look. He did. She later walked for Yeezy, her first catwalk job. A booking for Rihanna’s Fenty X Puma Show, a pair of Victoria’s Secret wings, a starring role in Tim Walker’s legendary Pirelli calendar and campaigns for Topshop and L’Oreal soon followed.

But success hasn’t been a straight line for Duckie. The 24-year-old, who’s signed to New York Model Management and is a spokesmodel for L’Oreal, has been forthright about fashion needing to change, criticising the narrow standards of beauty that have defined the industry for decades. Wanting to see different faces, races and people may be, in part, down to her own early experiences. Makeup artists struggled to match makeup to her dark skin, and she’d often cry backstage at Next Top Model when none of the stylists knew how to cater for her hair. It’s why legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath declaring they needed to create a foundation for her was a pinch-me moment. It signalled a tide of change.

In an industry that has seen black models often more token than mainstream, with her dark brown complexion and doll-like features, Duckie – the daughter of Sudanese refugees – has subverted the industry norm. She’s been dubbed Black Barbie, a title she’s happy to take, but she’s determined to use her brains to make the most of her time in the spotlight. So, who better to tell us what’s next than the model-of-the-moment herself?


Photos: Rex Features, Getty Images

Duckie: in her own words

I think the secret to feeling beautiful is to embrace who you are. If I could give one word of advice to women the world over, it would be to love yourself more and more every day.

My advice to girls who want to model would be not to give up. And stay positive. It’s so easy to be discouraged in such a judgemental industry, but there’s beauty in all of us and no boundaries to fashion.

It’s so important to keep setting goals. I think a major part of growth is to keep dreaming. I want to be so much more than a model now.

duckie thot

Photos: Rex Features, Getty Images

My dream is to become a successful entrepreneur. I’m so grateful to be in the position I’m in. Although it’s been hard work and I’ve made some great achievements, it’s given me the inspiration and motivation to continue striving for success. I’d love to launch businesses in fashion and beauty and to expand and run schools
in Africa.

I’m most confident when I’m feeling good in my mind, body and soul. Taking a long run, eating a nutritious meal, dressing up – these all contribute to my overall sense of wellbeing.

There’s no such thing as a regular day for me. So I try to have a bit of routine. I wake up and run. After that I’m usually checking my emails over coffee and scheduling meetings for the day.

My guilty pleasure is croissants. Coming back from a five-mile run in the morning and having fresh croissants from my favourite local coffee shop. It takes me back to Paris!

My worst beauty memory would involve my hair. Going to a salon and having it burnt off from chemical straightening is every African girl’s worst memory. Now I love my long bangs!

To keep my complexion even, I exfoliate every morning. I also use face mists while travelling and night cream in the evening. I can’t live without L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24hr Fresh Wear Foundation, Color Riche Shine Lipstick and Volume Million Mascara.

Duckie is the face of L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24hr Fresh Wear Foundation, available at Superdrug now.

Get the look

L'Oreal Paris L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Mascara Black 9ml £10.99 Buy Now
L'Oreal Paris L'Oreal Paris Infallible 24hr Foundation Dark Amber 375 £10.99 Buy Now
L'Oreal Paris L'Oreal Smooth Sugar Glow Grapeseed Face And Lip Scrub 50ml £6.59 Buy Now
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