Success. Fancy outfits, exotic locations, star-studded parties. This is the life of a supermodel, a tittle that is as exclusive as it is difficult to get. However, our own Sarah Agau Alier Aliet, 18, is living this life, writes Esther Oluka.
When Sarah Agau Alier Aliet was growing up, she honestly thought that one day, she would become a soldier. A daughter of soldiers, Aliet took it for granted that she would follow her parents’ footsteps. She began to consider a different career path when she relocated to Uganda from the war-torn South Sudan.
She began watching episodes of supermodel Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model (ANTM), a renowned reality television series where aspiring models compete for the tittle as well as a chance to start their modeling career.
Her friend Mary Akol, appreciated Aliet’s interest in fashion and introduced her to designer, Emmanuel Banji of Eguana Kampala.
“Banji featured me in a photoshoot for one of his fashion collections in 2016,” she recollects.
The same year, Akol took her for a casting for the Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards (ASFAs).
“I was dressed in my school uniform when I went for the casting. I remember most of the casting directors were not interested in booking me except for one director, Joram Muzira, who insisted that I walk for the show. He believed that I had huge potential as a model,” she says.
Muzira did not just train her on how to walk but also signed her to his agency Joram Model Management.
Her first time working professionally, Aliet walked for international designers including David Tlale (South Africa) and Alecool, a Ugandan designer based in the United Kingdom (UK).
In 2017, she got booked for Kampala Fashion Week (KFW), one of the biggest events on the Ugandan fashion calendar where she walked for Olivia Nanfuka of NFKA, Catherine and Sons, and Gloria Wavamunno, among others.
Muzira reveals he has partnerships with international modelling agencies whom he sends details of the models represented by his agency, for the purpose of getting them good gigs.
“These agencies are interested in models who have an X-Factor about them. Those with long legs, long necks and unique skin tones,” he says.
In 2018, Aliet who is a tall dark-skinned petite girl with a unique bone structure got placed onto different global agencies including Storm Management (London, UK), MP Paris (France), MP Milan (Italy) and Francina Models (Barcelona, Spain,).
After getting her various placements, she left Uganda to embark on her international modeling career.
The experience of being an international model
So far, Aliet featured on the London Fashion Week walking for JW Anderson. In Milan, she has walked for fashion designers and brands including Alberta Ferretti, Bottega Veneta, Max Mara and Versace. More recenlty, Aliet appeared in several for shows at the prestigious Paris Fashion Week.
“The experience of walking for these shows is absolutely mind-blowing. Everything here is super-fast and done in a very professional manner,” she says.
In addition, Aliet says these international shows have great budgets, top notch production and everything is much organised.
She reveals that since modeling in Europe and London is super lucrative where it is taken as a serious business, the models are paid much better than their Ugandan counterparts. Despite the differences, Aliet believes there is still room for Uganda to grow and rise to the occasion.
By the time Aliet embarked on her globe-trotting career, she had completed Senior Six at St Lawrence College Paris Palais located on Masaka-Kampala road. She plans to continue modelling while embarking on further studies in the United States.
Aliet’s memorable international experiences so far…
•It was meeting Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s editor in chief. I met him at the Vogue House in London after receiving an invitation. Enninful is one of my biggest inspirations in the fashion industry because despite having a troubled childhood, he worked hard and now he is a global fashion icon.
•I was also very happy after getting confirmed to walk for Versace, a renowned Italian fashion brand that many international celebrities love associating with. Not forgetting, I was very humbled after walking for Givenchy, another brand loved by famous personalities.