There are rising stars and then there are—as L’Oréal calls them—meteorites. And Duckie Thot is absolutely the latter. In just five years, she’s graduated from “relatively unknown model” to “breakout star” and she’s already caught the attention of multiple big names in the industry.
But why did L’Oréal decide to make her their newest global spokesperson? It’s definitely not just for her stunning features. Since entering the game, Thot has consistently fought for better representation within the industry and isn’t afraid to call people out or stand up for what’s right. And though her road to modeling success may seem swift, it hasn’t always been easy. From being asked to bring her own makeup to set, to having hair stylists that didn’t know how to handle her hair, things were never simple. She even had to end up seeking work in a foreign country because her “look” wasn’t appreciated back home in Australia.
Thot has learned to love herself in an industry that has given her so many reasons to doubt herself, and by doing so, she’s helping to change and improve that same industry. During Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 she’ll make her debut with L’Oréal out on the runway, where she’ll become another face to declare, “Because I’m Worth It”.
Here are six things you didn’t know about the model on track to be the next Naomi Campbell…
1. Duckie isn’t her real name
Though known in the industry as Duckie, Thot’s real name is actually Nyadak. Her family has roots in South Sudan but she was born and raised in Australia. Her classmates and teachers had trouble pronouncing her name when she was younger, so she decided to go by Duckie instead. Clearly, it stuck!
2. She was a contestant on Australia’s Next Top Model
After growing up in Australia, Thot decided to audition for cycle 8 of the modeling reality TV show and ended up finishing in third place. Despite coming close to being Australia’s Next Top Model, she had trouble selling her look to agencies close to home. “I think it was a very confusing part of my life for me. I was just this little [black] girl in Australia just being like, ‘Oh yeah, I want to do modeling,’ but [while also] being in a country that doesn’t promote black models,” she told PAPER. Thot decided to take her talents to New York where she was offered a number of contracts, ultimately signing with New York Model Management.
3. She’s not the only one in the family with a big social media presence
Her sister Nikki Perkins also used to model. In fact, Thot was inspired to try out for ANTM because of her older sister. Perkins has switched her attention to YouTube over the past few years and now has close to two million subscribers. Her channel focuses mainly on family life, featuring her husband and two daughters. Thot has also made several appearances.
4. Kanye helped put her on the map
According to Vogue, Thot met Kanye West by chance while at a casting in 2016. “I left a casting in New York and Kim [no not Kardashian!], from Kanye’s team, ran out after me,” she told the magazine. “‘You have to come upstairs! Kanye will love your look!’ she cried. I didn’t even know Kanye was in the same building! I followed her to see what was up and ended up shooting a magazine cover that day.” She went on to walk in Yeezy’s spring/summer 2017 show.
5. She’s also a big part of Rihanna’s Fenty girl squad
Thot walked in the iconic Fenty x Puma spring/summer 2018 runway show—you know, the one that involved actual motorbikes flying through the air? It was pretty unforgettable, and apparently so was she because she’s worked with Rihanna on project after project ever since. “I remember a year ago, I was sitting on the train back home in Australia listening to your albums back to back,” she wrote on Instagram. “And today, here you are selling me and my girl @malmerk woods on Paper Mag… Crazy how the world works.”
6. She just got her wings
Thot was recently announced as one of the newest angels debuting in the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Add this new L’Oréal contract on top and it seems like there’s nothing she can’t do. Whatever Duckie Thot’s future holds, we know it will be bright.
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