Manchester at the Met: West grad turned model and Vogue cover girl Anok Yai makes big splash

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The 2021 annual Met Gala  – where art meets high fashion – did not disappoint. After being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, this year’s gala, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,”  returned with a vengeance.

An event full of glitz and glamour, the Sudanese supernova supermodel who grew up in  Manchester, New Hampshire Anok Yai, sparkled from head to toe in a fitted black gown designed by the timeless and elegant Oscar De La Renta. A “skimming celestial crystal gown,” as described by De La Renta’s Instagram page, Yai’s gown was paired with sheer black opera gloves, a black floor-length plumed shawl and Giuseppe Zanotti heels.


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Yai, a West High School graduate who was first discovered in 2017 after her photograph at Howard University’s homecoming went viral, appears on the September cover of Vogue, along with fellow top models reflective of the industry’s diversity. The second Black model after Naomi Campbell to open a Prada show, Yai is the newest spokesperson for Estee Lauder, and continues to grace numerous international high profile fashion magazine covers. 

West High School grad and international model Anok Yai, left, is one of four models featured on the current Vogue cover.


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Constance Cherise

Constance Cherise is a freelance writer and contributor for Turner Classic MoviesSee her work here.