04/16/2013 07:24 am ET

Alek Wek, Sudanese Model, Has Flawless Skin And Style (PHOTO)

Alek Wek's road to stardom was anything but typical. The model, who was born in South Sudan, fled to Britain at the age of 14 shortly after a civil war broke out in her home country. Wek was later discovered at an outdoor market in London, and she went on to star in a Tina Turner music video, walk the runway for top fashion designers and become the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle magazine. The icon is now an ambassador for Doctors Without Borders in Sudan, volunteers for UNICEF and is a missionary for World Vision -- there is little philanthropic work she isn't involved in.

In celebration of Wek's 36th birthday today (April 16), we are taking a look back at an old photo of the beauty. In this 2001 photograph we see the supermodel enjoying a night on the town. Wek looks gorgeous in a printed dress (the color combination is perfection against her skin tone) and chunky gold statement necklace. The 5'11" stunner eased out the look with a pair of flip-flops and a striped bag, but what's really stealing the show is her flawless skin. (We think we found our next subject for Beauty Street Style).

alek wek photo

Getty Images/Evan Agostini/Contributor

Checkout Alek Wek's style evolution below:

Alek Wek's Style Evolution
Alek Wek's Style Evolution

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