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Some of the world’s freshest faces have graced the covers of ARISE Magazine, the London-based international style publication focused in and around African arts and culture. Hailed by CNN as Africa’s fashion bible, their aim since 2009 has been to create an international audience and platform for the best in African fashion talent. And they’ve done just that combining gorgeous photography, irreverent reporting and an appreciation for the glamorous celebrity side of the style realm all in one truly exquisite package.

Here are our top ten favorite covers!

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  • Solonge

    I am in the minority here but I have never found Alek Wek beautiful. She looks like a man but not in a good way. No, it is not because she is dark. Plenty of dark models who are 100 times more beautiful than her. In fact, like Gabby Sidibe, I think YT designers like her because they know she is not attractive. If YTs are going gung ho about someone, you can be sure it is because they are not threatened by them. They will never use a truly beautiful African model as much as they do Alek. Too much for them to handle.

    • Jane

      You have a point. I think some people have a knee jerk reaction when somebody says Alek is ugly because they assume it’s because she not a “europeanized” black beauty like Halle or Beyonce. I’m like no, it’s because she simply doesn’t have a pretty face. There are ugly dark skinned black women who would still be ugly if they were lighter. Ataui D., Ajak D., Betty A., Herieth P., Bria M., they are all wayyyyyyy prettier than Alek and also dark. I don’t understand the fascination with Alek other than the fact that she’s different. White people like to all it exotic.

    • Galen

      You very well may be in the minority. But you are not the sole descent. I have never seen Alek Wek as beautiful. Part of me simply wrote it off as “eye of the beholder”. But another part of me kept nagging that it’s a concerted effort by the majority in the industry to say “see, we like black people.” Now the argument of falling for European standards may have some merit. I was not born nor raised in any country of Africa. So here in the US, I’m sure I had my outlooks influenced. But then looking at us African Americans, our whole physical makeup had SOME European influence. Last this isn’t about skin tone necessarily either. Personally, I always thought Kelly Rowland looked better than Beyonce.

    • Fae

      Whether people find Alek Wek beautiful or not is irrelevant. Certain fashion industry types prefer the quirky non-traditional looking model. These people tend to be creative and love the different look this woman represents. I personally prefer it myself. It’s not boring.

  • Barbara

    Alex Wek is absolutely GEOREOUS!!! I say this as a Black American woman. Either you are a White troll or a brainwashed Black person who has “White standards” of beauty.

    I haven’t been to this site (Clutch) in a while—just following another story around the web.

    • Solonge

      Give me specifics as to why you think she is beautiful? I am Black American as well. I love a straight up chocolate sister but I am keeping it real. Why do I HAVE to agree she is beautiful? YT people love her. They act like they have never seen anyone more beautiful then her. They do this all the time. Yet, they will never give the time of day to women I believe are truly beautiful AND DARK. What is up with that? Why Alek you gotta ask yourself? Cause they know for darn sure she is a curiosity but not a beauty. There is a difference.

    • Solonge

      For the record, I think Beyonce is overrated too. Now Ataui Deng who is Alek’s cousin is one of the most beautiful women in the world. Why doesn’t she get the attention that Alek does? Ask yourself. I am always suspicious of the little YT people darling. Always.

    • MimiLuvs

      “Give me specifics as to why you think she is beautiful?”

      Because Barbara believes that Alek Wek is a beautiful woman. The End. That’s All Folks!

    • Solonge

      Mimi Luvs: so why didn’t Barbara accept the fact that I didn’t find her beautiful? Instead, she questioned my blackness because of it. I will say it again. I am always suspect when a black model from Africa is being fetishized in this way. The one who would truly threaten YTs are not given any attention. I am onto them. I don’t buy it. Alek is not beautiful. End of story.

  • Denise

    I have all those covers in my collection and I don’t have many other covers because they didn’t release that many in the U.S. (because I checked for it every month)