When it comes to impact – models, unlike trends, are a tricky thing to forecast. Once a new model has done the fashion week circuit for at least two seasons, one can start to pinpoint what brands hold certain girls dear to their hearts. And then, suddenly, out of nowhere – bam. Dropped. One would think Karlie Kloss would walk for Marc Jacobs forever, then she was a no-show at both MJ and Louis Vuitton all year. Lisanne De Jong and Miranda Kerr, staple faces for every Balenciaga runway show, were suddenly not so this last September. And no Antonella Graef at Rodarte for spring 2012? Has the world gone mad! It’s a double-edged sword really. People become used to the same roster of girls in every single show, cursing the system for it’s excessively repetitive cycle of faces and then when they change it up a bit, it feels like something has gone missing. Nature of the beast.
The fashion week wheels keep on turning season to season and with it comes a fresh cavalcade of new faces bound to proliferate the top brands, edging out the established catwalkers out of their seemingly comfy spots at covetable shows. Sometimes it’s just a sprinkle of newbies introduced, like at – ahem – (oh man, this is so hard to write without rolling my eyes) Kanye West, and then it’s a real fresh face takeover like at Alexander Wang’s BMX-laden extravaganza. As much as we love our regular girls, we can’t hold on to them forever (Sasha Pivovarova – we miss you girl), so without further ado, here are the very best brand new faces (in no particular order) that the 2011 runways had to offer.
Antonia Wesseloh (Ford)
No one, not even the catwalk veteran girls, served up more face this year than Antonia Wesseloh. Hailing from Germany (It’s been a while since Deutschland had a girl to represent on the runway), Wesseloh became an immediate must-book girl for the SS12 season after Steven Meisel scoped her out for Prada’s last fall campaign. That serious look she carries on the runway is more likely to make men cower than melt, but that’s what makes her so notable. There’s a glimmer of film noir’s greatest beauty, Lauren Bacall, to her; it’s all in the attitude. It’s been a while since a new girl’s good looks felt this legitimately, palpably dangerous.
Emily Baker (DNA)
Who had a more impressive debut season all year than Emily Baker? The blonde Kiwi walked about 60+ shows for fall 2011 ready-to-wear alone! She’s already got an easily identifiable walk and as her track record already shows, she can morph into almost any sartorial aesthetic with ease, as the best models are wont to do. She also happened to rock what was quite possibly the year’s #1 hottest look, at last February’s Proenza Schouler runway show.
Maja Salamon (Next)
Up until this past September, Polish freckled beauty Maja Salamon had starred in a number of fashion editorials here and there – but that ‘here and there’ business is officially a thing of the past. Or perhaps not. She has only walked down one runway, but that runway also happened to be the most memorable Balenciaga ready-to-wear staging in years. If she decides to call it quits after this one stroll, that’d be just as cool. She would be the runway’s Harper Lee with Balenciaga as her ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. A classic either way you look at it.
Colinne Michaelis (Silent)
French girls used to be all the rage. Now, at least in the fashion sphere, it’s all about the Polish, Russian and more than anything else, the Dutch runway models. It’s been a very long hot minute since France came to represent – probably since Constance Jablonski. Well, trust Miuccia Prada to have found Colinne Michaelis. With the face of an angel, this girl has major potential for turning from a sweet flower to bonafide va-va-voom material on the flip of a dime.
Romee Strijd (DNA)
From the moment she stepped onto the runway as Christopher Kane’s opener for his spring collection show at London Fashion Week, the fashion world did a communal about-face in the direction of Romee Strijd. Arriving on the scene with a perfect walk, a flabbergasting, beautiful face and a look in her eye that suggests she can and will tear a man to pieces – say hello to high-fashion’s newly inducted sex pot.
Grace Bol (Major)
Please refer to Givenchy fall 2011 ready-to-wear - Look #8. Enough said.
Erjona Ala (Ford)
Erjona Ala, a Balenciaga exclusive, is almost too gorgeous for her own good. Landing almost 60 showings in the spring 2012 roster alone, almost everyone is in agreement that Ala has all the makings of a future supe. And she’s only 15! Longevity is in the cards for this Scandinavian beaut.
Dempsey Stewart (Wilhelmina)
Dempsey Stewart is a doll come to life. She’s bestowed with an air of innocence and fragility which was particularly becoming for the latest sugary outing from Louis Vuitton. A resplendent grace and not a single haughty bone in her body – beauty and accessibility in one package. That’s an industry win-win if there ever was one.
Josefien Rodermans (Women)
Oh Josefien Rodermans. This young lady is hold-the-phone – who-is-that? – slap yo mama in the face gorgeous. The last debuting Calvin Klein exclusive this breathtaking was supermodel Karlie Kloss. She was serene at Calvin Klein Collection, sexy at Pedro Lourenco, a badass gunslinger at Ann Demeulemeester and absolutely majestic at Alexander McQueen. Pleased to introduce you to the second coming of Freja Beha Erichsen.
Josephine Skriver (Marilyn)
What is it about Danish girls? There’s not a whole lot of them in the industry, but the few are major heavy-hitting notables. First – Freja Beha Erichsen – the reigning supermodel of the past decade, then Caroline Brasch Nielsen – a modern-day princess, and now Josephine Skriver who is a whole other animal altogether. This fresh face is full blown, unadulterated carnality in a dress. You book Skriver for your runway if you need it to be set aflame. Gams for days, the perfect hair, an insanely hot walk – Josephine Skriver, welcome to the club.