It’s only taken two seasons for Cindy Crawford-spawn Kaia Gerber to break through as a post-Instagirl supermodel, so there’s still plenty of room at the top for the next generation of fresh faces — and as we do every season, we’re here to shed light on the industry’s newest class of soon-to-be “It” models from the Fall 2018 runways.
The big news this fashion month: the deluge of Black beauties who made their mark on the runways. Out of the 18 emerging stars on this list, nine are Black, including several African refugees-turned-models — from Saint Laurent-favorite Adut Akech to famed Prada opener Anok Yai — who are inspiring a renewed push for diversity in the industry.
Meet the models of the season below.
Agency: The Society Management
Hometown: Narus, South Sudan by way of Adelaide, Australia
Highlight reel: Opened Valentino and H&M; walked Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford
While she may not technically be considered all that “new,” Akech’s supernova success in recent months deserves celebration. After fleeing from Sudan as a refugee to Sydney, and modeling locally since age 11, she became the exclusive face of Saint Laurent, making her major fashion week debut as an exclusive at the house’s Spring 2017 runway show. Akech soon went on to become an editorial darling, starring in 2018’s all-Black Pirelli calendar and turning up on just about every runway that matters for Fall 2018.
Agency: Women Management
Hometown: Bucks County, Penn.
Highlight reel: Opened Fendi; walked Chanel, Versace, Saint Laurent, Alexander Wang and Max Mara
First impression: Wow, who was the girl that just opened Fendi?! The combination of mesmerizing blue eyes and Brooke Shields-worthy eyebrows won us (and major designers) over immediately. Roche hung with the cool kids at Alexander Wang, joined the glamazon cast at Versace and walked all the top runways in Paris. Not to mention, she’s a total overachiever who played soccer for a top team while also studying for the Ivy Leagues.
Agency: Red Model Management
Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya
Highlight reel: Closed Nina Ricci and Boss; walked Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Loewe, Gucci, Versace, Burberry, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford
There’s a lot of Black excellence on this list, and Nyasiase embodies the new wave of African stars taking the industry by storm. She’s got a smile that lights up a room and a runway saunter that’ll make you weak in the knees. Following her starring role in Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2018 campaign, Nyasiase walked 40-plus top shows this season, confirming her breakout status.
Agency: The Society Management
Hometown: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Highlight reel: Walked Valentino, Saint Laurent, Off-White, Jil Sander, Fendi and Max Mara
There’s a lot of fashion-adjacent talent coming out of South Africa lately, including this fresh face with spunky ears and a sultry pout. Discovered via a photo that pictured her lined up alongside schoolmates in matching uniforms, Rossouw has a distinctive look that makes her stand out in any crowd.
Hometown: Nottingham, England
Highlight reel: Opened Erdem; closed Matty Bovan; walked Miu Miu, Dior, Calvin Klein, Prada, Moschino and Giambattista Valli
Milky white skin, flaxen curls and striking bone structure lend an enchanting quality to this English rose who charmed casting directors last season, then went on to prove herself as one to watch for Fall 2018, hitting all the major shows in each of the four capitals.
NAOMI CHIN WING
Agency: IMG Models
Hometown: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Highlight reel: Closed Carolina Herrera; walked Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein, Brandon Maxwell and Marc Jacobs
“Be the good Naomi,” is what another, certain Naomi said to this fresh face after Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2018 runway show last season. We’ve witnessed plenty of runway stars emerge from the Caribbean in recent seasons, and Wing caught our eye during the haute couture shows, then mingled with top-notch casts, like Miu Miu’s, for Fall 2018.
Agency: Ford Models
Hometown: Yorkshire, England
Highlight reel: Opened Chloe; closed Prada; walked Miu Miu, Chanel, Loewe, Isabel Marant, Versace, Burberry, Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang
In late January, if you asked any model expert who would crush the Fall 2018 runways, all bets would be on Summers, a poetic “It” Brit with a glacial stare and chic, ragged bob. She made a strong showing for Spring 2018, then made a clean sweep of every major show last month.
Agency: DNA Models
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Highlight reel: Closed Maison Margiela and Coach 1941; opened Peter Pilotto; walked Miu Miu, Haider Ackermann, Moschino, Gareth Pugh, Marc Jacobs and Sies Marjan
This fiery-haired Southwesterner made headlines last season after being scouted while working at Chipotle just days before walking Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein. She continued to build on that momentum for Fall 2018, and her haute “Napoleon Dynamite”-esque look made her a shoo-in for some of the more avant-garde casts.
Agency: Next Management
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Highlight reel: Prada exclusive; walked Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Miu Miu, Saint Laurent, Loewe, Off-White and Giambattista Valli
Discovered while volunteering as a teacher at a local school in Nigeria, Abioro’s heart is as beautiful as her face. Her impressive, top-shows-only roster confirmed her membership in the new guard of African models. “I feel honored and glad to be part of this change,” she told Fashionista.
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Highlight reel: Opened Self-Portrait; walked Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Balmain, Fendi, Christopher Kane and Alexander Wang
There’s been a bona fide South Korean boom on the runways in recent seasons, but what sets Park apart is her edgy look and equally edgy sense of personal style. The former Louis Vuitton exclusive hit all the highlights this season.