Fall 2018 offered plenty to talk about when it came to models. From the comebacks of such ’90s favourites as Tasha Tilberg and Guinevere van Seenus to the continued success of phenoms like Kaia Gerber, the runways were star-studded. But alongside the familiar faces, a new generation of models was out in full force, whether making history like Instagram find–turned–Prada muse Anok Yai or impressing one casting director after another à la Adut Akech. There were college students, aspiring wildlife activists, and even former Chipotle servers making waves, and they hail from everywhere from suburban Pennsylvania to Trinidad and Tobago. Here, a look back at the young women who ruled the runways of New York, London, Milan, and Paris.
Hometown: Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Highlights: Chanel, Stella McCartney, Versace, Alexander Wang
An all-American beauty in the mold of Brooke Shields, Roche built on the momentum of last season’s Givenchy exclusive by becoming the girl most wanted during the Fall collections. Elegant yet capable of transforming with every show, Roche will be a girl to watch this year.
Hometown: Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, India
Highlights: Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, Burberry, Alexander Wang
With her bowl cut and incredible bone structure, Sharma is one of a kind. Though she was already a favorite of Demna Gvasalia’s as seen in last season’s exclusive, Fall offered her the opportunity to spread her wings.
Highlights: Saint Laurent, Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, Valentino
If one new model defined Fall 2018, it was Akech. Since debuting with a Saint Laurent exclusive last year, she has become an unmistakable presence on the runway and in editorials. With her grace, cherubic features, and killer walk, Akech was an integral part of nearly every big show this season.
Hometown: Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu, France
Highlights: Prada, Altuzarra, Givenchy, Dior
It doesn’t get more gamine that Normand, the French newcomer with the Winona Ryder pixie cut and unmatched charm. Since first appearing on the scene last season with a Prada exclusive, she has risen through the ranks, landing consistent work with both Prada and Dior in addition to her incredibly successful Fall runway season. Fashion’s next Gallic sensation has enviable personal style on top of everything else.
Hometown: Zhengzhou, China
Highlights: Alexander Wang, Valentino, Loewe, Calvin Klein
Opening Alexander Wang’s final New York show is one way for a model to get noticed, but this season, Liu didn’t need any help in that department. The interior design grad student turned model made a lasting impression on casting directors, racking up one great show after another.
Rebecca Leigh Longendyke
Hometown: Hurley, New York
Highlights: Chanel, Valentino, Chloé, Calvin Klein
Nothing beats a classic, and Longendyke certainly fits the bill. Tall, blonde, and unquestionably pretty, she has a throwback quality that made her stand out at big-ticket shows like Saint Laurent and Calvin Klein.
Highlights: Miu Miu, Missoni, Marc Jacobs
From the counter at Chipotle to the big leagues, Williams started the season with a cover of Italian Vogue and plenty of buzz. Discovered only last year, she has already been shot by big-time photographers like Steven Meisel and David Sims, and on the runway, she’s no slouch either.
Naomi Chin Wing
Hometown: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Highlights: Miu Miu, Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein
Having grown up admiring top models like Joan Smalls, Caribbean beauty Wing now works with her heroes. Following up on last season’s breakout moment in Paris, Wing became an in-demand talent, landing on every casting director’s must list and even walking right alongside Smalls at Off-White.
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Highlights: Loewe, Versace, Prada
She was busy teaching before getting scouted back in July of last year, and Abioro used Fall 2018 to deliver a runway master class. After starting with a Prada exclusive alongside some of the world’s biggest models, she handled shows including Saint Laurent and Miu Miu like a pro.
Hometown: Manchester, New Hampshire
When you make history, all you need is one great show. As the first black model since Naomi Campbell to open Prada, Yai follows in the footsteps of greats. She was discovered on Instagram and quickly landed in front of the camera for Willy Vanderperre, showing promise off the runway as well as on, and her moment at Prada sets the stage for even greater things.
Hometown: San Diego
Highlights: Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Hermès, Prada
From studying STEM in college to walking the best runways in the world, California girl Ogg has continuously distinguished herself. During her first-ever Fashion Week, she managed to land every big show on the calendar.
Highlights: Givenchy, Valentino, Hermès, Calvin Klein
You never know when fame will come calling. Spotted on a Manhattan subway platform by an eagle-eyed scout prior to making a splash at Calvin Klein, Jobe is among the season’s most beautiful discoveries. With a commanding presence—whether beneath layers of silver Raf Simons or in a Givenchy gown—this model is poised for great things.
Highlights: Burberry, Dior, Jacquemus, Valentino
When Baradji appeared on the runway at Balenciaga last season with her Afro, confident walk, and dramatic good looks, all of the fashion asked, “Who’s that girl?” For Fall, she tackled every city on the circuit and landed a host of new fans at shows like Valentino and Dior.
Hometown: Split, Croatia
Highlights: Versace, Marni, Prada, Saint Laurent
Brakus isn’t messing around. From stomping it out at shows like Versace, Marni, and Prada to landing her second Saint Laurent exclusive in a row, she proved herself a capable runway star with a killer walk not unlike her idol Naomi Campbell’s.
Highlights: Prada, Loewe, Chloé, Louis Vuitton
It takes attitude to pull off one of those Loewe bra tops or a Louis Vuitton leather jacket, and Jiali has it in spades. She’s adorable on Instagram, chic in street style photos, and graceful on the runway—the total package.
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Russia
Highlights: Dries Van Noten, Burberry, Dior, Fendi
Who doesn’t love a Russian runway champ? Bolotina brought a cool-girl vibe to every show she graced. Naturally, that made her catnip for forward-thinking labels like Simone Rocha and Christopher Kane, but the heritage houses liked her just as much. ￼