Thursday, October 3, 2013

Top 10 Newcomers - Spring/Summer 2014

The Spring/Summer 2014 season signalled a major shift in the modelling paradigm with a stunning array of promising newcomers whose magnetic beauty and illuminating personalities seem more in sync with the supermodel aesthetic of the early 90s. The eleven models profiled for IMA's Top 10 list of Newcomers possess distinctively individual looks and an almost cinematic quality that commands your attention. Whether it be Kai Newman's smouldering gaze, Anna Ewers' uncanny likeness to supermodel Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Bruna's relatable bi-racial beauty, Hollie-May Saker's delightful imperfections, and Leona Binx's catch-me-if-you-can cheek, what all these newcomers share is that indefinable 'it' factor that casting directors recognise in a heartbeat. This season the pool of new modelling talent was staggering, with at least 20 models in serious contention for IMA's list Top 10 Newcomers. The diversity of models on the Spring/Summer 2014 runways was particularly inspiring to IMA with four models of colour making the final cut. What was most heartening about the predominance of racial diversity throughout the Spring/Summer 2014 season was that by the close of the Paris collections, there appeared to be a colour-blinding effect with the focus being instead on beauty and individuality rather than race, skin tone, and the differences which in the end bind us together as a human race.

1. KAI NEWMAN

Kai Newman
Nationality - Jamaican
Agency - One Management
Image courtesy of One Management

Kingston native Kai Newman emerged like a bolt out of the blue during the New York Spring/Summer 2014 collections with riveting appearances at Marc by Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Y3, Rodarte, and the clincher of all Calvin Klein.  The 178 cm  tall Amazonian-like beauty continued her dream run in Milan, a city notorious for its limited runway opportunities for models of colour, with sizzling turns at Gucci, Alberta Ferretti, Sportmax, Tods, Costume National, Jil Sander, Philipp Plein. Paris likewise embraced Newman's smouldering runway presence with blue chip bookings for Dries Van Noten, Paco Rabane, Nina Ricci, Vanessa Bruno, Acne, Miu Miu, and Hermés. With an uncanny resemblance to 90s top model Oluchi Onweagba and a refined elegance tempered by a chic sensuality, Newman has emerged as one of the veritable breakthrough stars of the Spring/summer 2014 collections.


2. MAARTJE VERHOEF

Maartje Verhoef
Nationality - Dutch
Agency - Supreme Model Management
Source - thefashionspot.com

Dutch model Maartje Verhoef made her international runway debut opening for Prada during the Spring/Summer 2013 season. The fifteen year old high-schooler swiftly found herself posing for Steven Meisel for the Italian label's Spring/Summer 2013 campaign. Fast-forward a year later, Verhoef has delivered on the initial promise that Prada's casting director Ashley Brokaw recognised by amassing a Spring/Summer 2014 show list that would leave even the most seasoned catwalk veteran dazed. Verhoef bided her time by skipping the New York collections opting to surface instead during London Fashion Week at J.W. Anderson. Milan was where Verhoef made her mark opening for both Jil Sander and Bottega Veneta, and walking in only the most blue chip shows; Alberta Ferretti, Max Mara, Fendi, Francesco Scognamiglio, Iceberg, Emilio Pucci, Marni, and Dolce & Gabbana. Paris was burning and so was Verhoef with an ultra select show list which included Balenciaga, Paco Rabane, Christian Dior, Maison Martin de Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, and Celine. Verhoef's drop dead gorgeous looks and incandescent off the runway personality worked their charm on the casting directors with the most influence.


3. VIKA VOLKUTE

Vika Volkute
Nationality - Lithuanian
Agency - IMG Models
Photographer - Neill Seeto
Image property of Inoubliable Model Army

Lithuanian beauty Vika Volkute was one of the first newcomers that IMA encountered at the Spring/Summer 2014 pre-castings for Natalie Joos. Twenty-three year old Volkute has been modelling since 2008 and has somehow slipped under IMA's radar despite having walked for John Richmond, Les Copains, Dolce & Gabbana, Just Cavalli, and Emporio Armani during previous show seasons. The IMG repped beauty was impossible to miss throughout the Spring/Summer 2014 season due to spell-binding appearances at Richard Chai Love, DKNY, Band of Outsiders, Hervé Léger, Carolina Herrera, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lacoste, Julien MacDonald, House of Holland, Tods, and Guy Laroche. Volkute is a model very much in the ilk of the early 90s supers with spectacular bone structure, haunting olive green eyes framed by heavy brows, and a svelte toned physique equally suited to haute couture and ready-to-wear. Perhaps though it is Volkute's infectious laugh and expressive eyes which make her so endearing both on and off the runway.


4. CINDY BRUNA

Cindy Bruna
Nationality - French
Agency - Wilhelmina Models
Source - allcoveredinglitter.tumblr.com

You know something is definitely up when a Calvin Klein exclusive is bestowed for the first time ever upon a model of colour. French newcomer Cindy Bruna backed up that history making Calvin Klein exclusive with opening slots at Temperley London and Roland Mouret. Bruna's combination of classic beauty and a magnificent 180 cm leggy frame brought a pinch of 80s supermodel nostalgia to the runways of  Balmain, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta, Giorgio Armani, Anthony Vaccarello, Jean Paul Gautier, and Givenchy. Bruna's Italian and Congolese heritage make for a compelling proposition with a luxuriant caramel complexion, exquisite almond shaped eyes, and a look that appeals to a broad cross-section of clients. Watch for Bruna's accessible and relatable beauty to place her in prime contention for key campaign slots in the fallout of the Spring/Summer 2014 show season.


5. ANNA EWERS

Anna Ewers
Nationality - German
Agency - Women Model Management
Photographer - Piot Marzec
Source - tumblr.com/annaewers

The buzz surrounding Claudia Schiffer look-a-like Anna Ewers has been building since the Fall/Winter 2013 Paris collections where she booked five blue chip runway slots. Ewers Fall/Winter 2013 appearances at Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton, and Valentino were the precursor to her stunning turn on the runway at Prada's Spring/Summer 2014 Menswear show. Ewers left no doubt as to her intentions for the Spring/Summer 2014 season with her opening slot at Alexander Wang followed by a deluge of bookings that included Altuzarra, Diane Von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Proenza Schouler, Derek Lam, Rodarte, and Marc Jacobs. In Milan Ewers continued her total runway eclipse at Fendi, Prada, MaxMara, Alberta Ferretti, Sportmax, Iceberg, Versace, Emilio Pucci, Marni Salvatore Ferragamo, and Blumarine. With Paris beckoning Ewers picked up steam for a clear home run logging blister inducing mileage at Balenciaga, Isabel Marant, Viktor & Rolf, Celine, Stella McCartney, Sacai, Valentino, Miu Miu, and Chanel. Ewers' consistency throughout the Spring/Summer 2014 collections coupled with her uncanny likeness to Germany's most famous modelling export make her a shoe-in for IMA's Top 10 Newcomers list for the season. 


6. LEONA 'BINX' WALTON

Binx Walton
Nationality - American
Agency - Next Models
Image courtesy of Next Models
Source - nextmanagement.com

Don't let Leona Binx Walton's adorable cutie pie persona fool you. The seventeen year old Tennessee native's arrival on the modelling scene signals a definitive shift towards models whose beauty is magnified by an incandescent personality and discernible runway presence. Binx's androgynous looks belie a versatility and an undeniable beauty that will ensure her longevity where others may falter. During the Fall/Winter 2013 season, Binx's impeccable show list included Marc Jacobs, Giles, Sister by Sibling, Versace, and Miu Miu. Binx's inclusion in the Prada Spring/Summer 2014 Menswear show and Ashley Brokaw's stern nod of approval had industry insiders hedging their bets on the charismatic teen in the lead up to the Spring/Summer 2014 season. Binx rose to the challenge demonstrating awe-inducing versatility at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Narciso Rodriguez, Marc Jacobs, Giles, Fendi, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Marni, Missoni, Celine, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, and Louis Vuitton. Behind Binx's cheeky grin and her devil may care persona is an ambitious and truly compelling model who is here for the long haul.


7. OPHELIE GUILLERMAND

Ophélie Guillermand
Nationality - French
Agency - Women Model Management
Photographer - Unknown
Source - modelsandco.net

Ophélie Guillermand continues the current insurgence of French beauties storming fashion's runways. Guillermand's sophisticated beauty was omnipresent throughout the Spring/Summer 2014 collections  at Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Giles, Jil Sander, Emilio Pucci, Marni, Balenciaga, Balmain, Nina Ricci, Celine, Chloé, Alexander McQueen, Miu Miu, Chanel, and Hermes! IMA had the pleasure of running into Guillermand twice during New York Fashion Week at castings for Oscar de la Renta and Natalie Joos. On both occasions, Guillermand's cinematic beauty stood out from the sea of newcomers making her an inspired choice for casting directors and designers. Guillermand's refined yet imposing beauty are complimented by a wonderful fashion sensibility and inquisitive nature. Guillermand shows the true signs of a bonafide star in the making with an extraordinary and distinctive beauty, a compelling runway presence, and that undeniable it factor that is as elusive as her beauty.


8. HOLLIE-MAY SAKER

Hollie-May Saker
Nationality - British
Agency - Trump Models & Elite Paris
Photographer - Rokas Darulis
Source - thefashionspot.com

British model Hollie-May Saker was one of the standout newcomers of the Spring/Summer 2014 season due to her one-of-a-kind feline-like, gap-toothed beauty and her larger-than-life personality. Hollie-May was a little slow off the mark in New York walking for a select few shows including A Detacher, Marchesa, and Marc Jacobs. Things picked up considerably for the strawberry blonde Liverpool native back on home turf with key runway bookings for Burberry Prorsum, Giles, John Rochas, Jonathan Saunders, and Mary Katrantzou. During the Milan collections, Hollie-May emerged as a true contender bringing plenty of sass appeal to the runways of Just Cavalli, DSquared2, Fendi, Sportmax, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, and Giorgio Armani. Hollie-May's dynamic and brassy personality was allowed to shine in Paris when she palmed off a pair of brazen Fema demonstrators at Nina Ricci all the while maintaining her hypnotic runway sagger and composure. With the finish line in sight, Hollie-May blitzed the field with appearances at Sonia Rykiel, Veronique Leroy, Kenzo, Chanel, Miu Miu, and Zadig & Voltaire. A favourite amongst street style photographers for her friendliness and generous spirit, Hollie-May is destined to land key editorial and campaign bookings in the months ahead.


9. MALAIKA FIRTH

Malaika Firth
Nationality - Kenyan/British
Agency - NYMM
Photographer - Felix Wong
Image courtesy of Premier Models

IMA spoke exclusively to Kenyan/British beauty Malaika Firth in the lead up to the Spring/Summer 2014 collections and she revealed that she had been preparing for the season ahead by doing her house chores in high heels. Firth's hard work paid off with the bambi-like beauty amassing a staggering 55 show bookings. Firth was ubiquitous throughout the Spring/Summer 2014 season with jaw droppingly beautiful appearances at Altuzarra, Calvin Klein, Proenza Schouler, Jason Wu, Christopher Kane, Giles, Burberry Prorsum, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin, Celine, Stella McCartney, and Miu Miu to name but a few. It was a landmark opening and closing slot at Valentino which confirmed to all the significance of Firth's emergence as one of the most exciting prospects to arrive on the modelling scene in eons. With a Prada campaign already to her credit and a British Vogue supplement cover hitting newsstands as we speak, Firth is poised for a truly remarkable campaign and editorial season.


10. NATALIA SIODMAK

Natalia Siodmak
Nationality - Polish
Agency - IMG Models
Source - thefashionspot.com

It is always gratifying to IMA to witness a model who has put in the hard yards finally making the leap to modelling's major league. Polish stunner Natalia Siodmak has truly earned her place on the runways that matter most, having modelled from as early as 2006. The blonde haired gap-toothed beauty modelled locally in Poland, Tokyo, and wider Europe for a diverse array of publications including French Marie Claire, the Japanese and French editions of Elle, Vanity Fair Italia, Pulp Magazine, I Love Fake, and Nylon. The turning point in Siodmak's modelling trajectory arrived in the guise of a Givenchy Fall/Winter 2013 exclusive appearance which had industry insiders marking her as a star on the rise. Fast forward to the present Spring/Summer 2014 season and Siodmak has truly come into her own with a commanding presence at Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Christopher Kane, Gucci, Versace, Emilio Pucci, Nina Ricci, Jean Paul Gaultier, Stella McCartney, and Givenchy. Siodmak's pale translucent complexion, haunting baby blues, and gap toothed grin may be seen individually as flaws  however collectively create a stunning visual effect. The significance of this moment will surely not be lost on Siodmack who has truly earned her place in modelling's spotlight.


11. ANNE-SOFIE LIST

Anne Sofie List
Nationality - Danish
Agency - Supreme Model Management
Photographer - Neill Seeto
Image property of Inoubliable Model Army

The depth of modelling talent this season requires the inclusion of one additional newcomer to IMA's list of Top 10 Newcomers. IMA encountered Danish model Anne Sofie List on two separate occasions during New York Fashion Week at the pre-castings for Oscar de la Renta and Natalie Joos. Twenty year old List is an absolute dream to photograph and possesses a laid back personality and candour that is truly refreshing. List is an ingenue in every sense displaying a wide-eyed innocence, charisma in spades, and a coltish 181 cm frame. During the New York collections, List landed key bookings for BCBG Max Azria, DKNY, Rag & Bone, Theysken's Theory, Osklen, and Zero + Maria Cornejo. As the season unfolded, the imposing Dane displayed consistency in the remaining fashion capitals at Sister by Sibling, Alberta Ferretti, Emporio Armani, Les Copains, Angelo Marani, Gianfranco Ferré, Cividini, and Chanel. List's animated expressions, engaging personality, and mix of in your face beauty and compelling androgyny land her last but certainly not least on IMA's list of favourite newcomers for Spring/Summer 2014.

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