Best of the Runway

New York Fashion Week SS 2012: 10 Models To Watch

The Daily Beast looks at ten gorgeous girls to watch at New York Fashion Week this season.

Twice a year, New York Fashion Week brings a crop of new models all competing for a spot in the shows that will catapult their careers. Once veteran models have been booked, New York casting agents fight to fill their lineups with fresh faces.

The Daily Beast rang up casting director James Scully, who has been in the business since 1993 and is casting the Derek Lam, Jason Wu, Carolina Herrera, Victoria Beckham, Oscar de la Renta, and Reed Krakoff shows this season.  So who’s the next Chanel Iman? Scully puts his bets on Nayasha, the 16-year-old beauty in the new Louis Vuitton campaign.

But not all models have range. A girl who befits the “elegant and rich” look of Carolina Herrera’s models won’t necessarily make the lineup for Jason Wu, whose aesthetic is what Scully calls “elegant but also edgy and kooky.” Those who cross over seamlessly, he says, have the most potential. By Lizzie Crocker.

Getty Images

Beegee Margenyte

Age: 20

Get ready for Beegee Margenyte to be a household name in the fashion world. “Beegee will probably do all my shows,” casting director James Scully told The Daily Beast. This lovely Lithuanian has a distinct child-woman allure that belies her twenty years of age. It’s a look that’s been championed by supermodel Natalia Vodianova, who is approaching 30 but could easily pass for 17. With her delicate yet sensuous features, Beegee simultaneously evokes innocence and sexuality; she can morph from nymphet to strong woman by simply changing her facial expression. While Beegee is still relatively new to the industry and has only walked in a few European shows, she’s booked upcoming editorials with industry bigwigs Carine Roitfeld and Mario Testino.

Getty Images

Alyona Subbotina

Age: 20

Givenchy’s Fall 2011 show was stacked with well-known models such as Karen Elson, Natasha Poly, Adriana Lima, Natalia Vodianova, Frankie Rayder, and Izabel Goulart. But the biggest stunner was Alyona Subbotina, the fierce-looking rookie with bleach-blonde eyebrows who opened the show. The 20-year-old Kazakhstani native stood out again in Dolce & Gabbanna’s 2012 resort show, and recently appeared in W and Interview. Keep your eyes peeled for this otherworldly beauty during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and in a number of fall lookbooks.

Getty Images

Nayasha Matonhodze

Age: 16

You might recognize Nayasha from Louis Vuitton’s current ad campaign, shot by famed fashion photographer Steven Meisel. Or you may have mistaken her for Naomi Campbell. Born in Zimbabwe and raised in the U.K., Nayasha shares Naomi’s sultry almond eyes, exaggerated pout, and feline strut. While Naomi has a notoriously fiery temper, 16-year-old Nayasha has already garnered a reputation for being exceptionally mild-mannered and gracious. She was discovered by Elite models in 2009 and quickly became a favorite of LOVE editor and fashion stylist Katie Grand, who booked her with Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Emanuel Ungaro, and Louis Vuitton for her runway debut last season.

Getty Images

Catarina Ravaglia

Age: 16

While many of the biggest fashion houses hail from Italy – Versace, Missoni, Armani, and Valentino, to name a few—Italian models are few and far between. But that’s about to change, thanks to 16-year-old Catarina Ravaglia. Having made her catwalk debut in Paris and Milan last season, this blue-eyed bella donna is expected to be a hit in New York’s spring shows.

Gertrud Hegelund

Age: 20

Though she looks strikingly similar to her sister Agnete Hegelund, Gertrud has a leg up (four inches, to be exact)—an asset that will launch her in the limelight this season. The 20-year-old Danish newcomer—whose  pointy features, high cheekbones, and soft blue eyes are reminiscent of a young Stephanie Seymour—is one of the muses in Louis Vuitton’s latest ad campaign. She’s also graced editorials in Interview, W, and Numero. “Her look is across the board,” said Scully.

Jasmine Tookes

Age: 20

Jasmine Tookes might just be IMG’s next big thing. The California native was 15 when she was shot by renowned photographer Bruce Weber for Abercrombie & Fitch (not bad for a first job). Five years and a handful of ad campaigns later, Tookes is finally emerging as a potential top model. She was one of eight finalists in a competition to be the new face of Sports Illustrated’s 2012 Swimsuit Edition—a tribute to her serious sex appeal—and walked the runway for Marc by Marc Jacobs last season. She’s poised to take the fashion circuit by storm this week, and she might be the most diverse model in New York. Curious about her ethnicity? You’re not the only one. She spells it out on her Twitter profile: “Black, White, Brazilian, West Indian!”

Getty Images

Danni Li

Age: 24

Though she’s not exactly new to the runway, Danni Li is still one of the freshest faces among the current crop of Asian It-models. Li had a shaky run in Thierry Mugler’s fall 2011 show in Paris, tripping and rolling her ankle in 12-inch heels, but followed with several flawless turns on Maison Martin Margiela’s fall runway. She’s already booked to walk for one of fashion’s current design darlings (hint: he’s dressed the First Lady.)

Julia Frauche

Age: 23

Julia Frauche “looks exactly like Raquel Zimmerman,” Scully told The Daily Beast. She has also caught the eye of fashion designer Alexander Olch, who cast her as the ingénue in a film with fellow French model and industry vet Aurelie Claudel. In the black-and-white short, Aurelie fittingly  gives young Julia a lesson—la version francaise—in the art of tying a tie. Aurelie has appeared in numerous J.Crew ad campaigns and catalogues, and Julia may soon follow suit, having modeled runway looks from the label’s Spring 2011 collection.

Corinna Ingenleuf

Age: 20

This might be Andrej Pejic’s female counterpart— and that’s a good thing. No, she won’t be appearing in any men’s shows this season, but her androgynous look is certainly of the moment. The blogosphere has buzzed about the rising German starlet’s uncanny resemblance to Justin Bieber, and though her features are undeniably softer, it doesn’t hurt to be compared to a cultural zeitgeist. Corinna has appeared in Italian Vogue, W, and AnOther, and Craig McDean recently shot her for a fashion feature in Interview’s September issue, modeling “Uptight Urban” chic in an Alexander Wang cape and sunglasses. Keep your eyes peeled for the 5’11” tomboy on the catwalk next week, perhaps in Wang’s signature tough-girl aesthetic.

Court

Age: 16

With her exotic features, Courtney Yakabuski could easily blend in amongst a bevy of Brazilian beauties, despite the fact that she was born and raised in Celebration, Florida. Though the 16-year-old newbie only has a handful of Polaroids in her portfolio, her dark eyes and definitive cheekbones are turning heads. Court’s faintly ethnic look draws comparison to other American supermodels Hilary Rhoda and Karlie Kloss. And she’s dubbed herself with a singular nickname—“Court”—to boot.