Fashion Week can make or break a new model’s career. Walking in big shows can launch a model (superstars Agyness Deyn, Lily Donaldson, and Jessica Stam got their start on the runways), and can guarantee a new level of fashion-world exposure. Though hundreds of girls strut down the catwalk each season, only a handful emerge as the faces to watch. Meet The Daily Beast's picks for the top new girls in town.
Shelby Coleman With her distinctive freckles and 5'9" stature, this model from Skokie, Illinois, was discovered in 2007 at 16 years old by Parisian designer Giambattista Valli, and signed to IMG Models in 2008. Shelby walked her first New York Fashion Week for the Spring ‘09 season last year, booking shows with Nicole Miller, threeASFOUR, Tracy Reese, Kris van Assche, William Rast, Tory Burch, Mara Hoffman, and most recently the Akris Resort 2009 and Giambattista Valli pre-Fall 2009 collections. With extensive runway experience already, a powerhouse agency behind her, and striking features from an African-American/Irish/Native-American background, it's easy to see why Shelby will have a busy year in 2009.
Addison Gill Addison Gill won the V magazine and Supreme Management model search in November 2008 at 16 years old. Now this 5'10" Canadian-born model will secure her spot as a rising star with a February spread in V magazine and her debut on the runways this season. The Supreme and V magazine competition touts the dernier cri of fresh faces, with previous winner Amanda Laine walking the runway last season for such luminaries as Balenciaga, Dries van Noten, Givenchy, Rodarte, and Marc Jacobs. Addison's features are already being compared to established models such as Lily Donaldson and Coco Rocha, setting some very high standards for this green-eyed newbie.
Diandra Forrest Discovered by photographer Shameer Khan while walking down 34th street in New York, this 5'11" Bronx native signed to Elite Models just two weeks ago and is already creating a huge buzz around the industry with her stunning look. Khan often presents unsigned models to agencies when he feels they have potential and views Diandra as an unconventional beauty with a great agency at just the right time, telling The Daily Beast, "Diandra has a different look from all the other models. A lot of people have never seen a girl like her before. It's like when Alek Wek first came out". As the newest face on the scene, Diandra's set to become a star editorially and on the international runway in 2009.
Myf Shepherd Born in Cairns, Australia, Myf signed with Next Model Management in 2008 and has since walked the runway for Gucci, Jil Sander, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, Miu Miu, Christian Dior, Valentino, and Chanel. With strong editorial work in Australian and Italian Vogue, Numero, Dazed and Confused, among others, and with Levi's and Miu Miu campaigns under her belt, Myf has already been named a top newcomer by fashion insiders and has been scoring big with this Fashion Week's go-sees. Myf told The Daily Beast she's excited to get a peek at the collections, adding,"New York is especially interesting because of the mix of established and emerging designers."
Arlenis Sosa At 5'11", Dominican-born Arlenis was immediately signed to modeling agency Marilyn in 2008 and is now the new face of Lancôme. She opened and closed the Spring 2009 Oscar de la Renta show in New York, opened the Spring 2009 Bottega Veneta show in Milan, and last year walked the runway for a slew of international designers, including Hermès, Ralph Lauren, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Michael Kors, Rag & Bone, Zac Posen, Celine, John Galliano, Narciso Rodriguez, and Jean Paul Gaultier. With high-profile editorial shoots in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and 10 magazine, Arlenis was also photographed by Steven Meisel for the all-black issue of Italian Vogue and more recently by Terry Richardson for the French Vogue calendar.
Katie Fogarty Signed to Next Model Management and scoring the Balenciaga and Miu Miu campaigns for Spring 2009, Katie Fogarty is another girl to watch. Next agent Stephen Lee tells The Daily Beast that along with Myf Shepherd, Missouri-born Katie is at the forefront of new girls introduced to the market by the agency. Walking for Jill Stuart, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, and Ohne Titel last season, Katie made headlines by tumbling in a pair of notoriously high heels at the Prada collection in Milan. The misstep only served to increase her profile as a top newcomer with breakout editorials in British and Italian Vogue, Dazed and Confused and 10 magazine. Katie told The Daily Beast "Fashion week is full of surprises, excitement, fun, adrenaline, and exhaustion. All I have to do is stay awake for it all!"