The runways of fashion weeks may seem packed with new faces, but that girl, the gangly teen – all limbs and sharp angles – who in a post-supermodel era can transcend fashion to become a household name in Middle England: she is a rarity. How to pluck her from the crowd of girls with impeccable genes is the industry’s endless preoccupation. Whose arrangement of features, whose dazzling personality will allow her to emulate the heady success of today’s top models – so renowned, a surname is redundant – Arizona, Karlie, or Cara?
Now there is a fresh crop vying for a top-model tag: Grace Gao from China, Americans Dana Taylor and Maggie Maurer, Dafne Cejas from Argentina, Ukrainian Yulia Musieichuk and Maria Borges from Angola. Gao has found early success with editorials in Vogue China and Harper’s Bazaar China. Taylor convinced her photographer father to let her model and made notable appearances for Calvin Klein and J.W. Anderson this season. Maurer, scouted in a grocery store, had a strong season on the catwalks of Calvin Klein, Missoni and Margiela, among others. Cejas scooped editorials in Numéro China and Vogue Paris, while Musieichuk has walked for Roksanda Ilincic and Meadham Kirchhoff. This July, Borges graced the haute couture runways of Raf Simons’ Dior, and walked for designers including Kenzo, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs. An impressive start for six new faces who, in a few seasons’ time, may find themselves among that rare breed. §