As the final moments of 2013 come to a close, it’s time to step back and assess the year in a traditional fashion: take stock of the happy times, the sad times, make unachievable resolutions, remember the good friends we’ve had and the good friends we’ve lost, and, you know, make a list of the models who really knocked our socks off.
Hey, this ain’t a warm and fuzzy self-help journal; it’s The Style Con.
We’re not going to bore you with the perpetual cash cows, the multi-million Candice Swanepoels, the Miranda Kerrs, not even the Kate Mosses. And we’re definitely not going to sing the continued praises of Cara Delevingne and her catalogue of Emoji-worthy faces. We’re not going to talk about the year that was Karlie Kloss and her goddamn “Karlie Chop.” No, we’re talking about the up-and-comers, the fashion fetuses on the verge.
Considering all of the important happenings going on in the world this year, you might consider this a frivolous, silly little list. And it probably is. But, hey, look on the bright side; if anything will keep you off cake for 2014, these waifs certainly will.
1. Yumi Lambert
If the modeling world had the equivalent of character actors, Yumi would be one. With those cat eyes and cherub cheeks, this Belgian model manages to fit in everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
2. Dalianah Arekion
Now this is a face that could single-handedly shift the fashion pendulum away from the washed-out Eastern Bloc beauties of the last decade into something heartier. So far, she hasn’t made that big of an impact on the runways, but has clearly burrowed herself into the heart of Givenchy… not a bad place to be, really.
3. Ji Hye Park
This South Korean model can book everyone from Chloe to Kenzo to Celine and back again. International editions of Vogue have Park in their editorials on the regs and she got that Calvin Klein campaign thing in her back pocket. Plus, girl looks pretty bangin’ in a pair of overalls.
4. Magda Laguinge
Okay, so she’s been around for a few years, but this girl remains my perfect brand of weird. With giant eyes and a face set in a permanently hostile (but beautiful) resting position, Magda is like the second coming of Mariacarla Boscono.
5. Sasha Luss
We covered this blue chip blonde in our “From Nada to Prada” series earlier this year, singing plenty of praises for the Russian-born model and her epic FW13 runway record. Expect more of her in 2014.
6. Malaika Firth
This girl brings me back to the ‘90s glory days. Can’t even tell you why, given that my ‘90s “glory days” were spent learning how to read and playing softball. In one short year, the Kenyan-born model scored campaigns for Prada and Burberry, as well as booking all the big shows – including Victoria’s Secret. Expect this chick to be rolling in the cash on the regular soon.
7. Irina Kravchenko
Another unexpected beauty, Irina is known for her extreme features. She’s got eyes like the narrow slits of medieval armor, cheekbones that could crack diamonds, a strong jaw, and, to top it all off, red hair. It’s everything all at once, and it’s perfect.
8. Kate Goodling
Kate Goodling is, hands down, one of my favorite faces of the year. She’s been killing it in the lookbook department as of late, slanging fancy wares for Narcisco Rodriguez, Donna Karan, even a sporty turn for Rag & Bone.
9. Soo Joo Park
10. Julia Nobis
This blonde beauty has been around for about three years, but 2013 saw her really come into her own as a high fashion regular. She has a masculine sophistication that manages to compliment Haider Ackerrmann and Dries just as well as the more precious houses like Valentino.
11. Binx Walton
When Binx Walton showed up, people took notice. And while the industry routinely finds itself a sucker for a unique name, Binx has a unique face to match. The American model has that badass, hyper-androgynous thing going for her that Omahyra Mota was known for in the late ‘90s. Binx is filling that boyish void.
12: Edie Campbell
An unexpected, unique beauty if ever there were one, Edie manages to bounce from house to house, fitting in just as easily to a frothy Alexander McQueen campaign to a grungy Saint Laurent show. We’re not the only ones to notice, apparently. The British Fashion Awards recently crowned her “Model of the Year.”
13. Tess Hellfeuer
Because sometimes fashion just needs a beautiful girl…