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Model Watch: 10 Striking Up-and-Comers To Know

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Photos: Getty Images
Photos: Getty Images

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Karlie. Cara. Joan. You know their names, their faces, and even their besties. (We're looking at you, Taylor Swift.) But who's next on the catwalk to supermodel stardom? Only time—and the imminent September runways—will tell. In the meantime, Racked narrows the field with this NYFW cheat sheet. Learn all about fashion's future MVPs with some vital info on the rising runway stars. Behold: An aristocrat, a snowboarder, and some other stunning (and multi-faceted) talents.


Photos: Getty Images

Lexi Boling

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Agency: Ford Models
Trademarks: A fun-loving sense of humor seen backstage before shows; a traffic-stopping stare that All-American cool girls do so well
Breakthrough: Alexander Wang has been something of a fairy godfather to the amateur snowboarder—her first two jobs were for Balenciaga's Resort lookbook and Wang's own Spring 2014 show.
Next Steps: Boling has became a bankable presence in the fashion world, scoring campaigns Fall 2014 campaigns for Wang, Coach, and Tommy Hilfiger. Word is her next goal is a Victoria's Secret contract—and like her favorite drink, Redbull, that move could give her wings.


Photos: Getty Images

Imaan Hammam

Hometown: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Agency: DNA Models
Trademarks: A glossy, thick mane of curls; bold, geometric brows
Breakthrough: Kimye BFF Ricardo Tisci chose the Egyptian-Moroccan teen to open Givenchy's Spring 2014 show.
Next Steps: Already a catwalk pro, Hammam's bound to repeat her successful struts for major names like Stella McCartney and Calvin Klein this season...but perhaps something even bigger is in the works—like a haircare campaign?


Photos: Getty Images

Valery Kaufman

Hometown: Moscow, Russia
Agency: The Society
Trademarks: Wolf-like blue eyes; ballet body (she used to be a competitive dancer)
Breakthrough: Though Kaufman's been working steadily since her 2011 debut on Alexander Wang's catwalk, she's just hit the tipping point thanks to a new champion: Saint Laurent's Hedi Slimane, who chose her as the one and only model in his Fall 2014 campaign.
Next Steps: Dior, Valentino, and Armani cast Kaufman in their recent couture shows. Now that she's a Saint Laurent star, this high-fashion face could also very well become the next street style darling. Tommy Ton, are you listening?


Photos: Getty Images

Natalie Westling

Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona
Agency: The Society
Trademarks: Deep, soulful eyes; Manic Panic red hair
Breakthrough: Playing dead next to Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs's Spring 2014 ad campaign. A profile on CNN soon followed, making Westling one of the few new models who's already captured mass media's attention.
Next Steps: Prabal Gurung's Fall 2014 show may have had a streaker, but the most memorable thing on the catwalk wasn't that wacko—it was Westling's flaming red hair paired with Gurung's scarlet red sweater. Thanks to her strong look—and her easygoing vibe, which has endeared her to many top stylists—she should be back in full force on the runways. Bonus: If the weather's nice, maybe she'll take her vehicle of choice—a skateboard—to and from shows.


Photos: Getty Images

Mica Arganaraz

Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Agency: DNA Models
Trademarks: Lush, full lips; long, elegant neck
Breakthrough: Miuccia Prada cast this dark-eyed beauty as the one and only female model in her Fall 2014 campaign—and since the images launched this summer, she's become a blog star, with modeling and fashion sites eager to chronicle her every (gorgeous) move.
Next Steps: Mrs. Prada's kept Arganaraz in her MVP stable, using her in Prada and Miu Miu's latest resort shows. Meanwhile, her long lashes and luscious pout ensure she'll be a beauty photographer favorite backstage, which often helps models score coveted beauty contracts in the future.


Photos: Getty Images/Viva Model Management

Jean Campbell

Hometown: Cawdor, Scotland
Agency: Viva Model Management
Trademarks: A dreamy stream of flaxen blonde hair; a place in the British aristocracy—she's technically Lady Jean Campbell, and her father is the current Thane of Cawdor (not to be confused with a previous Thane of Cawdor, Shakespeare's MacBeth!)
Breakthrough: December 2013, when Campbell debuted in Burberry Prorsum's spring ad campaign, shot by Mario Testino. She went on to walk in the brand's fall show in February.
Next Steps: Since her one-two Burberry punch, Lady Jean's landed several Love magazine spreads and a Louis Vuitton campaign alongside major models Liya Kebede and Freja Beha Erichsen. She's probably headed for muse-dom, à la fellow model-slash-aristo Stella Tennant.


Photos: Getty Images

Leila Nda

Hometown: Brussels, Belgium by way of Burundi
Agency: New York Model Management
Trademarks: Cut-glass cheekbones; mega-watt smile
Breakthrough: When Nda debuted on the runways in February, she scored 10 shows in New York alone, including major names like Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch, and Rodarte.
Next Steps: Her first major cover—for Elle in her native Belgium—just hit newsstands. With more designers finally championing a rainbow of skin tones on their catwalks, there should be more opportunities than ever for Nda to shine.


Photos: Getty Images

Esmeralda Seay-Reynolds

Hometown: Yardley, Pennsylvania
Agency: Next Models
Trademarks: Alluringly pale skin; massive glowing eyes
Breakthrough: When the teen Tim Burton fan began modeling last year, two of her first shows were Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton. Fendi and Chanel soon followed.
Next Steps: After jetting to Dubai (for Chanel) and Monaco (for Vuitton) this spring, Reynolds shot a fashion editorial for W Magazine's massive September issue. She's also a talented artist, posting frequent Instagram doodles that could lead to a brand collaboration—remember Sasha Pivovarova's drawings for Free People?


Photos: Getty Images

Neelam Gill

Hometown: Coventry, England
Agency: Wilhelmina
Trademarks: Huge brown eyes; long, elfin face
Breakthrough: She stormed the Burberry Prorsum Spring 2014 show as an exclusive, then became a campaign face for the brand—making her the first Indian model to star in their ads.
Next Steps: The 18-year-old bookworm was profiled by Teen Vogue and recently interviewed by MTV UK. If the vivacious Londoner gets bored of the runways, she could easily score a gig hosting a web series like her idol Jourdan Dunn—or even be a House of Style regular.


Photos: Getty Images

Harleth Kuusik

Hometown: Tallinn, Estonia
Trademarks: Wispy white-blonde hair; super-cool freckles
Agency: The Society Management
Breakthrough: This March, she starred in Proenza Schouler's ad campaign, after walking their show as a Spring 2014 New York exclusive.
Next Steps: If runway miles were frequent flier miles, Kuusik would already have free airfare for life—she's graced 10 catwalks since May alone. Add Fall campaigns for Coach, Edun, and Valentino, and you've got the makings of an up-and-coming fashion superstar.