clock menu more-arrow no yes
Driely S.

Filed under:

The Tomboys Taking Over the Modeling World

The glamorous supermodel look — a 24/7 buoyant blow-out, a closet full of Alaïa — is passé. The top faces of today prefer a uniform of beat-up sneakers and oversize jeans, squeezing into tight dresses and stilettos only when the job requires it. They're more likely to be seen with a skateboard tucked under their arm than a fussy 'It' bag, hair pulled into a no-nonsense ponytail. Even babely '90s icon Cindy Crawford has gone casual, most recently seen modeling eco-friendly sweatshirts with her name in block letters from the made-in-LA brand Reformation.

The industry's current favorite models have a completely different persona off the runway, which is part of their charm. Meet the 18-year-old skater-turned-Marc Jacobs exclusive, the weed sock-wearing bad gal with a Céline campaign, and three others you'll sooner see in Vans than Valentino.


Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.


Natalie Westling

Left: Anna Sui spring 2016, Photo: Randy Brooke/Getty Images; Right: On the street, September 2014, Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Westling is the teen who snagged an exclusive in Marc Jacobs's gothic-inspired spring 2014 runway show. That lead to a placement in the American designer's ad campaign where she posed next to Miley Cyrus. The Arizona native has consistently booked shows for Saint Laurent — Slimane loves a grunge girl, after all — and scored a solo campaign for Miu Miu's resort 2015 collection. Off the runway, and out of those hyper-styled ad shots, she typically wears black jeans and big T-shirts, and can usually be spotted carrying her favorite accessory, a skateboard.


Binx Walton

Left: Balmain spring 2016, Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Right: On the street, September 2014, Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Tennessee-born Leona Walton uses the moniker 'Binx' professionally, a childhood nickname drawn from the Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks. Like Westling, Walton also got her big break with a Marc Jacobs exclusive, and was first seen walking his fall 2013 show at age 17. In the years since, she's climbed the model power rankings, earning campaigns with major brands like Céline, Fendi, Coach, and Balmain. Between fashion jobs, you'll find her in low-slung jeans and sneakers, often next to her best friend and fellow model Lexi Boling (below).


Lexi Boling

Left: Christian Dior spring 2016, Photo: Victor Boyko/Getty Images; Right: On the street, July 2015, Photo: Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

Lexi Boling has something of a "bad girl" reputation within the fashion bubble, flipping off street style photographers during smoke breaks in tees and ripped jeans. Her IDGAF attitude and strong social media presence (32,000 Instagram followers with a bio that reads, simply, "Trouble") are part of her allure, but have also garnered her negative press, such as earlier this year when she was accused of bullying fellow model Kendall Jenner. That didn't stall her career, though: the 22-year-old walked Alexander McQueen, Loewe, Isabel Marant, and more during the spring 2016 collections, adding to an already impressive list that includes Balenciaga and Lanvin and repeated campaigns for Prada and Alexander Wang.


Stella Lucia

Left: Rochas spring 2016, Photo: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images; Right: On the street, February 2015, Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Despite her personal penchant for streetwear, Stella Lucia has become a go-to for refined labels like Chanel and Fendi. Now 16, the Austrian-born model was discovered on Facebook at the tender age of 13 by the Viva London modeling agency. In her short career, she's amassed an enviable portfolio, including runway work for Jean-Paul Gaultier and Giles, and campaigns for Givenchy and Versace Jeans. Between gigs in Paris and Milan, you'll find Lucia in New York with her stylist boyfriend.


Hanne Gaby Odiele

Left: Giambattista Valli spring 2016, Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Right: On the street, October 2015, Photo: Driely S. for Racked

Hanne Gaby Odiele is the veritable OG of the new class of tomboyish models. She's been a fixture on runways since 2008, from New York's gritty Alexander Wang to Paris's polished Christian Dior, coming up with a class of girls including Anja Rubik and Ali Stephens. She's become a favorite of street style photographers thanks to her unique spin on just-off-the-runway looks and is lauded as one of the best-dressed street style stars each season. On Instagram, you'll find her taking pre-fashion week vacations with her model friends (routinely topless) or outside shows in baggy trousers and combat boots.

Farewell From Racked

Best of Racked

Best of Racked Essays

Best of Racked

Best of Racked Funny Stuff