Even though the 90s era of the ‘supers’ is behind us, models are arguably more prominent than ever – thanks to social media, of course.
More than just clothes horses, models bring fashion brands to life, on the catwalk, and in campaigns, and are becoming increasingly vocal on social issues. Now, a definitive list of the five biggest models of the moment has been released, courtesy of the British Fashion Council. Ahead of the British Fashion Awards on December 2, the nominees for “Model of the Year” have been announced.
The winner will be someone who has “dominated the industry” over the past 12 months, with the council saying: “With an influence that transcends the catwalk, the Model of the Year has made an outstanding contribution to the industry, garnering numerous editorial and advertising campaigns throughout the year.” This is a prestigious accolade that has been won in the past by Kate Moss, Karen Elson, and Lily Cole. The list of nominees this year is one of the most international and diverse yet – so who’s in the running?
An African-American of Chinese, Thai, and Nigerian heritage, Adesuwa Aighewi is one of the newer faces on the list. This doesn’t make the 27-year-old’s CV any less impressive – Aighewi has modeled in campaigns and walked the catwalk for all the major names, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Marc Jacobs.
For the past few seasons, a fashion show would rarely go by without an appearance from Adut Akech. The Sudanese model emigrated to Australia from Kenya as a child, and has become the darling of the industry at just 19 years old. As well as working with everyone from Fendi and Saint Laurent to Valentino and Versace, she was the second ever black model to close the Chanel haute couture show. And as someone who went from refugee to world-famous model, Akech also works with the UN Refugee Agency.
British model Adwoa Aboah is no stranger to this list, having won Model of the Year in 2017. As well as modeling for big brands, the 27-year-old has become a regular face in prominent fashion magazines. Outside of modeling, Aboah has set up online community for young women called Gurls Talk that covers issues like mental health, sexuality, and education.
Kaia Gerber will likely be hoping for a two-year streak as she was awarded Model of the Year 2018. If you think she looks familiar but don’t know why, it’s probably because she’s the spitting image of her mother – one of the original ‘supers’, Cindy Crawford.
Gerber started modeling aged 10. Now 18, she regularly walks for Burberry, Alexander Wang, Chanel, and more. She’s the face of the ‘Daisy’ perfume by Marc Jacobs and has dipped her toes into designing with a collaboration with the late Karl Lagerfeld. With 4.9 million followers on Instagram, she’s very much leading the way as a Gen-Z model.
Last but not least is 25-year-old Winnie Harlow, who somewhat unexpectedly got her start on reality TV show America’s Next Top Model. Even though she didn’t win, Harlow’s career has gone from strength to strength – she modeled for Spanish brand Desigual before making the leap into high fashion.
Harlow has worked with the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and Fendi, and has appeared in Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. The model has become known for having vitiligo, a skin condition that causes white patches to appear due to a lack of melanin. She often celebrates her vitiligo and speaks out about the bullying she endured growing up because of it.