More so than in any other city, Milan designers and casting directors are known to favor established models over newcomers, but this week we witnessed a slew of fresh faces break through to the front of the pack. Many of the girls who started strong in New York and London (specifically, Malaika Firth, Anna Ewers, Kate Goodling, and Ophelie Guillermand) kept the pace up in Italy. Then Miuccia Prada and casting director Ashley Brokaw introduced us to a whole new set of noteworthy rookies, including Nastya Sten (bottom left), Irina Liss (bottom right), and Paulina King. Flaxen-haired Sten debuted as an exclusive at Proenza Schouler (another Brokaw-cast show), scored a semi-exclusive spot at Prada, and went on to walk Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta, Roberto Cavalli, and open Aquilano.Rimondi. Meanwhile, we’ve fallen head over heels for Liss’ tight-lipped look. The otherworldly Russian followed up her Prada premiere with turns at Jil Sander, Dolce & Gabbana, and Missoni. Finally, King made a splash at Prada, Marni (she bookended the show), and Jil Sander.
Another thing Milan was previously known for was overlooking minorities, so it was thrilling to see many of our favorite up-and-coming black models, including Firth, Binx Walton (top right), Cindy Bruna, Maria Borges (we never could’ve guessed that she would open Giorgio Armani), and Kai Newman making major strides this week. Newman, who hails from Kingston, Jamaica, positively wowed us at Gucci and Jil Sander. We can’t wait to see her go on to crush it in Paris.
Natalia Siodmiak (top left) is someone who has been making the rounds for several seasons but is suddenly at the top of everyone’s watch lists. After ending London on a high note with turns at Christopher Kane and Giles, the gap-toothed beauty cranked up the sex appeal at Gucci, Versace, and Emilio Pucci, and opened and closed Max Mara. It’s gratifying to see someone who’s been paying her dues finally have a moment. Speaking of moments, who could forget Moschino’s memorable roster of old-school supes, including Pat Cleveland, Alek Wek, Erin O’Connor, Jodie Kidd, and Diana Dondoe? Another runway high point was Liya Kebede and Malgosia Bela walking Emilio Pucci. And, naturally, there’s plenty in store for model-followers in Paris. Just today, iconic Snejana Onopka made a cameo appearance at Anthony Vaccarello, whipping the Fashion Spot forums into a frenzy.