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13 Top Breakout New Faces of S/S 2013

The casting landscape of the Spring/Summer 2013 season in New York, London, Milan, and Paris demonstrated the fickle recessional taste of designers, stylists, and casting directors in the current economical climate — a phenomenon that is heightening worries in the modeling world as new and old faces are now even more disposable than ever. S/S 2013 was undoubtedly the season of new faces — and a powerlessly long list of exclusives. In fact, there were few runways that were not dominated by beginner catwalkers. Nonetheless, in the sea of hundreds of girls that began their first full international runway debut this season, there were some standout and breakout stars that caught our eyes a few times over. The following 13 new runway models have made an impression this season from a combination of the quality and quantity of their show list and notable opening and closing spots. Throughout the entire fashion month, it was these 13 girls that continued to inspire multiple designers and tastemakers of the cities in which they walked. All 13 models are true new faces — girls who have not fully debut intensively in more than one major fashion capital until S/S 2013. The list includes 2 Americans, 2 Ukrainians, 2 Frenchies, 1 South Korean, 1 Russian, 1 Belgian, 1 Canadian, 1 Pole, 1 German, and 1 Dane. While there were also other girls that caught our attention, we definitely believe that these 13 Top Breakout New Faces should be recognized for the outstanding show season they just had, and we wish them more success and an enjoyable modeling career!

Antonina Vasylchenko from Ukraine
IMG New York – IMG London – IMG Milan – IMG Paris
21 Shows | Open: 2 | Close: 1

Highlights: Antonina landed on our radar over the summer at the Christian Dior Haute Couture F/W 2012.13 show. Following that debut, her clean youthful beauty also caught the attention of Calvin Klein’s Creative Director Francisco Costa who gave her the honor of opening and closing his S/S 2013 collection show as a CK exclusive. She then continued her catwalk season in Milan and Paris, walking in top shows such as Prada, Jil Sander, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Christian Dior, Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, and Miu Miu. In Paris, she also opened Cacharel.

Esther Heesch from Germany
Next New York – Next London – Next Milan – Next Paris
20 Shows | Open: 1 | Close: 1

Highlights: Esther debuted on the runway this season as one of Miuccia Prada’s 9 Prada exclusives. The German beauty continued her show season in Milan and Paris walking in a total of 20 shows, including Jil Sander, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Celine, Chanel, Chloé, Dries van Noten, John Galliano, Miu Miu, and Vanessa Bruno. She was a standout opening Valentino S/S 2013 in a black dress and closing Roland Mouret.

Grace Mahary from Canada
Ford New York – Premier London – Why Not Milan – Just WM Paris
29 Shows | Open: 0 | Close: 1

Highlights: Grace Mahary from Alberta, Canada is a former basketball player who traded in sneakers for stilettos. She is probably the most interesting personality in this list of 13 because of age and life experiences. The 23-year-old model’s high fashion development is the kind of story we love learning about… She started her career in 2005 after winning the Elle Canada/Quebec Model Search contest. For over 5 years since then, she was in the commercial market in Canada and Los Angeles (where in 2009 she landed an appearance in Trey Songz’s “I Invented Sex/Say Ah” music video). It is not easy for commercial girls to break into high fashion, and most rare to have a music video model be as transformative as Grace. A high fashion gem that took time to be developed, polished, refined, and repackaged, it was not until she traveled to Paris in 2011 to pursue a better modeling career that things began to change. Just WM Paris deserves a lot of credit for this development. In March 2012, Grace debuted on the international high fashion runway as a Givenchy F/W 2012.13 exclusive. Riccardo Tisci followed up the love by booking her again for his Givenchy Haute Couture F/W 2012.13 presentation. She did a full run this season in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, walking for some impressive clients that included BCBG Max Azria, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, Max Mara, Prada, Balenciaga, Balmain, Chanel, Givenchy, Isabel Marant, Louis Vuitton, and Nina Ricci. More buzz-worthy, Grace also closed Hedi Slimane’s first Saint Laurent Paris collection show.

Irina Kravchenko from Ukraine
Ford New York – Premier London – Monster Milan – Nathalie Paris
33 Shows | Open: 4 | Close: 3

Highlights: All eyes on the girl who opened Alexander Wang during the middle of New York Fashion Week! The redhead that was on fire this runway season, Irina booked major top shows, such as Marc Jacobs, Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander, Marni, Missoni, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Sportmax, Balenciaga, Chanel, Givenchy, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Nina Ricci, and Valentino. One of the strongest faces that debut this season, we’re sure all the editors are just as intrigued as us about the girl that also opened Haider Ackermann, Sacai, and Viktor & Rolf and closed Versus, Costume National, and Loewe.

Ji Hye Park from South Korea
Elite New York – Premier London – Why Not Milan – Oui Paris
28 Shows | Open: 0 | Close: 0

Highlights: As Asia continues to become the new growing market for luxury items, the supply pool of Asian models has also expanded. It was a tough season for Asian models as the current top girls are holding tighter onto their positions and over 30 new Asian faces tried to break into the market. The most successful new Asian model this season was the classic face Ji Hye, who got the approval from Alexander Wang, Anna Sui, DKNY, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, Ralph Lauren, Blumarine, Emporio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, Max Mara, Alexander McQueen, Barbara Bui, Carven, Celine, Chloé, Damir Doma, Dries van Noten, Elie Saab, Hermès, Isabel Marant, Louis Vuitton, and Viktor & Rolf.

Juliana Schurig from the United States
Ford New York – Premier London – Elite Milan – Elite Paris
50 Shows | Open: 2 | Close: 1

Highlights: The most-in-demand new face of this season, New Jersey native Juliana was everywhere in all 4 fashion week cities! Starting this season as an Alexander Wang semi-exclusive, Juliana Schurig is the S/S 2013 Comeback Success Story! She began her catwalk career in 2009 walking for a few seasons in only New York to lukewarm reactions from top designers, power stylists, and casting directors. Then she decided to take a modeling break to finish high school. Usually when a model returns to her study and takes a break from fashion week, reigniting the fire of the runway demand often proves to be an unsuccessful venture for many. In fact, there was another “J.S.” who was pursuing a runway comeback this season to dismal results. However, Juliana Schurig’s decision to take a break to grow as a person and develop into her looks proved to be the best thing for her modeling career. She caught the attention of many top clients, including 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Derek Lam, Theyskens’ Theory, Victoria Beckham, Christopher Kane, Acne, Preen, Jonathan Saunders, Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Chanel, Dries van Noten, Giambattista Valli, Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent Paris, Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Alberta Ferretti, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Moschino, Roberto Cavalli, and Versace. Juliana also opened Versus and Kinder Aggugini and closed Cacharel.

Magdalena Jasek from Poland
Marilyn New York – Select London – Monster Milan – Marilyn Paris
29 Shows | Open: 1 | Close: 1

Highlights: The red haired and freckled face Magdalena did not have a momentous start in New York, London, and Milan — minimally supported by top brands Marc Jacobs, Giles, and Sportmax and closing the underwhelming casting at Jen Kao. However, the ultra top clients in Paris had a different point of view and embraced Magdalena on their runways: Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Damir Doma, Giambattista Valli, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Maison Martin Margiela, Rochas, Sacai, Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Viktor & Rolf. Being neglected for top shows in New York, London, and Milan does not always mean an unsuccessful runway season, especially in the case of Magdalena, who ended up opening Celine!

Manon Leloup from France
Wilhelmina New York – FM London – Why Not Milan – Marilyn Paris
32 Shows | Open: 2 | Close: 2

Highlights: Manon started stomping on the catwalks last season during the Fall/Winter 2012.13 shows only in Paris — where she is based. Her runway resume mostly included small shows and presentations. It was the team of Maida Boina & Rami Fernandes, who cast the Calvin Klein show every season, that should be credited for being the first major tastemakers to recognize a standout. The French beauty, whose face resembles that of a classic film actress, was overlooked — probably because of her extremely unflattering showcard image — during New York Fashion Week until the very last day. She skipped London and walked for a few top brands in Milan — Emporio Armani, Jil Sander, Missoni, and Prada. In Paris, momentum picked up. It was great seeing top French labels support a native girl. Manon walked in 15 top shows: Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Carven, Celine, Elie Saab, John Galliano, Julien David, Loewe, Miu Miu, Rochas, Roland Mouret, Stella McCartney, and Valentino. She closed Pedro Lourenco, opened Venexiana, and most notably opened and closed the Nina Ricci S/S 2013 show.

Marikka Juhler from Denmark
Ford New York – Union London – D’Management Milan – Nathalie Paris
20 Shows | Open: 3 | Close: 1

Highlights: Daria Werbowy’s baby sister, is that you? Just kidding, but the resemblance cannot be ignored. Marikka has been practicing for her first official international debut for years, walking at Copenhagen Fashion Week in her home country. If catwalks were all filled with beautiful and distinct Amazons, then we want Marikka — and her early 2000s look– on all of them! She joins Karlie Kloss, Frida Gustavsson, and Irina Kulikova in the Glamazon crew of really tall models (6’0”+), but her solid walk proves that height is nothing but a number. Her S/S 2013 show list include top designers, such as Alexander Wang, Derek Lam, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop Unique, Preen, Ports 1961, Missoni, Gareth Pugh, Lanvin, Loewe, Paco Rabanne, and Rick Owens. She also opened Jonathan Saunders,  Iceberg, and John Galliano and closed Acne. Yet, Marikka’s most memorable and impressive catwalk moment to us was her debut on the Gucci S/S 2013 runway. Designer Frida Giannini’s taste in models is quite steadfast and the most selective of selective. Her loyalty to her favorites is also quite commendable in an industry where models fall out of flavor by every next Monday. Although the casting of her runway shows is very predictable, it follows a clear definition of “who is the Gucci woman?” and only a select group of models in the world are chosen to walk and repeat every season. To be a new face that is selected to walk for Gucci is major — because unlike every other catwalk, the Gucci cast is filled mostly with runway veterans and top models. Thus, instead of being another disposable number in a big sea of new girls, a new face on the Gucci catwalk is part of a rare breed of models that will get noticed by formal and casual observers.

Marine Deleeuw from France
Ford New York – Elite London – Why Not Milan – Elite Paris
47 Shows | Open: 5 | Close: 3

Highlights: Classic French cool — in other words, really beautiful yet oblivious to it! How do we start to talk about the new girl that impressed us most aesthetically on and off the runways? Well, let’s start off by saying Marine’s successes this season took some time and work to build. It wasn’t instant. The 18-year-old French belle was a contestant in the 2011 Elite Model Look France competition, but was not even selected to be in a group of semi-finalists to continue onto the final stage. We now wonder if the girl who won will ever have this much buzz and success. In February 2012, she started walking on the international runway in Milan at very small shows and was in the Celine Fall/Winter 2012.13 presentation that was filled with new faces. Fast forward months later to September 2012 during castings for this season’s New York Fashion Week… Marine was chosen to open BCBG Max Azria S/S 2013 – the first major top show of the season. There is nothing bigger that helps to put a model on everyone’s radar for the rest of the season– semi-exclusives and exclusives are spare change compared to this honor, which was the same one that put Arizona Muse on the map 2 years ago during the S/S 2011 season. The casting team at BCBG Max Azria made the statement and set the tone that this new girl Marine was major! Clients were ringing Ford Models’ phones left to right to get a piece of the new “it” girl who ended her first real show season walking a total of 47 shows. Skipping LFW, Marine walked 13 shows in New York, 15 in Milan, and 19 in Paris. Her top clients included 3.1 Phillip Lim, Calvin Klein, Herve Leger, Narcisco Rodriguez, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Blumarine, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Akris, Balenciaga, Celine, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dries van Noten, Miu Miu, Mugler, Nina Ricci, and Valentino. She also claimed the opening look at Rag & Bone, Anteprima, Giambattista Valli, and Véronique Leroy and closed Jill Stuart, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and John Galliano.

Nastya Kusakina from Russia
Women New York – Premier London – Women Milan – Women Paris
35 Shows | Open: 6 | Close: 3

Highlights: Nastya was put on the map when she opened Raf Simons’s last collection for Jil Sander as an exclusive during the F/W 2012.13 show season in Milan. Her distinct fairy look and big eyes have been very Tumblr-girl popular in the past few months. She walked a total of 35 shows for S/S 2013 – her first full season on the catwalk. The 16-year-old Russian doll walked for top clients like BCBG Max Azria, Donna Karan, Hervé Léger, J. Mendel, Lacoste, Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, Y-3, Alberta Ferretti, Anteprima, Blumarine, Emporio Armani, Ports 1961, Roberto Cavalli, Christian Dior, Dries van Noten, Elie Saab, Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, Kenzo, Lanvin, and Rick Owens. She ended the season as the top new face who opened and closed the most shows. She opened Louis Vuitton, Ann Demeulemeester, Cividini, and Tibi as well as closed Prabal Gurung. Additionally, Nastya’s unique look also inspired design houses Rue de Mail and Vera Wang to give her the honor of not only opening but also closing their shows.

Ondria Hardin from the United States
Ford New York – Storm London – Elite Milan – Elite Paris
23 Shows | Open: 0 | Close: 1

Highlights: The most confident and assured girl of the 13 standout fresh faces is also the youngest. Recently turned 15, Ondria started her high fashion modeling career as one of the faces of the Prada F/W 2011 campaign at age 14. She is the coolest and most controversial runway model at the moment. In the past 2 seasons, she has been walking in a handful of shows only in New York while underage. Disregarding the recommended age restriction guideline set by the CFDA and Vogue and the continued online media criticisms, major tastemakers such as Marc Jacobs, Steven Meisel, Miuccia Prada, and Karl Lagerfeld are in love with the mature beyond her years South Carolina native. Having met Ondria on serveral occasions, we agree that Ondria should definitely be a rare exception. Her S/S 2013 show list include mostly exclusive top casting that consisted of Diesel Black Gold, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, Gucci, Jil Sander, Prada, Versus, Chanel, Balenciaga, Chloé, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, and Nina Ricci. She also landed the prestigious honor of closing the Valentino show in Paris, and Karl Lagerfeld recently confirmed that Ondria will join Stella Tennant as the face of the Chanel S/S 2013 campaign — proving that personality and attitude are also major considerations when it comes to selecting a new modeling star!

Yumi Lambert from Belgium
IMG New York – IMG London – IMG Milan – IMG Paris
25 Shows | Open: 0 | Close: 1

Highlights: The most physically unique fresh face of the season was the Belgian/Japanese Yumi. She started her S/S 2013 runway season pretty dull closing Nicholas K among a C-list cast. New York was a strange city for the top newcomer. Yumi made appearances at only 3 decent shows — Marc by Marc Jacobs, Honor, and Marchesa — and booked 6 small shows and presentations. Although we did easily understand why the runway-veterans-filled NYFW was troublesome for the 17-year-old as she was still in development and needed major improvement on her strut, there was quite some mismanagement of such an exquisite girl. Milan and Paris proved to be a turn around for Yumi as she only booked mostly A-list shows, which included Chanel, Christian Dior, John Galliano, Miu Miu, Nina Ricci. Emilio Pucci, Fendi, Missoni, and Prada. Aesthetically speaking, she is a printwork gem and the 2012 answer to the half-Asian 90s model Devon Aoki who at age 16 replaced Naomi Campbell as the face of Versace.



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Credits: Written by Damian Bao. Images courtesy of the model’s agency.

2 comments on “13 Top Breakout New Faces of S/S 2013

  1. Alexander says:

    This is so good!

  2. sahel says:

    you must see me!!

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