One of the major highlights of Milan Fashion Week is the debut of new faces and model exclusives on the Prada runway, both of which, along with opening or closing the show, have always been highly coveted bookings for any model. The fashion world can never predict or anticipate what Miuccia has in store. Everyone scrambles to find out who opened Prada and watch for that one new face that will become the next success story. With the men’s campaign casts featuring Hollywood actors for the past five consecutive seasons, the influential designer continues to reflect on retro cinematic aspects even in her shows. The S/S 2014 men’s season drew heavy influences from ‘Tiki Culture’—a time when Tiki bars started popping up in the US after WWII and young soldiers returned from exotic locations, bringing those Polynesian elements back to the dark, war-weary western countries. Casting Director Ashley Brokaw translated this notion through the cast of young and diverse exclusives and debuts which may hint at the mixture of cultures and spirit of that era.
Newcomer Tim Schuhmacher had the coveted honor of opening and closing the show. The German model’s distinct features evoked the subtle unease of the show’s story of “war and love” in a “menacing paradise.” Fellow Germans Simon Paul and Luca Jamel Paetznick also landed their first runway show as debut exclusives. We also saw the faces of other debut exclusives on that incredible Prada set that included Canadian Adam Butcher, British Harvey James, Swedish Fredric Jonsson and Slovakian Jakub Pastor. Freshly scouted by Elite London just last month while playing basketball, Valters Medenis also started his SS14 as a debut exclusive. Additionally, it was the first we’ve seen Dutch Simon Fitskie, Danish Andreas Sanby and Chinese Jin Dachuan appear at a major European show. With runway experience under their belts, former YSL debut exclusive opener Tobias Lundh, British model William Crona and Danish model Simon Blom all booked the Italian brand as exclusives. First seasoners Merlin Watts and Duncan Proctor were also named as exclusives.
Credits: Written by Tori Leung. Photos courtesy of the models’ agencies.