You can always count on the runways of fashion weeks around the world to deliver drool-worthy beauty in the form of clothes, shoes, accessories and more! As important as the garments are the absolutely stunning models who wear them. Models help bring the designer’s vision to life and make us stare in awe as they stride down the runway. However, as we watch them, it is hard to ignore one fact: models of color are seriously missing.
A great thing about models of color is that you don’t have to pay too much attention to notice them on a runway. Not just because of their skin color, but because of their demanding presence. They undoubtedly stand out as individuals since their natural features have challenged and defied the beauty standards, which were set by the industry over decades.
For spring 2016, Lineisy Montero, from the Dominican Republic, booked an impressive 68 shows—and the fashion world hasn’t stopped talking about her since. She debuted at Prada autumn/winter 15, and has since rocked her natural hair on every runway imaginable.
Amilna Estevao is another newcomer people can’t stop talking about. At just 17 years old, she has walked an impressive 35 shows for the spring 2016 season and has also walked for Alexander Wang’s fall show. The Angolan-born beauty has enviable cheekbones and a smile that can light up any room.
Indian model Pooja Mor made her major-label debut walking for Louis Vuitton’s cruise 2015 show. She had always dreamed of becoming a model and took the risk of going against her parents’ wishes to follow that dream shortly after graduating with a degree in engineering. Having already made a name for herself modelling in Mumbai, she was discovered on Instagram, which led to her becoming one of the season’s breakout stars. Bhumika Arora, also from India, had a similar entry onto the runway. Spotted on Instagram by a photographer, she soon landed the cover of a local fashion magazine. Her parents were also against her modeling ambition) and instead encouraged her to finish school (she later dropped out of her MBA program to modeling). The risk for both women paid off and together they are opening the door for other South Asian models by walking for big name designers and exposing the world to their striking beauty.
Hyun Ji Shin has walked for Prada, Elie Saab and Miu Miu — just to name a few. The winner of Korea’s Next Top Model season four has definitely lived up to her title. Although she entered the industry knowing very little about modeling, she has proved that she can become a pro in.
Lameka Fox and Alexis Primous both prove how social media, if used correctly, can be beneficial to your career and change your life. Lameka used her Instagram to attract the attention of modeling agency IMG who was scouting models at the time with the hashtag #WLYG, which stands for We Love Your Genes. A short 48 hours later, Fox flew to New York from her hometown in Marylandp and signed a contract with the agency. She has since walked for Marc Jacobs, been featured in ABC Family’s fashion week documentary titled “Baring It All: Inside New York Fashion Week” and is continuing to rise.
Primous was the winner of W Magazine’s Model Search on Instagram. She received an eight-page spread in the magazine, and then went on to walk the runways of designers like Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg and 3.1 Phillip Lim.
These are only a few of the models of color that are on their way to becoming familiar faces. Although there are very little known facts about these models at the moment, there is one thing that cannot be denied: their presence is important. They are part of a group of young women who are slowly changing the face of the modeling industry. As we enter this fashion month, here’s to hoping we see more of these beauties, along with other models of color on the runways in New York, London, Milan, Paris and beyond.