This might’ve been the year that the modeling industry began to awaken to a broader and more diverse definition of beauty. Behind the scenes, the safety and working conditions of models were exposed via social media by people like Sara Ziff and the Model Alliance, Cameron Russell, and James Scully. In response, LVMH and Kering, leaders in the luxury sector, penned a model charter. Front of house, there were changes aplenty as well. According to Forbes, Kendall Jennerhas surpassed Gisele Bündchen as the highest-paid model. Then there was the omnipresence of the Hadid sisters, the return of the supers, the arrival of the sons and daughters of the supers, and too many new faces to count. How to make sense of it all? We turned to you, dear readers. Here, the results of our first in a weeklong series of 2017 polls.
Catwalker of the Year: Two of the most talked-about models of 2017 were Adwoa Aboah and Kaia Gerber. The latter, the daughter of Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford, has cross-generational appeal; as she looks so much like her supermodel mother she invites ’90s déjà vu. British beauty Adwoa Aboah is connected, too; she uses her social media platform @gurlstalk to create a safe space for women while juggling a busy schedule in front of the camera. You welcomed newcomer Kaia Gerber into the top-model fold with 66 percent of the vote.
Sons and Daughters of: Kaia wasn’t the only model extending a catwalk legacy this year. Elfie Reigate, the daughter of British model-turned-nutritionist and Corinne Day muse Rosemary Ferguson was the first model signed to Kate Moss’s agency and continued to make strides during the Spring 2018 season, the same one in which Mingus Reedus, the son of Helena Christensen and Norman Reedus, made a jazzy debut for Calvin Klein. You raised some noise for the latter, who received 57 percent of the vote.
New Faces to Watch: Fashion is in perpetual motion, always in search for the new and the next. One of the industry’s most promising newcomers this year is Hiandra Martinez, from the Dominican Republic, a favorite of Saint Laurent designer Anthony Vaccarello (and yours too, it seems, as she received 83 percent of the vote). Also heating up is the career of Lily Nova, a flame-haired Australian whose looks recall Lily Cole and Gemma Ward and who closed Gucci’s Spring show.
The Supermodels: Few models will ever have the lasting power of this pair. Kirsten Owen, a flaxen-haired grunge icon and muse to Helmut Lang, was a welcome sight as she returned to the catwalk for Shayne Oliver’s one-off collection for the house. In Paris, Naomi Campbell, who needs no introduction, lent her support and glamour to emerging fashion force Virgil Abloh, and earned 89 percent of your vote.