Fashion’s next generation of faces
Photography David Sims
Styling Karl Templer
Published February 24, 2018
Growing up on a diet of Ugly Betty and America’s Next Top Model, it’s understandable that Fran Summers was nervous to dip her toes into what she assumed were the shark-infested waters of the fashion world. She was relieved to learn that, in this case, art did not imitate life. “It’s totally more chill than the way it’s portrayed,” she says. “I’ve met some of my best friends since I’ve been at this.” Although still a newcomer, the 18-year-old North Yorkshire native, who was discovered at the makeup counter in a shopping mall, has already walked for Chloé, J.W. Anderson, Louis Vuitton, and Saint Laurent. None of those experiences, however, will match the comfort she felt during her very first show. “It was Christopher Kane, and my nerves were through the roof, but we got to walk in Crocs,” she says. “It was a dream.”
“I was just at Raf Simons’s birthday party,” says Lulu Tenney when asked about her most surreal moment as a model. “At one point, I looked around at all of the influential people sitting in the room and thought to myself, ‘How did I get into this?’ The answer: ever since the 17-year-old New Yorker burst onto the scene with a Steven Meisel-shot Italian Vogue cover in 2016, Simons has hired her for everything from his SS17 campaign for Calvin Klein to the xx’s “I Dare You” music video.
Gisele Fox made her runway debut during Seattle Fashion Week, after a family friend sent photos of her to a local casting agency. “I was mostly just focused on standing up straight and keeping my strides long,” says the 17-year-old of that nerve-racking first walk. Her posture must have been impeccable, because Fox has had a breakout year, popping up in countless shows and appearing in campaigns for labels such as Coach and Prada.
“Jetlag sucks, I guess,” says 18-year-old Ansley Gulielmi when pressed to name the worst part of her dream job. To be fair, she’s had it rather good. At 15, the Grand Rapids, Michigan, native walked into a Ford Models office in “some Vans and a cool T-shirt my friend designed,” and was signed on the spot. For her first runway appearance, she opened the Marni show and “did my thing—I was in my element.” And even though she had to miss her junior prom for work, the shoot involved her dressing up in vintage couture. “It was,” she says, “the first time I had ever felt like a real princess.” Clearly, it won’t be the last: in her still- young career, Gulielmi has already been on the cover of Italian Vogue and campaigns for Givenchy, Lanvin, and Marni.
Luck often plays a part in a model’s success, but Oumie Jammeh was not about to sit around waiting for divine intervention. When the Gambia native turned 18, she started reaching out to agencies in Sweden, where she was living at the time. Jammeh, a Naomi Campbell superfan, wanted to be a model since she was a child. It didn’t take long for her to book her first runway job in Stockholm. “I was shook when I took my first step on the runway,” she says. “I realized then that this was the beginning of something great.” The 22-year-old has since appeared in campaigns for Valentino and Miu Miu, and has walked in every show from Versus to Vuitton.
Growing up in Croatia, Matea Brakus worshipped Naomi Campbell from afar. She never imagined that one day she’d not only meet her idol, but share a runway with her, too. But that’s precisely what happened last fall, when the 16-year-old walked in the Alexander McQueen show alongside the fashion icon.
“Seeing what she has accomplished through all these years is such an inspiration,” says Brakus, who, with appearances on the runways of Chanel, Sacai, and Valentino, is on the way to becoming a legend herself.
Remington Williams was working at a Chipotle in her hometown of Austin, Texas, when she caught the attention of a husband-and-wife duo of talent scouts. Before she knew it, Williams, who was studying graphic design at the time of her discovery, was walking for Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs, who also cast the 20-year-old in his SS18 campaign. “Marc said, ‘Hi, Remington,’ and I was so shocked that he even knew my name that I replied with, ‘I’m good, and you?’”
When she was 15, Naomi Chin Wing enrolled in a modeling workshop, where she won a talent search and was immediately scooped up by an agent. Now represented globally by IMG, the Trinidad and Tobago native has walked for the likes of Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, and Saint Laurent. The secret to her success? “Remain humble,” she says. “Treat everyone equally. Remember where you came from.”
Unlike most careers, Felice Noordhoff’s did not start small. The 17-year-old Dutch native was in Milan, backstage at Prada’s FW17 show, preparing for her first-ever runway appearance. It was only natural that she was nervous. Just before she was set to walk, panic took over and Noordhoff approached the show’s stylist, Olivier Rizzo, and blurted out, “Do I look good?!” She admits it was a rookie mistake, and one she hasn’t made in the many times she’s walked since, for labels including Fendi, Maison Margiela, and Versace. Noordhoff, who has also appeared in campaigns for Givenchy and Valentino, is still in awe of the hard work that goes into bringing everything to life. “Everybody is so driven to create the most beautiful shows and shoots together as a team,” she says. “It’s been so inspiring.”