Posted by | October 4th, 2019

Fashion month is as much about the clothes as it is the models who are tasked by designers and casting directors to bring the collections to life. On the heels of each season reviews the four-city circuit in its entirety to work out which faces are worthy of remark. This means those who debuted walking top-tier shows in multiples (newcomers) and existing talent who demonstrated their best-ever (breakout). Spring/Summer 2020 was in no short supply of either. As well as our own list of models, backed by bookings and their irrefutable presence, top creatives from the industry weighed in to shout out those they thought had that extra show factor. Follow along with the latest from our Top Newcomers here and from our Top Breakouts here.

Cover collage image by Maxwell Burnstein for

The Top Newcomers list is broken down in 2 sections:
Industry Selects’s Selects

Industry Selects

This season we asked five of the industry’s most influential voices for their selection of standout newcomers.

  • Amar Akway

    Lanvin – Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images

  • Dahely Nunez

    Helmut Lang – Photo by Yuchen Liao/Getty Images for NYFW: The Show

  • Krini Hernandez

    Proenza Schouler Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

  • Maty Fall

    Valentino – Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

  • Mona Tougaard

    Chloe – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

  • Sculy Mejia

    Sacai – Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

  • Achenrin Madit

    Stella McCartney Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

  • Bryce Anderson

    Marc Jacobs – Photo by Peter White/FilmMagic

  • Patrycja Piekarska

    Nina Ricci – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

  • Sofa Pletneva

    Valentino – Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

  • Yana Dobroliubova

    Yohji Yamamoto – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

  • Bella Hadid
    (Special mention)

    Vivienne Westwood – Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
    “And a special shoutout to Bella Hadid and her epic season and for her closing Westwood – a great fashion moment.” Selects
Click on a thumbnail to learn more about each model’s incredible season.
1st Season

Ajok Madel

Fresh off the JFK tarmac, there wasn’t a fashion capital that did not feel Ajok Madel’s impact. The South Sudan by way of Perth new face shut it down in epic Tom Ford looks before going on to walk Simone Rocha and closing Victoria Beckham’s 10th anniversary. She then jetted over to Milan to book Max Mara, Versace and close Missoni before wrapping things nicely at Margiela, Valentino and McQueen.

Giambattista Valli Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

Brooke Robinson

A fateful debut, opening slot at Proenza Schouler set the bar high for Brooke Robinson but she kept up the pace. J.W. Anderson soon followed before a wave of Paris showings at Maison Margiela, Chloe, Loewe, Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen.

Loewe Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

Cai Guannan

Just a smattering of high profile shows was all that newcomer Cai needed to steamroll the competition – a Burberry exclusive and then landing in Paris for Balmain, Valentino, McQueen and Chanel sealed the deal.

Burberry Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Chesca Lenton

British rookie Chesca Lenton started off strong on her own turf walking for Victoria Beckham, Burberry and Richard Quinn before deciding she’d have a piece of Milan and Paris, too. Fendi, Ferragamo, Dior, Hermes, and Givenchy was just the right amount of luxury for folks to take notice.

Givenchy Photo by Peter White/Getty Images

Emily Godwin

The top casting directors all wanted Brit rookie Emily and her enviable cheekbones for their flashy shows this season. Burberry, Versace, Saint Laurent, Sacai? Bag secured.

Ports 1961 Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Evie Harris

Who’s that girl? Angelic Evie’s season was precise and perfect, with the beatific Brit babe opening at J.W. Anderson and closing at Loewe. From there came Valentino, Stella McCartney, Chanel, Vuitton and Miu Miu. Heavenly!

JW Anderson Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Hayley Ashton

Hayley kept all the cool kids in thrall from the moment her season began at Sies Marjan in NY until it ended at Miu Miu in Paris. In between were turns at Missoni, Bottega, Mugler and Christopher Kane, and at each of them, Hayley personified bold, unapologetic beauty.

Mugler Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Krini Hernandez

Hopelessly pretty Krini is the dreamy beauty with one of the season’s crispest client lists. The terrific Tapatía can count Proenza, Lanvin, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen as fans—the team at McCartney even tapped her to open the show. Krini’s success makes one thing clear: Mexico is North America’s most essential new scouting destination.

Proenza Schouler – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Lissandra Blanco

Short, sweet, and to the point: Lissandra only walked for four designers, but all of them were mega. The delicate Dominicana with a halo of perfect curls made her mark on the runways of Chanel, Prada, Loewe and Sacai—and each precise, bold booking allowed for maximum impact.

Chanel – Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images

Mica Tosi

Mica is an auburn-haired Argentinian with steely sophistication. Another enigmatic newcomer to strike from seemingly nowhere, Mica may be as green as chimichurri when it comes to the fashion world but—as seen at Dries Van Noten, Fendi and Giambattista Valli, among others—her elegance and poise belie her newbie status.

Paco Rabanne – Photo by Peter White/Getty Images

Mika Schneider

A perfectly executed premiere with Prada as Mika’s first fashion month pit stop. The rest was just as luxurious as her looks with walks for Saint Laurent, Valentino, McQueen, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and others.

Saint Laurent – Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

Penelope Ternes

Fendi’s show closer was the wonderful new German girl Penelope. Her fairest of features were further introduced this season for Celine, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and other priceless catwalks.

Hermes – Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

Sacha Quenby

Sacha will always remember Spring Summer 2020 as the season that started it all. Seeing this bombshell Brit on the runway for Dior, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, McQueen, Chanel and others was a sight for sore eyes.

Sportmax – Photo by Pietro D’Aprano/Getty Images

Sculy Mejia

One moment Sculy’s an exclusive for Prada, the next opening Lanvin, we blink and she’s closing Giambattista Valli––not to mention all the big shows in between like Saint Laurent, Chanel, Miu Miu. Not wanting to miss her next moment, our eyes are glued to this Dominican muse.

Sacai – Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

Zso Varju

Simply, Zso just looks freaking cool on a catwalk. Change our mind. A Simone Rocha opening and a walk for Miu Miu bookended all the proof needed such as a Christopher Kane close plus shows like Prada and Saint Laurent.

Prada – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Breakout Season

Achenrin Madit

The runway circuit isn’t new to Achenrin but this fashion week she soared from the beginning. She started in NY with Jason Wu, Proenza, and the grand finale Marc Jacobs before dominating Europe – J.W. Anderson, Christopher Kane, Prada, Loewe, Dries, Givenchy, and Miu Miu? Her show list sounds like the ultimate shopping spree.

Stella McCartney Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

Ambar Cristal Zarzuela

With a new Vogue cover and lifted Louis Vuitton exclusivity (who’s complaining?), Dominican stunner Ambar had an incredible SS20 season. She started off in New York with Ralph Lauren, Sies Marjan, and Michael Kors before skipping over to Milan for Alberta Ferretti and the winner of MFW, Versace. A top trio of Dior, Chanel, and of course, LV solidified her spot.

Louis Vuitton Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images

Anahi Puntín

Earlier this year Anahi burst onto the scene with an exclusive debut at Prada, but this season is when she made the biggest splash. She adds Gucci, Fendi, Marni, Loewe and Simone Rocha to her already impressive list of of luxury clients.

Fendi Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

Barbara Valente

After her debut at Prada back in 2015, Barbara Valente shied away from the show circuit but returned for SS 20 with a bang. The Brazilian picked up steam in Milan exclusively opening Bottega Veneta before venturing to Paris to walk Rpchas, Courreges, Balmain and Miu Miu.

Bottega Veneta – Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

Cynthia Arrebola

We kept seeing Argentinian new face Cynthia Arrebola’s name over and over walking in the shows that matter. She broke out from the pack from start to finish booking Carolina Herrera and Tom Ford for starters then on to Burberry, Bottega, Moschino, Versace, Margiela, Valentino and McQueen.

Valentino – Photo by Estrop/Getty Image

Karlijn Kusters

From Geldrop, the hometown of Lara Stone, Karlijn is yet another reminder of why the industry loves the Dutch so much. After hitting the Fendi and Chanel runways at the Haute Couture shows, Karlijn kickstarted her September season at Burberry and followed through with Dior, Valentino, Boss, and Sacai. Kusters’ last stand? Chanel, of course!

Alexander McQueen – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Malika El Maslouhi

Malika made her first catwalk appearance back in February with a respectable debut on the Milanese runways followed by Dior Resort in Marrakech. But her sophomore season? Sending strong powerhouse vibes from NY to Paris, this gorgeous Italian’s S/S 20 showing was chef’s kiss perfection.

Prabal Gurung – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Miriam Sanchez

A whole lotta Louis led to this. From her start at Vuitton back in 2018 to the subsequent LV campaign plus assorted other shows and editorial, over the past 18 months, the coolest kid from Madrid since Eleonora Bosé has been powering up. This season made it legit: Miriam is major.

Isabel Marant – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Nike Praesto Nordstrom

True to her name, Nike was the Goddess of speed, strength and victory this season, serving looks for everyone from The Row to Rabanne. We wouldn’t be surprised if this patrician beauty’s major campaign moment is now just a swoosh away.

A.P.C – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Nikki Tissen

Nikki’s breakthrough season comes a year after her exclusive debut at Prada S/S ’19. In that time she has shot a Valentino campaign and cool editorial, but it’s on the runway that Nikki really shines. From the Rosemary’s Baby bob and bright-eyed mod innocence to her trademark Dutch ‘no-nonsense’ intensity, Nikki’s stern-but-sweet catwalk presence is now fully realized.

Givenchy – Photo by Peter White/Getty Images

Ning Jinyi

What 2020 needed was more Ning, and thanks to the casting people at shows like Proenza Schouler, Prada, Valentino, McQueen and Chanel more Ning was what we got. Now that the ball is really rolling for this Chinese showstopper we just have to keep up.

3.1 Phillip Lim – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Olivia Vinten

Anyone with eyes could tell you that Olivia Vinten was sure to be a sensation. For those without eyes, on paper she’s good too: Oscar de la Renta (opened), Marc Jacobs, Sportmax, and Off-White show bookings add substance to her Danish dreaminess.

Zimmermann – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Rachelle Harris

A good show season is a bit like gymnastics––you have to stick the landing. Brunette beaut Rachelle Harris did that at Chanel completing a 10/10 circuit that included critical crowd-pleasers along the way like Coach, Dior, and Hermes.

Etro – Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Ruinan Dong

Ruinan has both mass appeal and is fancied by the fringe, but when it comes to breaking out, it’s booking those blue-chips that count. Her concluding Paris walks for Balenciaga, Givenchy, Miu Miu and Lacoste made certain of this blow up.

Miu Miu – Photo by Estrop/Getty Images

Yilan Hua

Yilan can take a breather now knowing all those tiring fittings weren’t for naught. The opposite in fact––that catwalk grind for Helmut Lang, Sies Marjan, Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, Miu Miu and the others means this Chinese breakout bet on herself and won.

Elie Saab – Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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7 Comments to “Top Newcomers S/S 2020”

  1. Ranilson Aguires says:

    Bella Hadid? Seriously?!!!

  2. double m-by miguel says:

    Well, my selection of new faces are: Brooke Robinson, Penelope Ternes, and Karlijn Kusters.

  3. vibsual says:

    Surprised none of the 5 industry people pick Mika Schneider as their fave, but glad include her, I can’t wait to see her covers

  4. double m-by miguel says:

    Ashley Radjarame, and Aylah Peterson (Saint Laurent): Daily Duo-February, 2015.

  5. Evans says:

    A new Argentinian wave?

  6. Marten says:

    Congrats to Nikki Mcguire to make it as the first caucasian girl in six (!!) years to the list of Bethann Hardison.

    • roy says:

      chai maximus made her list last season, and ansolet rossouw was on her pick for f/w 2017 so not sure where you got 6 years from.