Casting Digest: Five Faces Stealing the Show

To be culled from a sea of beautiful faces a model can’t just go through the motions, they must also have that inexplicable quality that makes a hurried industry pause and take note. The Fall Winter 2017 season, on the runway and off, brought with it an unusual amount of potential and next-best-thing excitement as fashion continues to zero in on finding the faces of the moment. So who’s stealing the show? Between making debuts at Alexander Wang’s No-After Party, Raf’s most talked-about Calvin Klein or lighting up David Sims’ lens, these five new girls have made their stage-presence unmistakably known in the short time they’ve been tested. Catch a casting buzz in the latest Digest, here are five faces with major je ne sais quoi you should be following.

Photos by Barrett Sweger for

What’s the deal with… 
People always ask me about all the wigs I always wear. I get really bored of my ginger-colored hair so I recently decided to start buying wigs and rocking them! Some people think that I dyed my hair. A lot of people panic like, “Aleece, you’re never going to get your natural hair color back why did you dye it?” It’s also really funny when people think that my wig is my real hair. It’s really cool to put on a wig and then people don’t even know who you are. It’s kind of funny, it’s like Hannah Montana: it’s like how don’t you know it’s me. I feel like when I put on a wig that I do become a new person. It’s nice to see the different changes; it’s cool to experiment with your appearance!

Model Misnomer
One thing I cannot stand hearing about myself is how skinny I am. I look in the mirror everyday, I know what my body looks like. I always get, “You should put more meat on your bones”,”You look anorexic” or “Eat more”. People would assume I’m not eating even though I eat enough food for a family of four—I’m constantly eating, I love food—It took me a long time to be comfortable with my “tooth pick arms” and “twig legs”. I used to be embarrassed of my body because I thought I was terribly skinny because of all the negative comments that people would make towards me. I use to try to eat more or look up certain pills that I could take to help me gain weight or foods that will help me gain fat fast. It was very sad. Skinny-shaming is real. People don’t notice how hurtful it is to say certain things. Modeling has made me love my body and feel confident! I hope to use my publicity from it to inspire others, help them gain confidence, and love themselves and their body! Beauty comes in every shape, size and color! 

Wasn’t meant to be…
I’ve always wanted to be a police officer. I grew up watching cop shows—America’s Most Wanted, First 48, 2020, Forensic Files. I just always thought eventually I would be working in that career field. I was obsessed with the idea of being a hero, being able to make a change in a community or in somebody’s life, being the one to save the day. I spend a lot of time reading about forensics, serial killers, and arson. I always thought I would be a police officer and move up to homicide detective or be one of the crime cleaners.

Follow Aleece @oddfreckles

Model Hacks
Last season was my first season and I learned so many things! Like if you are on set and have a difficult time getting your shoes on, a spoon can work as a shoehorn! If I am told that the job is only for the weekend, I still take enough necessities to last for 2 weeks. One of my short trips turned into 3 weeks, so I had to buy many new things including contacts. I now carry a prescription for my contact lenses. I always bring my bikini or my Calvins because someone will want polaroids. My carryon also stays packed with travel sized products and a luggage scale–very important because baggage fees are killer!

Model Misnomer
I have really enjoyed my journey. I have seen so many places and met so many people. It has been incredible. Since I started modeling, the one thing that I hear a lot is that I look like Ezra Miller. I mean we have the same hair but I don’t really see much else. Before I got mine cut no one ever compared me to him. If I was compared to anyone before that, it was Lorde, maybe for the hair?

Follow Mckenna @mckennahellam

Fact Check:
I’m Lera Abova from Siberia, who moved to Germany at the age of 13. I learned the language pretty quickly and was really good at school before I understood that so many teachers are not made to educate and they have no clue. They have the knowledge, but not enough feelings for literature. For example, they didn’t understand that Freud was a super heavy cocaine user and so many of his theories were not approved. So why not listen to that and learn from it? And I am still obsessed with Shakespeare. I actually loved school and I am a very respectful person. I just think that most teachers are not made for their job. So, at some point I stopped showing up at school, months later proudly picked up my documents ( otherwise they would drop me ) and jumped into the adult life–ha!. I don’t remember my first kiss, but I do my first boyfriend. When I just moved to a small city in Germany near Dusseldorf I fell in love with him straight away (I am very extreme with the whole love thing). But I was too young and wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend. Four years passed and at the age of 18 he finally fell for me. It Didn’t last long though. Ah we all would be so lost with no love! This is what a human being never gets used to!

Things Lera Loves…
I will never forget my childhood back in Siberia that was the best I could ever ask for. It’s something so magical you can’t put on paper. You need to see my eyes shining and how my hands move to understand my excitement a little. I love my Grandmother, who raised me with so much love, no one could ever imagine. So many memories of the nights we spent on a balcony waiting for my cousin who was living with us in summer, partying day and night. We played cards and these summerdays on my bike were magical. I remember I had a crush on a guy for 3 summers. I remember my cousin once having a party and when the police showed up everyone was hiding in the closet or on the balcony (-40C) in winter or in the bathtub. I love these times, I love my family. I love the best gift in the world who is my brother. All I do I do for him and his future. It’s like he is my kid. And my mother, my most wonderful mother who was the only one on my side when no one was around. She is my everything, my air, my muse. I love my german family–they gave me everything and expected nothing. I love my booker Peter, who became my family. I love “Depeche Mode”, “The Cure” and “Placebo” because their lyrics are all about love even if they are so different. I love David Bowie since he appeared in the movie “Christiane F. Wir kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo”. I love “The Smiths” because of so much tragedy in the song “Never Had No One Ever” and “This Charming Man” and “Bigmouth Strikes Again” because it reminds me of my first love and my months in Berlin and of David Sims, who has changed my life. I love “Cob 20” by “Happy Mondays” because it played on the greatest shoot with Oliver Hadlee Pearch and I danced naked to that wonderful song covered in Chanel Jewelry and felt so myself and free surrounded by amazing people.

Follow Lera @leraabova

polaroids by

Chance encounters
The chance encounter that I experienced is with the woman that connected me to Ford Models, the agency that I am signed with. Before their current jobs, my parents used to work for rock bands. This past summer, we visited the band members of Cheap Trick, who are now family friends, to see them play in concert. The guitarist’s wife, Karen Nielsen, had not seen me since I was a baby; so when she saw me backstage years later she offered to connect me with her son’s girlfriend, who is a Ford model as well. Now, several months later, I am signed with and modeling for Ford.

Wasn’t meant to be…
One thing I have always wanted to be a part of is the Olympics. It amazes me to see the great effort and time that the athletes put in to their training. I find the event inspirational in the sense that people from around the world come together in a positive manner, without the tension and stress that would otherwise exist between them. However, I tried nearly every sport in my childhood, and not one existed in which I particularly excelled in—so for now I’m sticking with modeling.

Follow Lex @lex.herl

Aiden After dark? 
Most days I’m in bed watching Netflix, but every now and then I push myself to go out to an after party or so. Most Saturdays I go to Webster Hall because the basement is dedicated to more underground producer/djs who play there on Saturdays. It’s one of my favorite places in NYC.

Fact check: 
I’m from London and moved to NYC when I was 9, but I’m also from Guinea in Africa! My first job was delivering groceries in the winter, and my first kiss was actually when I was like 16…Haha I waited a long time for that.

Follow Aiden @aidencurtiss

  1. They are all wonderful, and with intelligent, good things to say. I particularly love Lera’s way with words! And of course all are very beautiful and have a great realness.

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