Balenciaga is always chock full of fun discoveries, be it a new lust for platform Crocs or suddenly realizing you need to restyle your hair right now and then there’s the casting. Eclectic, venturesome, the house’s shop of wonders-style casting is still narrowly defined: Pretty much–you have to be cool. When it comes to cool, Demna Gvasalia and Lotta Volkova have the last word. So as its cast is sent down the catwalk spectators are not only drooling over garments, but curiously taking note of the which models will undoubtably soar to cult status with a check mark from Balenciaga. Those moments may have been numerous, but there was one who-is-she moment as a feline beauty in a Balenciaga branded top that would have casting directors frantically searching Instagram for any trace of the UNF (unidentified new face).
Here’s what we learned about Assa. For one, she doesn’t have an Instagram–sorry! Her real name is Assa Baradji, “Only my family calls me Myriam,” says…Assa. On paper, she’s basically your ordinary 16-year-old, high school teenager from the Parisian suburbs who, “loves fashion, makeup, music, sun, life,” continuing, “I used to play basketball, but I want to try other sports now.” But come Spring Summer 2018 Assa was plucked from her suburban routine and placed on the one of the buzziest runways after her agency, Cover, introduced her to Lotta Volkova. “I was scared at first because it was my first show, but also excited because the clothes were so nice, I loved my look,” recounts the promising, young model on her inaugural Paris Fashion Week voyage, “The whole experience was great, but the ending was magical, because I was proud of myself to have done this first challenge. I want to relive this day again and again!”