Next Top Models: New Fashion Stars

Fashion actors know it when they see it.

It takes a lot to strut in the footsteps of well-heeled Australian models like Miranda Kerr and Adut Akech.

There is no longer a formula for what makes a top model – call it an X factor, because it’s not just about having a certain height or having a pretty face.

In an industry known for celebrating outward beauty, fashion is turning more and more inward, and modeling success goes far beyond appearances.

“When you start looking at what is going to make (a model) stand out in Paris, London or New York… their look is one thing, but I think more, now it’s an energy… and their style,” said Danielle Ragenard, Australian Vice President and General Manager of IMG Models.

The power of the flowers! Nylow Ajing on the trail for Aje. Image: Aje

She said the up-and-coming models who were portrayed as future stars had “a strong social conscience – they can see what’s going on in the world and that prompts many of them to use modeling to highlight social issues. “.

For Australian label Bassike, this is a key factor when casting their two Afterpay Australian Fashion Week shows this season.

“A strong social conscience and an integrated culture of inclusiveness and diversity is a common value that we have always shared at Bassike,” said Deborah Sams, co-founder of Bassike.

Bassike Co-Founder Mary Lou Ryan added, “We are committed to ensuring that this is reflected in the talent we choose to work with, which extends to casting our models for shows – celebrating portrayal in all. its forms “.

At Fashion Week, which begins Monday, a series of new models will debut.

Brisbane-based model Nylow Ajing is being touted as Australia's next great model.  Image: Aje

Brisbane-based model Nylow Ajing is being touted as Australia’s next great model. Image: Aje

“It’s a huge opportunity for our talents to have a platform and to be seen,” said Ms. Ragenard.

“When we started thinking about it (Fashion Week), we thought we could have 30 models – now there are over 80 in the pack,” she told News Corporation.

This Fashion Week will be the first to be held on a large scale anywhere in the world, live and with real life at the forefront during the era of the pandemic. And that means being booked to walk is more competitive than ever.

It all comes down to the thread, as designers can still launch models hours of the runway.

“Getting any show this season, even a show, as a new face is going to be quite an accomplishment,” Ms. Ragenard said.

Here are the new models to watch out for:


Age: 19

Context: South Sudanese

Hometown: Brisbane, Queensland

About: Discovered on Instagram, Ms. Ajing is a model touted as the next big thing. She recently appeared in the parade at the resort town of Aje 22, with Aje co-founder Edwina Forest saying it was her “strong and confident walk” and “sophisticated but youthful vibe” that caught her eye. Warning.

“She is definitely one to watch,” Ms. Forest said.

Aje co-founder Adrian Norris added: “Nylow is a rising star and we recognized him early on in the cast.”

Nylow Ajing on the grassy track for Aje.  Image: Aje

Nylow Ajing on the grassy track for Aje. Image: Aje

The model is set to make her Australian Fashion Week debut at Afterpay.  Image: Instagram

The model is set to make her Australian Fashion Week debut at Afterpay. Image: Instagram


Future “it” daughter Nylow Ajing. Image: Instagram

“I can be fierce”. Nylow Ajing, mid-leg, on the track of Zimmermann. Image: Zimmermann

Ms Ajing has modeled for other Australian brands, including Zimmermann (she appeared in the brand’s digitized New York Fashion Week runway), as well as in Russh magazine, Sass & Bide and Oroton.

“Nylow will be someone we sign around the world, so in Los Angeles, New York, London, Milan and Paris, she’s what we would call a global signing,” Ms. Ragenard said. “It’s a real glimpse of the potential of a model.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Ajing said she “would love to walk as many catwalks as possible” during Fashion Week.

“With modeling, as much as you get offers, you also get rejections. So you have to be true to yourself,” Ms. Ajing told News Corporation.

“I practiced my walk – I can say I walk really well. I can be fierce, maybe too fierce sometimes… but maybe that’s a good thing.


Age: 17 years old

Experience: Australian, English

Hometown: Sydney, New South Wales

About: Scouted at a climate rally, Ms. Brown is a competitive soccer player and conservationist with a passion for sustainability and conservation.

While she looks like an “English rose,” she plans to “use her voice to elevate this conversation,” Ms. Ragenard said.

“She also has an amazing look, kind of like a baby Gemma (Ward) looking around.”

Lauren Brown is a role model to watch.  Image: IMG

Lauren Brown is a role model to watch. Image: IMG


Age: 17 years old

Context: Indonesian

Hometown: Perth, Western Australia

By the way: Spotted at the Royal Perth Show. Ms Leunig has appeared in editorials for Russh and Perth’s Sunday Times magazine (including wearing cool girl jumpsuits in an editorial titled “Teen Spirit”), and modeling for inspiration from her other interests in theater and art.
“She was doing reviews last week, we have quite a few designers who have adapted her,” Ms. Ragenard said.

Nabila Leunig.  Image: IMG

Nabila Leunig. Image: IMG


Age: 18 years old

Context: Australian

Hometown: Brisbane, Queensland

By the way: Scouted at the Ekka in Brisbane at the age of 13, Ms O’Neill graduated from high school last year and has moved to Sydney.

“She has already worked a lot, to Marie Claire and major brands, this will be her first Fashion Week, ”said Ms. Ragenard.

“His graphics are looking pretty good at this point, we’re starting to lock things down.”

Jasmine O'Neill.  Image: IMG

Jasmine O’Neill. Image: IMG


Age: 21 years old

Experience: South African, Chinese, Dutch and English

Hometown: Gold Coast, Queensland

By the way: The health sciences student has strong interests outside of fashion (cooking and dancing are listed as her hobbies).
“She’s super fit and super toned, she has a unique look,” Ms. Ragenard said.

Yaz Naidoo.  Image: IMG

Yaz Naidoo. Image: IMG


Age: 23 years old

Context: native Australian, Irish, African American

Hometown: Brisbane, Australia

About: An advocate for Indigenous Australians, Mr. Jones has a keen interest in photography and film. He wants to raise awareness of the link between mental health and nutrition.
“He wants to use his voice to elevate the Indigenous conversation,” Ms. Ragenard said. “He’s super passionate about fashion, mental health and awareness.”

Pierce Jones.  Image: IMG

Pierce Jones. Image: IMG


Age: 19

Context: Sudanese

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

About: Born in Sudan, Mr. Deng moved to Australia as a child. He’s an avid NBA enthusiast (can be seen on Instagram wearing a Miami Heat jersey), and plays AFL and football in his spare time outside of modeling.

He is also studying criminal and community studies at university.

“He emigrated from Sudan to Australia with his family. He’s a huge basketball fan (and) loves playing AFL,” Ms. Ragenard said.

Simon Deng.  Image: IMG

Simon Deng. Image: IMG


Age: 19

Context: Malaysian, Indian

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

About: Aside from modeling, Mr. Pillali studies politics, philosophy and economics at the University of New South Wales. His interests outside of fashion include global human rights issues, football and meditation. The vintage clothing enthusiast is committed to increasing cultural diversity in the fashion industry.
“He is a full-time student (at university), has a broad interest in human rights and is dedicated to meditation,” Ms. Ragenard said. “He’s a super smart guy, he’s just waiting to see where that (modeling) takes him. Men’s shows love him.”

Nitesh Pillali.  Image: IMG

Nitesh Pillali. Image: IMG

Harry eland

Age: 18 years old

Experience: Indian, English, Australian

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

By the way: The business / law student is passionate about football (he follows Manchester United) and plays for Manly United FC.

In grade 12 theater, he performed an absurd play about a man in love with a suitcase.
“He’s a great personality and also extremely intelligent,” Ms. Ragenard said. “He shows people that you don’t need to be labeled. He’s a cool kid.”

Harry Eland.  Image: IMG

Harry Eland. Image: IMG


Age: 20 years old

Experience: Australian, English, Spanish

Hometown: Gold Coast, Australia

About: The Model and Architectural Design student is passionate about “sustainable and innovative designs for residential and commercial buildings”. He’s played the state-level rugby league, and his interest in high-end fashion means his modeling ambition is the catwalks of Europe.

“The fashion aspect and the design of (clothing) is something that really interests her, and how these worlds of architecture, design and fashion come together,” Ms. Ragenard said.

Jai Bower.  Image: IMG

Jai Bower. Image: IMG

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week takes place in Sydney from May 31 to June 4.

Originally published as Next Top Models: New Fashion Stars

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Gail Mena

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