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Models are a favorite subject of street-style photographers for plenty of obvious reasons: They’re young, beautiful, and almost always take good photos—plus they often walk away wearing free swag from the designers’ shows. But there’s a difference between the ones who look good in the shots and the ones who really stand out; it’s attitude, charisma, and a sense of style that goes way beyond carrying a new straight-off-the-runway bag.
Modeling has produced a long line of style icons over the years—Kate Moss, Erin Wasson, Daria Werbowy—but there’s never before been quite so much attention placed on what girls by and large wear off-duty. Thanks to social media and street style, we now have more access than ever to models’ personal style (a fact that both agencies and brands are wising up to) and it’s now easier to pick out the ones with superlative style.
Read on to get to know seven of the most stylish new faces in fashion right now:
Alexandra Elizabeth Ljadov
This Estonian 18-year-old has been racking up a staggering number of shows each season since she made her runway debut in 2013 (74 for Fall 2015 alone!), but it’s off the catwalk that she really shines. She’s one of those models that really seems to have fun with fashion—she’ll pair clunky combat boots with printed pants, a parka with a patent-leather mini, or sky-high boots with sporty socks, and somehow pull it all off. It’s no wonder Victoria Beckham cited Ljadov as her muse last season—the girl’s got style in spades.
This former “Korea’s Next Top Model” winner has a wardrobe that would make any Hot Topic teen
green black with envy, but don’t let the ripped fishnets and spiked garters fool you: As far as we can tell from her Instagram, she’s actually kind of a goofball. There, she’s prone to making silly faces, posing with fried food and tables full of sandwiches, and making use of Snapchat’s chubby-cheeked mouse filter. As for an explanation behind one of the most frequently worn accessories in her street-style shots, the face mask, she offers a simple explanation: “I hate the cold.”
When your first-ever fashion show experience is opening Alexander Wang, it’s a pretty good bet you’re poised for big things. Such was the case for Kravchenko, at least, who was handpicked by the designer in Spring 2013, and has since gone on to front campaigns for Valentino and Prada, cover Vogue Italia and several major magazines in her home country of Ukraine—Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel, and book a steady stream of blue-chip shows each season. The model has plans to be an artist and graphic designer after retiring from the runway game, and her eye for design comes through in how she dresses off-duty: She favors bold outerwear, clean-lined dresses, and fun yet practical accessories like veiled beanies and sturdy, patterned winter boots.
21-year-old Quinlivan is—there’s really no other way to put it—a bit of a ham. She’s only in her first season of shows, but already she was the center of attention with photographers in London, New York, and Paris, posing in grungy leather jackets, micro-miniskirts, and purple platform boots. She cites “the model uniform” and the ubiquitous Stan Smith sneaker as her fashion pet peeves, and has made a name for herself as one to watch, not just for her posing skills but also for her inimitable personal style. Current off-duty queen Hanne Gaby better watch out: This one’s coming for her throne.
Kim was discovered while shopping in her native Korea, and it’s clear she’s always had a style of her own. She’ll pair sharp trousers with bright bomber jackets, sneakers with shirtdresses, and hoodies with polished leather loafers. The expert blending of tailored pieces with streetwear staples puts her in the same league as the street-style set, and with her steady stream of bookings with labels like Opening Ceremony, Off-White, and Vionnet, we’re looking forward to seeing her standout fashion sense around for many seasons to come.
Dominican-born Montero has been hailed as the next big thing ever since debuting at Prada’s Fall/Winter 2015 show, with her cropped afro and delicate features standing out against a sea of girls with pale faces and long, sleek hair. Now, she’s really earned the title, with a Teen Vogue cover; Chanel, Prada, and Givenchy campaigns; and more runway bookings for Spring 2016 than any other model under her belt. She’s also helped usher in a burgeoning trend for natural hair on the catwalk, with girls such as Herieth Paul, Maria Borges, and Mayowa Nicholas sporting similar short styles at major shows from New York to Paris. Off the runway, 20-year-old Montero has a tomboyish streak, rocking graphic sweatshirts, black skinny jeans, and her favorite Coach shearling coat. Even dressed down, she clearly appreciates a good handbag, as she is regularly seen with small structured styles by brands like Loewe and Ferragamo slung across her shoulder.
Sure, jeans and a T-shirt may be the standard model-off-duty uniform, but no one wears them quite like Emmack. The 17-year-old is part of a wave of gender-bending models who rock boys’ clothes off the runway and sometimes on as well. She wears men’s shirts exclusively, rocks Nike Jordans, and is rarely caught without dark denim and a leather jacket. Her breakout season came after hairstylist Guido Palau lopped off her waist-length hair into a short, choppy pixie cut, and now, we can’t imagine her with anything but.