Thursday, 29 December 2011


Charlotte Free

Born in California, Charlotte has beaten the odds to become one of fashion’s most sought-after new faces. Standing at only 5’ 7”, Free was signed up by agency IMG and has gone on to challenge the perception that height remains a barrier to success on the runway.

Part of that myth-busting comes down to Charlotte’s hard-to-ignore look – again, defying the commonly-held belief that a model must be a blank canvas in order to succeed. With neon-pink hair and a personal style that is already creating significant buzz, Free comes to the fashion industry not as a blank slate, but as a ready-made muse.

Featured by Japanese Vogue as their ‘Model of the Month’ in February 2011, Charlotte went on to walk in the Chanel Autumn / Winter show in March and feature in the Spring / Summer campaign for Uniqlo.

Following Charlotte’s much-discussed appearance on the Chanel catwalk, Free took to the runway again in September, this time walking for designers such as Jeremy Scott, PPQ and Marchesa. Scott championed Free from the beginning of her career – her bold, traffic-stopping looks proving a perfect match for his edgy, streetwise vision. What is more of a surprise is Charlotte’s work with Marchesa. With all great models, there’s never just one angle, and Marchesa’s demand for classic glamour challenged Charlotte to up the ante. With her trademark pink hair pulled back, what becomes clear is that Free possesses great bone structure and highly marketable features. Her strong individual style is increasingly winning fans both in the industry and beyond, but couple that with genuine versatility, and the fashion world is finding itself powerless to resist.

Ending this year with editorials in American and British Vogue, and campaigns for Pamela Love and Topshop, Charlotte looks set to conquer every aspect of the fashion industry in 2012. Rewriting the rules of how a new model should look, Charlotte is a true maverick and can expect her career to act accordingly. From cool to couture, when it comes to Charlotte Free, it’s safe to expect the unexpected.

Most likely to: do anything

Kati Nescher

Born in Germany on the 12th December 1984, Kati began her modelling career at an age where most models are considering their Plan B.

Aged 27, Nescher made her debut on the catwalk this year. Appearing in Autumn / Winter couture shows for Armani Prive, Basil Soda and Zuhair Murad, she then went on to have a blockbuster RTW season in September. Her bookings included Jil Sander, Marni, Rochas, Dries Van Noten, Givenchy, Celine, YSL, Valentino, Miu Miu, Prada, Alexander McQueen and Louis Vuitton. This one mega season translated into big-money campaign wins. The impact of Kati’s presence on the runway was immediate.

This Spring, you will see her in not one, but three, leading campaigns: Louis Vuitton, Pringle of Scotland and Prada. The Vuitton ad (photographed by Steven Meisel) sees Nescher join forces with Daria Strokous. In a sugary-sweet confection of a campaign, the Louis Vuitton ad sets the style agenda for Spring / Summer 2012.

On its own, scoring the Vuitton ad would be impressive. Coupled with an appearance for Prada, it puts Kati in a different league.

The Prada look for Spring is very much 1950’s chic: pin-up meets Kerouac. This is Prada’s comfort zone – retro meets neo. It is not only a strong principal image, but a campaign filled with star names including Natasha Poly, Meghan Collison, Elise Crombez and Katryn Kruger. Nescher’s performance in this campaign is neck-and-neck with the more experienced models, and a strong indication that Prada has once again picked a newcomer who has the ability to go supernova.

Kati is still in fashion terms an unknown quantity, but with three big campaigns already in the bag for 2012, it is a positive sign that the fashion world is undergoing a radical re-think when it comes to standards of beauty. As little as ten years ago, the idea of a new model entering the industry aged over 25 would have been virtually unthinkable. Now it seems like a natural progression, with modelling veterans such as Claudia Schiffer and Kristen McMenamy routinely scooping some seriously high-prestige jobs. Kati’s debut into the fashion world couldn’t have been better timed: when it comes to age, all bets are off.

Most likely to: be the next big thing


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