Monday, 29 October 2012


Born in Woodside, California, on the 10th August 1995, Mackenzie was discovered at the age of 14. A year later, she had been named a newcomer to watch by ,  signing up with Elite Models. 

In July 2010, a month shy of her 15th birthday, Drazan debuted at the Autumn / Winter show for Valentino Couture. Mackenzie then took a brief 6-month break from modelling, returning in February 2011. Drazan made her ready-to-wear debut, including appearances for Jil Sander, Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton.
Drazan’s early start at the very highest levels of catwalk modelling marked her out as a casting must-have.  Returning to the catwalk again that September, Mackenzie added Alexander McQueen, Celine and Balenciaga to her growing list of credits. Finishing the year with appearances in the pre-fall lookbook for Narciso Rodriguez and the pre-fall collection show for Calvin Klein, Drazan was already becoming a favourite with some of the world’s biggest labels. 

Her growing list of credits certainly got Mackenzie noticed, and in February 2012, she had her first blockbuster ready-to-wear season, walking in over 65 shows. The Autumn / Winter 2012 season saw bolder, more expressive designs making all the right moves, and the return of certain trends, such as outsize and head-to-toe print, seen at Jil Sander and Prada respectively, was tailor-made for a taller model like Drazan.  This season was an important one for the still-teenage model, and her stock soared as a result.

Mackenzie’s next assignment saw Drazan book an editorial for Italian Vogue. Photographed by Emma Summerton for the beauty supplement cover, Drazan worked the avant-garde look with total confidence. Italian Vogue’s enthusiasm for editorial make-up has become a micro-trend, with the looks that are accompanying this season’s fashion definitely moving into braver territory. The traditional smoky eye has been transformed into a multi-coloured, peacock eye, mimicking the explosion of colour that has been seen on the catwalks. Follow that with the incredible growth in nail art: not only in terms of colour but design and texture, and Italian Vogue’s take on beauty is right on the pulse. Avant-garde looks are no longer the preserve of magazine editorials, but real-life achievable.  As our fashion choices get a little riskier, make-up had no choice but to step up its game.

Drazan’s incredible run of catwalk success continued into the summer, with appearances at the resort shows including Alberta Ferretti, Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo and Valentino. But Mackenzie’s biggest career moment was just around the corner. 

In July, Mackenzie made the cover of Italian Vogue. Photographed by Steven Meisel, this was the autumn / winter preview issue. Sharing the cover itself with Vanessa Axente, the fold-out, multi-model cover also featured Lida Fox, Elena Bartels, Julia Nobis and Erjona Ala. Channelling gothic glamour in the gowns from the Gucci collection, this was a new vision of how glamour should look for the upcoming season. Dark, moody but achingly covetable, this cover made everyone sit up and take notice.

Any appearance in Italian Vogue represents a huge turning point in a model’s career, as the magazine often champions new modelling talent, with fashion’s edgiest and most exciting faces often making their editorial debut within those pages. By getting onto the actual cover, Mackenzie had not only staked her claim to be one of those new, exciting faces, but to be one of the future leading faces in the modelling industry.
Drazan returned to catwalk duty again in July, this time heading to Paris for the couture shows. Walking in shows for Chanel, Elie Saab, Giambattista Valli and Valentino, Mackenzie also appeared in Raf Simons’ inaugural show for Dior. 

Mackenzie’s summer was filled with editorial commitments, starting with a spread for Dazed & Confused. Following that with an appearance in British Vogue, ‘Best in Show’ (photographed by Daniel Jackson), saw Mackenzie working the textured trouser-suit, and Mackenzie’s debut for W (‘Natural Selection’) saw her model the season’s texture theme with Laura Kampman, Ondria Hardin, Ophelie Rupp and Franzi Mueller.
Even with that heavy workload, Mackenzie continued to be in high demand, being booked for 55 shows in September. Including Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Givenchy, Versus, Dries Van Noten and Proenza Schouler, Mackenzie’s mix of blue-blood delicacy and ambiguous androgyny has made her a perfect runway model. The sheer range of design sensibilities that Drazan has modelled to date is dizzying: her portfolio takes us from the full-on sex appeal of Versus, to the cerebral chic of Dries Van Noten.

Following her success in the very best of editorial and runway, Drazan took her career to the next logical step this autumn with a campaign signing. However, as typical of the rest of her career, Mackenzie did not start small. She was booked for the Louis Vuitton Autumn / Winter campaign. An opinion divider, the Louis Vuitton campaign goes for broke with the amount of modelling talent on display. Working both in small teams and as part of a larger narrative, the models had their work cut out for them. The challenge was to perform as individuals but to impress as a collective. With something going on in every corner of the frame, each image created by campaign photographer Steven Meisel, is fascinating. Whether you liked the collection or not, the campaign demands you take a second look.

As Drazan moves in ever more impressive circles, her success is down to the fact that she is an American model with major cross-continent appeal. Her looks, old-school beauty with a touch of the modern, make her a natural ‘fit’ for most editorials, runways and covers. 

Drazan’s success is also down to timing: during the 1980’s, American models were historically locked into the commercial arena of the fashion industry. Blockbuster names like Cindy Crawford were as well known by the public as fashion insiders. The wide-ranging appeal of those faces hard-wired that look into our minds: to be American was to, by extension, be commercial. 

This continued long into the Nineties and it wasn’t until recently that we learned to appreciate a whole new kind of American beauty. Faces like Karlie Kloss, Charlotte Free, Chanel Iman and Lindsey Wixson have tackled, head-on, the perception that Americans can’t do hard-core editorial. Wixson, with her unusual features, has radically challenged the idea that American models are commercial by definition. Wixson, currently the face of Mulberry and Chanel, is spiky, bold and adaptable, covering cute and whimsical through to ultra high-fashion.

Where Mackenzie fits is somewhere between Wixson’s edginess and Karlie Kloss’ all-rounder appeal. Drazan’s success on the catwalk most closely aligns her with Kloss – a model that rose to the top by clocking up a serious amount of runway hours. Kloss succeeded by being visible, and this strategy appears to be working for Drazan too.

But whereas Kloss has re-defined the term ‘all-American’, Drazan differs by offering something more elusive. She may be a California girl, but looking at Mackenzie, you can imagine her being a native of almost anywhere.  Her lack of definability is what has propelled Mackenzie to the top of the industry at break-neck speed, explaining why she is as comfortable in Valentino Couture as Balenciaga’s ready-to-wear. There is a phrase that to be a jack of all trades is to be master of none, but this is certainly not true of modelling: a face that can lend itself to any look is one that will undoubtedly prosper. 

Already a favourite with fashion’s most influential designers, Mackenzie Drazan is set to become America’s most exciting modelling prospect in years. Once again challenging us to re-shape our ideas of what an American model looks like, Drazan is the next stage in America’s endeavour to become world-class at sourcing the best editorial talent. With Drazan already on the rise, this may be a case of mission accomplished.


Saturday, 20 October 2012


Born in South Carolina in 1994, Madison Headrick was scouted by Vision agency at the age of 16. Squeezing assignments in and around school commitments, as Madison neared graduation she had a choice to make. 

Asked by her dad if she wanted to take modelling more seriously (but only after graduating from school), Madison was given the option of graduating a semester early, finishing high school in January 2012. Travelling to New York to sign up with modelling agency Marilyn, the plan was for Madison to ground herself in the basics such as casting, runway, and familiarising herself with the fashion landscape including photographers, editors and important designers.

However, modelling boot camp was put on hold. Interest in Madison was immediate, and she was asked to attend a casting session for the Prada runway show. Meeting Ashley Brokaw in Milan – a casting director who also works for Balenciaga, Miu Miu and Proenza Schouler – the South Carolina girl flat-out impressed. She was not only booked for the show, but booked as an exclusive. Headrick’s booking made headlines in the fashion industry. With her all-American looks, and Prada usually going for European, directional faces, Madison was a left-field choice for the label. 

Prada’s long-held reputation for spotting new talent remains unchallenged in the industry: previous models that have started their careers as Prada exclusives include Lara Mullen, Patricia van der Vliet, Nimue Smit and Iselin Steiro. Left-field or not, this phenomenal start put Madison on the editorial fast-track, with bookings from Interview, Dazed & Confused, Numero and British Vogue. Working with Caroline Brasch Nielsen in Numero, ‘The Trainer’ was a daring S&M-themed shoot with both Caroline and Madison working tailored glamour. Given the edgy Numero treatment, this type of editorial can push established models: but here Madison is sleek, darkly glamorous and in control.

In August, she appeared in British Vogue’s editorial ‘Best in Show’. Playing on the British love of animals, this shoot featured models posing with a pedigree pooch. With the editorial tone firmly tongue-in-cheek, Madison gets it absolutely spot on, exuding charm and refusing to be upstaged by her co-star. Mastering these types of editorial is essential: despite rumours to the contrary, fashion definitely has a sense of humour. Character editorials, like ‘Best in Show’ are particularly popular with high-fashion magazines as they give the creative team (including the model) room to explore and develop ideas within an existing framework of reference. We all get the reference of a dog show; British Vogue just took it to its high-fashion conclusion to create a fun and memorable editorial. 

Madison then channelled the Eighties in an August shoot for Oyster magazine. ‘Working Girl’ (taking its name from the famous 1988 film) saw Madison transform into a high-fashion interpretation of leading lady Melanie Griffith: coiffed, preened and styled to Eighties perfection. Book-ending the summer with appearances in resort look-books for Donna Karan and Altuzarra, Madison returned to the runway in the autumn, walking for Jill Stuart, Rag & Bone and Edun. 

In September, Madison made her debut for V magazine. ‘The New Girls’, photographed by Terry Tsiolis, was a clutch of simple black and white portraits. Modelling with Julia Frauche, Lena Hardt, Moa Aberg and Susannah Liguori, it is a beautiful editorial, with every model earning her place at the ‘new girl’ table. But in looking at Headrick’s photos, what becomes apparent is her gift for translating glamour into something fresh and modern. 

But Madison’s star-making moment came when it was announced that she would appear in the new Prada Autumn / Winter campaign. Photographed by Steven Meisel, Madison joined a raft of established talent including Iselin Steiro and Magdalena Frackowiak, plus Vanessa Axente and Versace campaign favourite, Elza Luijendijk. With their 1950’s inspired campaign in Spring being a huge hit on YouTube with nearly 500,000 hits, Prada had a lot to live up to. The collection itself was not only hugely popular but it made a star of out of models like Katryn Kruger. With Miuccia Prada putting black back at the core of the colour palette, the campaign focused on the retro mosaic print trouser-suits, studded with jewel accents. Worn cropped at the ankle with Mary-Jane shoes, this collection was quintessential Prada, transforming what we normally think of as ‘awkward’ and ‘ugly’ into a thing of beauty. 

The campaign deliberately avoided the heady qualities of the Spring campaign, opting for a quieter feel. Subtly choreographed, the campaign gives us the opportunity to look at the clothes in detail – it’s clear that for this season, the clothes (quite literally) take centre stage.
Appearing in a Prada campaign always performs its magic on a model’s career, and Madison, post-Prada, has been no exception. Following the campaign’s release, she was booked for Italian Vogue’s September issue, appearing with Constance Jablonski and Nicola Wincenc.
Rounding out the rest of this season with appearances for Vision China and Bon, Headrick is rapidly becoming an editorial force to be reckoned with. The shoot for Bon sees Madison wearing many of the clothes from the Prada collection, making it clear the bond between model and label. What started out as a chance trip to Milan has become a lasting and meaningful association.

Looking at these latest photos of Madison, it becomes clear what Prada saw in her last year: her talent for making glamour feel fresh and youthful is no simple task. Of all fashion’s greatest ideas, glamour is the one most heavily laden with ghosts of faces and images from the past. We all have an idea of what constitutes glamour and it takes someone unique to make room in that crowded concept for something new. 

Prada, as always, may have been ahead of the pack in hiring Headrick. After years of us getting comfortable with detail being the story, glamour is finally making a comeback: big, bold and out there. This autumn, the wealth of brocade and velvet alone tells us that this season is playing a very different game. The subtle sparkle; embedded on a cardigan sleeve or on a heel of a boot, has made way for a much more obvious look. Glamour isn’t hiding anymore, but on display for all to see. What’s new about this re-interpretation of glamour is that the glitz element is restrained: the excess is not in sequins, but in the textures being used: this is glamour you can feel.

This is why Prada’s selection of Madison was an act of genius: still at the beginning of her career in real terms, she has an opportunity to become the face of this glamour movement just as it’s taking off. This modern take on glamour needs a new face to represent it: an entirely fresh approach is required if glamour is to convince us to ditch our love of casual, and get dressed up again. We’ve had hits of glamour in recent years, but the crucial difference here is that this season isn’t locked into a previous era or decade. You can’t boil it down to a Great Gatsby influence or the Mad Men power-chic. This is glamour not leaning on its laurels, but attempting to persuade us of its own value, for its own sake. Embracing the personal and the individual, glamour is set to make a whole new impression. For a concept so heavily weighed down with other people’s ideas, this is a chance to refresh our notions of what glamour can mean; to make it relevant, make it new.

Now about to celebrate her first year in the modelling industry, Headrick is not just the latest American face to dazzle the fashion world. She has a chance to become that rarity: a fashion icon. Prada very rarely gets it wrong, and to place such a model in their show is a statement not only of what’s to come for that season, but a prediction that aims much further ahead. The face of fashion’s future, Madison is glamour made modern.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Dutch model Laura Kampman was born in 1994, signing with New York Models in 2011 aged 17.
Kampman made an impact early on in her career, debuting at the S/S 2012 shows, walking for Calvin Klein and Balenciaga as an exclusive. Her noteworthy appearances made her the focus of press attention, with featuring her as one of their season’s Top Ten newcomers. 

At just over 5’ 11”, Kampman’s affinity for the catwalk developed in early 2012 when she was chosen to appear in couture shows for Giambattista Valli and Valentino. Also appearing in that month’s British Vogue, she hit a career highlight in February when she landed the cover of Italian Vogue. Models often have to wait years for such an honour – Laura managed it within months of arriving on the scene. The cover, titled ‘Surreal or Real’, aimed at creating a sophisticated glamour. Drawing on the film icons of the 1930’s and 1940’s, Laura embodies those screen sirens brilliantly, conveying confidence and glamour. In Italian Vogue terms, this cover is almost minimal in its styling – it all rests on Laura’s performance. Laura’s cover is a triumph: with nothing to hide behind, all we see is Laura’s skill at being that bold, beautiful enigma. Whether surreal or real, it just works.

Following her stint at Italian Vogue, Laura had a strong ready-to-wear season in February and March, walking for Balenciaga again, she also walked for Alexander Wang, Christopher Kane, Giles, Helmut Lang, Marc Jacobs, Missoni, Rag & Bone, Rodarte, Sonia Rykiel and Versus. Already a theme was emerging in Laura’s bookings: these designers are not only at the top of their game, but they are all designers who specialise in directional fashion - Laura’s edgy look was a perfect match for their aesthetic.

Her early connection with Balenciaga went to the next level when she was booked for their Spring campaign. Photographed by Steven Meisel, Laura worked with Rosie Tapner, Juliane Gruner and Kirstin Lijegren. A Balenciaga campaign represents the ultimate challenge for any model: working a Balenciaga concept is remarkably tough as it relies on nuance. A label known for playing around with ideas, Balenciaga is unusual in that it never makes the same ad twice. Every season Balenciaga hits the refresh button coming up with an image that is completely different to the one that came before; no common factors, no familiar iconography. Every season, it’s like starting from scratch. Tough work for any model, but guided by Meisel, Laura takes charge of the campaign with an authority that is both astonishing and exhilarating.

The knock-on effect of the Balenciaga advert on Kampman’s career was immediate: from June to August, Laura found herself fully booked. In June she shot editorials for W and Japanese Vogue and in July, Laura travelled to Kiev for Dazed and Confused to shoot an editorial with photographer Yelena Yemchuk. ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ (taking its name from the song by David Bowie) saw Yelena return to her hometown of Kiev to construct an editorial that celebrates the oddity and perversity of high-fashion. Inspired by Bowie’s Seventies androgynous glamour, Laura poses as the fish out of water in retro tailoring from Prada and Miu Miu. At odds with her environment, the editorial becomes a moving exploration of the bravery it takes to express identity through image: dressed in these bold prints, Laura is at once both armoured and exposed.

Laura also appeared in the July edition of V magazine, this time for a spread titled #Instaglam. Drawing on the huge popularity of Instagram, the editorial features models including Franzi Mueller and Marte Mei van Haaster wearing the A/W collections.

August was an especially busy month for Kampman, with Laura appearing in five magazines. Shooting an editorial for British Vogue, Kampman appeared in ‘Best in Show’. Photographed by Daniel Jackson, this humorous editorial trades on the adage of dogs resembling their owners. Featuring military tailoring and rich, plum tones, the models have to work hard in order to avoid being upstaged by their four-footed co-stars.
Laura’s second editorial of the month was for Chinese Vogue. ‘Outer Limits’ explored the outsize trend that has returned after years of the waist reigning supreme. Also featuring Codie Young, Tian Yi, Ondria Hardin and Andie Arthur, the best trend pieces were featured, including the Jil Sander blush coat and Marc Jacobs’ ragamuffin hats. 

One of August’s most interesting editorials was Laura’s work for i-D. ‘Hold Hands Be Free Find the Real You’, shot by Amy Troost, was a super-edgy exploration of colours and texture: all about freedom of expression, it tests every rule we think we know about fashion, and by inverting them, we look again at the individual pieces in terms of their worth and appreciate how they can be put together in new ways. It is this envelope-pushing that has informed Kampman’s career to date: more than just a face that fits, Kampman has a connection to this type of fashion, making it not only interesting, but finding the beauty within. It takes a certain kind of model to connect on this level, and Kampman (not even a year into her career) already has it figured out.

Kampman’s reputation for great editorial work was cemented this autumn, with Laura landing a spot in the A/W Topshop campaign. Photographed by Alasdair McLellan, the campaign also features rising stars Ava Smith, Moa Aberg and Melissa Stasiuk. Coupled with the great production values we have come to expect of Topshop’s campaigns, the images lend high-street a high-fashion gloss. 

Laura returned to the catwalk this September with a RTW season including appearances for Loewe, Maison Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Anteprima, Giorgio Armani, Rodarte, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Prabal Gurung, Peter Som and MaxMara. With the notable addition of Armani, Kampman’s appeal for the edgier design talents continues. With Maison Martin Margiela presenting a collection for H&M this autumn, Kampman’s links with high-fashion and high-street are as strong as ever.

Kampman’s latest credit is an editorial for Pop magazine. ‘A Chanel Moment’ sees Laura transform to become a glamour girl with poker-straight hair, dressed head-to-toe in the latest Chanel collection. Compare this to her work for Balenciaga, and it’s hard to recognise this as the same model. Laura’s capacity to transform so dramatically is a definite asset, and in light of her body of work with fashion’s directional core, is a surprise that will challenge the industry to see her as someone with cross-over potential.

In previous years, versatility was flagged as a model’s ability to switch from commercial to editorial. Editorial was seen as the ultimate challenge; a true test of a model’s abilities. Now it is seen as a given: virtually every element of the fashion industry strives towards an editorial sensibility. Topshop – the kingpin of the British high street – is highly successful, but its campaigns denote a chain that sees itself as firmly leaning towards editorial.  Our love of editorial presents itself in what we now choose to wear: high-fashion details such as the peplum waist and studded slipper shoe, far from being ‘challenging’, are widely available and highly coveted.

With high-fashion being embraced as something attainable, editorial faces are becoming the norm and being able to flip to a more commercial look is being seen as the unique selling point. Laura has entered an industry that has changed significantly over the past five years; copying trends verbatim has been replaced by individual expression: simply put, it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it. A principle clearly demonstrated in i-D’s editorial, layering and mixing textures has become the next step in wearing clothes in a way that expresses individuality. With clothes so freely available both in store and online, buying that one-off piece (without going fully retro) is virtually impossible. The solution? Mix it up.

As fashion trends spark a global following, creating a personal style and stepping away from head-to-toe looks is rapidly being seen as the more modern way to wear clothes. Individuality is the new buzzword for fashion, and as a result, the faces that represent high-fashion have to be just as unique. Laura’s features are perfect for carrying off the cerebral chic of Balenciaga, as well as translating those trends in editorial. 

Kampman’s success is all down to playing to her strengths: it’s more than the sum of her features. Her ability to understand and interpret directional looks is invaluable in today’s fashion industry. As fashion travels ever closer to the edge, pushing us to be ever bolder in what we wear day to day; talents like Kampman will be the best means of passing on the message. Be brave, be individual – and do it now.