There was plenty to talk about on the runways during the spring 2020 collections says rich money models. Many of the month’s most powerful moments involved the people who populate the catwalk.
The next generation of superstars was also angling for their moment in the spotlight. After all, you don’t become a household name without having that first opportunity to shine. The young people who made an impact during fall’s collections had personality and charm to spare. They were scholars (elegant Oxford grad Elisa Mitrofan), artists (Hong Kong–bred stunner Eliza Rutson), and hometown heroes (spirited Texan Millicent Rodges), all of whom made the collections exciting and fun. Whether they were sharing the spotlight with Miley Cyrus (agender beauty Juno Mitchell) or landing a coveted exclusive, these were the season’s standouts.
Hometown: Adelaide, South Australia
F/W 20 Highlights: Saint Laurent, Chloé, Givenchy, Simone Rocha
Agi Akur is part of a new generation of South Sudanese talent currently dominating the fashion industry. Born in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp, she grew up in the suburbs of Adelaide and got her start at Sydney Fashion Week. Now working internationally, Akur has racked up an impressive roster of regular clients.
Allana Santos Brito
Hometown: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
F/W 20 Highlights: Prada, Versace, Paco Rabanne, Alexander McQueen
Scouted last year during a trip to her local beach, Brazilian Allana Santos Brito is impossible to ignore. With her strong features and hypnotic gaze, the rising star was exactly what casting directors were searching for this season. In demand from the moment she made her debut at Prada, she avoided freshman burnout by only walking for a select group of elite brands.
F/W 20 Highlights: Miu Miu, Loewe, Saint Laurent, JW Anderson
Before she was front and center at nearly every big show in Europe, Elisa Mitrofan was completing her English degree at Oxford. An accomplished concert violinist and tutor, Mitrofan is also a natural on the runway. Graceful and cool with a gamine presence and book smarts to boot, she’s certain to go the distance in the competitive world of modeling.
Hometown: Hong Kong SAR, China
F/W 20 Highlights: Paco Rabanne, Off-White, Altuzarra, Valentino
Artist and model Eliza Rutson debuted during the last leg of Paris Fashion Week, but she made an outsized impression. The daughter of former Lane Crawford fashion director Sarah Rutson, she enters the industry with a high-fashion pedigree but still made a mark on her own merits. Elegant and distinctive, Rutson stood out amongst a crowded field.
Hometown: Shepherd’s Bush, England
F/W 20 Highlights: Chanel, Dior, Prada, JW Anderson
Newcomer Evie Harris’s baby face may remind you of aughts favorites like Abbey Lee and Gemma Ward, but her charms are all her own. The teen from Shepherd’s Bush burst onto the scene by opening JW Anderson’s spring 2020 collection, and she’s carried that momentum into fall. This season Harris proved herself capable of versatile work, transforming from one of Miuccia Prada’s urbane muses to a latex-and-feather-clad Saint Laurent vixen in a matter of days.
- 6/11Juno MitchellAgency: New York Model Management Hometown: Philadelphia F/W 20 Highlights: Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Alexander McQueen It takes confidence not to be eclipsed by one of the world’s biggest pop stars, but Juno Mitchell has it in spades. The Philadelphia native shared the runway with Miley Cyrus at Marc Jacobs’s fall 2020 collection and still managed to shine. Their success continued in Paris, where they joined the casts at Valentino and Alexander McQueen. Post-season, the agender rising star hopes to increase visibility and opportunities for nonbinary people within fashion, a cause deserving of attention.
Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
F/W 20 Highlights: Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chloé, Dior
Japanese-Brazilian stunner Maryel Uchida is a new kind of cool girl. Her blunt bangs and eclectic off-duty style all add to her appeal, but it’s attitude that sets Uchida apart. On the runway at shows like Prada and Louis Vuitton, she delivered personality-packed performances that were more than the standard catwalk stomp. That star quality is sure to come in handy once campaign season begins.
Hometown: Chiampo, Italy
F/W 20 Highlights: Valentino, Versace, Prada, Burberry
Maty Fall began the season on a high note with an Italian Vogue cover and plenty of buzz. The Italian-Senegalese newcomer has quickly become a favorite of designers like Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli and Angela Missoni, who selected her to open fall’s exploration of geometric pattern. Born in Ouest Foire, outside of Senegal, Fall moved to Italy at the age of nine. A newly minted citizen, she’s helping to redefine the meaning of Italian beauty.
Hometown: Iriving, Texas
F/W20 Highlights: Saint Laurent, Valentino, Rick Owens
Discovered by Mother Management, the agency that launched superstars like Grace Hartzel and Karlie Kloss, the striking Texan Millicent Rodges made her debut as an exclusive for Burberry’s spring 2020 collection. The youngest of six children, Rodges put in the work to achieve her modeling dream. After apprenticing at an orthodontist’s office in St. Louis while in development, and touring the world racking up experience in front of the camera, it all paid off this season with one great booking after another.
Hometown: Hewlett, New York
F/W 20 Highlights: Tom Ford, Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, Giambattista Valli
Never underestimate the appeal of local talent! Long Islander Valerie Scherzinger kickstarted her season at Tom Ford’s Los Angeles extravaganza, and it’s easy to see why. Blessed with movie-star looks and an innate glamour, Scherzinger fit right in with the designer’s luxurious vision. Ford wasn’t the only fashion figure to be captivated, and Scherzinger’s nonstop bookings are a testament to her universal appeal.
Hometown: Chengdu, Sichuan, China
F/W 20 Highlights: Rodarte, Paco Rabanne, Loewe, Stella McCartney
We have Chinese social media platform Weibo to thank for Yidan Huang. The Southwestern University of Finance and Economics graduate was scouted on there several years ago and has been slowly building momentum ever since. Overnight success is nice, but Huang has developed gradually, moving from an exclusive spot at JW Anderson last year to global success this season in all four fashion capitals.