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More Than a Pretty Face | Models Changing the Fashion Industry

More Than a Pretty Face | Models Changing the Fashion Industry

Breaking through into the fashion industry are emerging models and activists who are changing the way beauty standards have been perceived for years. The “typical” models that have been displayed on the runways and magazine covers are now joined by the industries new talent who are influencing a future of millennial fashion.


With supermodels such as Ashley Graham and Winnie Harlow, we are now seeing a new generation of models who are shining a light on diversity and culture. Take a look at some of the beauties that are leading the new face and body of the modelling industry.

Adesuwa Aighewi

Based in New York, this American born beauty is also of Thai, Chinese and Nigerian descent. Starting as a science intern at NASA Aighewi found a new path as a creator, filmmaker, and model. At the age of 26, she has walked for many designers including Alexander Wang, Vivienne Westwood and Mui Mui. And her face has graced the covers of Vogue, i-D and L’Officiel, to name a few. Working to change the view of Islam and Muslim women as well as writing and directing, Aighewi is proving there is more to being a model than just a pretty face.

Jill Kortleve

Contagious confidence such as Jill’s is hard to come by. This gorgeous woman of Dutch and Indian descent is an instagram follow staple. Kortleve falls somewhere between your typical “size 0” and “plus size/curvy” model, making her a norm-defying rarity in the fashion industry. Despite this stunner going against the grain, you’ll find her in various magazines, campaigns and even on the most recent Alexander McQueen runway.

Halima Aden

It’s evident Halima Aden has a striking beauty, but she is also a young model looking to challenge the modelling industry. Her debut in the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant caught attention as she was the first Muslim contestant to wear a hijab on stage in 2016. Now appearing in catwalk shows for Yeezy, Versace, Chanel, etc. Aden decided to use her platform to express her belief in activism and refugee awareness.

Hari Nef

Fashion took a considerable turn when actress/model Hari Nef walked onto the scene. She was the first transgender model to be signed with IMG and walked in New York’s runways for Hood By Air, Eckhaus Latta, and Adam Selman. It’s no surprise Nef has gained recognition as a role model, speaking openly for the trans community, Nef continues to pursue her dreams as well as inspire those like her to reach for their own. Nef can be seen in shows such as Transparent, You and new movie  Assassination Nation.

Emma Breschi

After being discovered on Instagram, photographer Emma Breschi made a name for herself as a model by becoming the first curvy model to be featured in a Vivienne Westwood campaign in 2017. Breschi’s career quickly rocketed making this Filipino-Italian model one to watch. She’s known for being bold and her quirky fashion style, but also for her expression of female feminity and body confidence. Her Instagram is a collection of photography, art, fashion and activism, breaking the stereotypes of “plus size” and inviting her growing followers to join her new journey into the fashion industry.

by Olivia Chan
photo by Emma Breschi for Bricks Magazine
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