The top models that dominated fashion in the 2010s are much more than just beautiful faces on the catwalk or magazine covers. As the industry shifts from adhering to conventional beauty ideals to embracing diversity, body positivity and gender fluidity, the last 10 years saw South Sudanese-Australian beauty Adut Akech, body activist Ashley Graham, the first hijab-wearing model featured in Sports Illustrated, Halima Aden and more rising to the top of the modeling world. With 2020 being just around the corner, we’re looking back on some of the most iconic models that helped usher in a new age of acceptance in fashion over the last decade.
In the early 2010s, runway veterans like Karlie Kloss and Natalia Vodianova could always be found on the covers of glossys like Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. Lindsey Wixson landed major campaign deals with Chanel, Versace x H&M and Mulberry, while Liu Wen worked with brands ranging from Estée Lauder to Calvin Klein.
Moving into the mid-2010s, Ashley Graham signed with IMG Models and has since continued to help redefine beauty standards surrounding women’s body image and sizes. Thanks to the rise of social media, new It-models such as Kendall Jenner, Winnie Harlow and the Hadid sisters, Bella and Gigi, took the fashion world by storm with their impressively massive following.
Ruth Bell, who wore a buzz cut back in 2016, scored her first Vogue cover before eventually becoming a muse for Dior under the artistic direction of Maria Grazia Chiuri. Around the same time, Nathan Westling became one of the main models at Fashion Weeks, walking for luxury houses including Louis Vuitton.
The fashion world welcomed legendary supermodel Cindy Crawford‘s daughter Kaia Gerber in 2017 at New York Fashion Week, and it didn’t take long before the newcomer scored campaigns with Saint Laurent, Jeremy Scott and even Chanel.
Keep scrolling to see more models who ruled the 2010s. And while you’re here, read about the breakout models from Fashion Month Spring/Summer 2020.
2010 – 2013
Fei Fei Sun
Hanne Gaby Odiele
2014 – 2016
2017 – 2019
- Composite Imagery
- Yeeun Kim/Hypebae