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The basic requirements to become a model might only be skin deep. But to really stand out, a girl needs passion, energy and a character strong enough to withstand the pressures of the fickle fashion industry. “You have to have a really strong personality to stay in this business,” says Jennifer Venditti, founder and casting director of JV8INC, whose clients include Vera Wang and Marc Jacobs. To discover who in this year’s crop of fresh faces we’ll be on a first-name basis with next year, WWD Beauty Biz canvassed industry insiders for their take on the season’s hottest hopefuls.
Runways walked: Gucci, Jil Sander, Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, Zac Posen
Standout moment: Beyond working with famed photographer Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue, Kasia’s versatility is key. “She’s an example of someone who can be a beauty and edgy,” says Venditti.
Runways walked: Chanel, Emilio Pucci, Matthew Williamson, Collette Dinnigan, Luella
Standout moment: Until now, her schedule has been limited by high school. But she’s hit the ground running. Look for her in V Magazine, i-D, Numero, Wonderland Magazine and 10. “People respond to her because they can tell that she’s a quirky, interesting girl behind her face,” says JV8INC’s casting associate Edward Kim.
Runways walked: Marc Jacobs, Jil Sander, Marni, Moschino Cheap & Chic, Nathan Jenden
Standout moment: Opening Marc Jacobs spring ’08 show gave her a stamp of approval to the fashion industry. “Marc Jacobs has the ability to take someone who’s a character and make them more accessible,” says Venditti. “There’s always that wild one, the black horse. And I think Lera could be that.”
Runways walked: Christian Dior, Chanel, Calvin Klein, Jil Sander, Marc Jacobs
Standout moment: She’s a palpable presence on first-rate runways who just needs a little seasoning. “She has all the bare essentials for a great new top face. It’s just a matter of her being developed,” says Kim.