PARIS — The fall womenswear season not only marked the big return of physical runway shows, but also ushered in a crop of new faces.
The most in-demand models were not the usual suspects, but a group of emerging talents led by América González, the Venezuelan model who walked in 30 shows, including Chanel, Versace, Bottega Veneta and Louis Vuitton, fashion search engine Tagwalk said Thursday in a report titled “50 Key Fall/Winter 2022 Facts.”
Rounding out the top 10 of busiest models this season were Sherry Shi, with 29 shows; Victoria Fawole, with 28 appearances; Caren Jepkemei, at 27 shows; Maty Fall Diba, Tanya Churbanova and Yilan Hua, all clocking in at 23 shows; Vilma Sjöberg, with 22 appearances, and Awar Odhiang and Sara Grace Wallerstedt, both with 21 shows.
“Paris had the most new faces this season, so they were really good at detecting new people,” Alexandra Van Houtte, founder and chief executive officer of Tagwalk, told WWD. “I think it’s to do with the pandemic that people just want new freshness.”
There were 71 new faces cast during Paris Fashion Week, versus 56 in Milan, nine in New York City and four in London, according to Tagwalk data. The show with the most new faces was Bottega Veneta in Milan, which marked the debut of its new creative director Matthieu Blazy by casting 21 emerging talents.
But industry veterans proved their staying power by sending search engines into overdrive. An appearance by Bella Hadid generated an 852 percent jump in views for any runway look — an effect that benefited not just established brands like Off-White, Givenchy and Versace, but also smaller labels like Ambush, Coperni and Ludovic de Saint Sernin.
Adut Akech, Gigi Hadid and Paloma Elsesser similarly drove an uptick in eyeballs, registering average increases of 653 percent, 417 percent and 351 percent, respectively. “These four models drive literally almost three times more traffic than any other models during fashion week,” Van Houtte remarked.
While the top 10 busiest models were a more diverse group than before the coronavirus pandemic, designers still have a fairly narrow interpretation of the concept, she said during a presentation in Paris. Christian Siriano was the most inclusive brand overall.
A total of 62 brands included curvy models in their shows, but they only accounted for 8 percent of the top 20 shows of the season, based on views registered between Feb. 11 and March 9.
Tagwalk found that 50 designers, representing 16 percent of the top 20, included transgender or nonbinary models in their cast, while 42 designers, accounting for 36 percent of the top 20 ranking, opted for models aged above 30. French law does not allow companies to compile data based on ethnic origin.
Van Houtte called the casting of older models “the easy option to promote diversity,” noting the heavy presence of veteran models on the runway. Cindy Crawford, Amber Valletta, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Erin Wasson and Marie-Sophie Wilson-Carr all made appearances this season.
“Milan and Paris, which drive the most traffic and who have the most exposure and who should lead by example, are the ones who are not yet including 100 percent of diverse casting into their fashion shows,” Van Houtte said.
Alongside runway faces, new talents are emerging on the beauty front. Makeup artist Fara Homidi, who works with brands such as Schiaparelli, Coperni and Hermès, and hairstylist Jawara, whose clients include Burberry, Off-White and Lanvin, have seen the biggest progressions since 2019, according to Tagwalk.
Another talent to watch is Karim Belghiran, who did the hair for the Lecourt Mansion show in Paris, the report said.