Next up on the Faby’s Best of 2021, let’s get into Model of the Year! With a huge return to runway shows this year, we witnessed our favorite models grace the catwalk during the global fashion weeks. The nominees for Model of the Year not only captivate us with their effortless struts but also with their campaigns, magazine covers, and more.
With that being said, we would like to present this year’s 2021 Model of the Year nominees:
Earning the number one spot as this year’s highest paid model in the world, Kendall Jenner continues to reign supreme in her modeling career. The Kardashian-Jenner sister has served as a muse to labels including Jacquemus, Versace, Givenchy and more in addition to her family’s brands like KKW Fragrance and Skims. This year alone, she has also landed many covers such as Vogue Spain, Elle, and Vogue Hong Kong.
While she serves face on the runways and campaigns, the model’s off-duty style is also one to watch as she steps out in absolutely-chic looks. Her dazzling Givenchy dress at the 2021 Met Gala served as quite the style moment for the young model.
2. Bella Hadid
As one of the biggest models in the world, supermodel Bella Hadid is hard to miss as she is always featured in the latest brand campaigns and runways. For the year of 2021, she has modeled for Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace, Mugler, and Victoria Secret to name a few. As a favorite of the late Virgil Abloh’s, the model also had the distinct honor of opening his last Off-White Fall 2021 show.
Her noteworthy out-of-office style also keeps the industry on its toes, with her serving major street style and red carpet moments. She made endless headlines with her 2021 Cannes Film Festival looks which included fresh-off-the-runway Schiaparelli and vintage Jean Paul Gaultier. When she isn’t handling fashion business, she is utilizing her platform to bring attention to social issues.
3. Precious Lee
Following her breakout moment on Versace’s Spring/Summer 2021 runway, Precious Lee is showing the industry that she is the moment. Posing as one of the most sought-after models globally, Precious Lee has been spotted modeling for brands like Moschino, Michael Kors, and Balmain. Other notable moments from the model include her dazzling Area look at the 2021 Met Gala and covering Vogue’s iconic September issue alongside Bella Hadid, Anok Yai, Kaia Gerber, and more.
As the first black curve model to cover American Vogue and the first of three plus-size models to walk for Versace, Precious Lee is paving the way for more diversity and inclusion in the industry all the while breaking boundaries one strut at a time.
4. Paloma Elsesser
Plus-size model Paloma Elsesser is a trailblazer who is advocating for change in the fashion industry and redefining how the future of fashion will look. After being hand-picked by Pat McGrath via Instagram to lead her self-named beauty line, Paloma Elsesser has quickly become a favorite of the industry due to her unquestionable beauty and unapologetic confidence.
Elsesser has been featured in countless brand collections and shows including Chloe, Lanvin, Marni, and Michael Kors in addition to earning a place amongst Time‘s Time 100. Not to mention, she has become a style crush to many with major looks including her Roberto Cavalli moment at a friend’s wedding, Peter Do ensemble at the 2021 CFDA Awards, and 16Arlington look at the 2021 British Fashion Awards.
5. Kaia Gerber
With the iconic Cindy Crawford as her mother, it should come as no surprise that daughter and model Kaia Gerber decided to strut in her footsteps. As former British Fashion Awards Model of the Year, Kaia Gerber has fashion and style rooted in her DNA, having modeled for brands like Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, and Louis Vuitton.
Major magazine covers and features from this year included I-D, Vogue, and Elle. Not to mention, she ventured into the world of acting, joining the season 10 cast of American Horror Story.
6. Lourdes Leon
Lourdes Leon, daughter to legendary pop artist Madonna, seized 2021 and made it her year to shine. The model and actress landed on campaigns and shows for Versace, Swarovski, Mugler and Savage X Fenty. Additionally, she graced Vogue‘s September model issue and the red carpet of this year’s Met Gala in a dazzling pink Moschino dress that turned heads.
Landing modeling gigs for major brands including her debut with Stella McCartney, Lourdes Leon is making a name for herself in the industry, solidifying her as one to keep on your radar.
7. Adut Akech
As a mentee of Naomi Campbell, it is no surprise that South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech Bior is a high in-demand model with a commanding walk. As an Estée Lauder global brand ambassador, her physical beauty is also undeniable as she is celebrated for it globally and dubbed as a beauty crush of many fans.
Fashion brands and editorials cannot seem to get enough of the model as she has been spotted in Vogue on numerous occasions and modeled for Balmain, Versace, and Isabel Marant to name a few. Aside from her 2021 career highlights, Adut Akech is constantly advocating for diversity in order to provide a better future for the industry.
8. Naomi Campbell
When it comes to modeling, Naomi Campbell is not new to the skill but rather true to it. Modeling for over four decades for the biggest labels and houses, Naomi Campbell is a fashion icon and history-making model, becoming the first Black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue France and British Vogue and the first Black model to cover Time.
With one of the most recognizable faces and unmatched, effortless struts in the industry, Campbell still appears in major campaigns and shows to this day, having just walked for Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Lanvin, and Versace within the past few months. Perhaps, her most heartwarming moment from this year was becoming a mom to her little bundle of joy!
9. Winnie Harlow
Making her big debut in fashion on cycle 19 of America’s Next Top Model, Jamaican-Canadian supermodel Winnie Harlow continues to be a force in the industry, embracing her vitiligo skin condition and redefining the standards of beauty.
This year, she become Paul Mitchell’s first-ever global brand ambassador as well as covered magazines like L’Officiel and Wonderland. She also walked the runway for labels like LaQuan Smith, Christian Cowan, and Moschino. Wrapping up her 2021 highlights, she also delivered major style moments including her Valdrin Sahiti birthday dress, custom Moncler puffer look for the 2021 British Fashion Awards, and dressing up as Grace Jones for Halloween.
10. Anok Yai
After being discovered in a viral photo of her attending Howard University’s 2017 Homecoming, Anok Yai was launched quickly into the world of fashion where she is now one of the biggest models in the industry, having modeled for some of the most renowned fashion brands in the world.
Major moments from 2021 by Anok Yai include walking for Prada and Saint Laurent as well as covering Vogue Netherland, Harper’s Bazaar, American Vogue twice, and I-D. Of course, we cannot forget her stunning moment on the 2021 Met Gala red carpet wearing a captivating Oscar de la Renta look.
11. Alton Mason
Having walked as the first Black male model for Chanel in 2019, Alton Mason is undeniably a runway sensation with a face the industry cannot get enough of. Mason’s skills do not stop at fashion and modeling as he also dances, including participating in backup for Diddy in the past, and acts, with his latest role as Little Richard in Bas Luhrmann’s Elvis.
Noteworthy fashion moments by Mason include modeling for Givenchy, Rick Owens, Off-White, Gucci, and Bottega Veneta as well as covering Dazed Magazine alongside bad gal Rihanna and Harper’s Bazaar. It is no wonder GQ named him as “the hottest male model in the world”.
Vote below for Model of the Year: