Fashion is one of the most important industries during the 2010s, as more people have followed fashion trends in the said decade compared to the 2000s and 1990s, where outfits can be different from each other since people have various tastes and preferences.
In the 2010s, streetwear, which was popularized by skateboarding lifestyle brands like Supreme and Stüssy, became the biggest fashion trend. Because of streetwear’s popularity, luxury brands that were considered “old-fashioned” by many started to follow the trend and create their own streetwear collections that deviated from the elegance that they previously advocated.
To help luxury brands market their new products to a much younger consumer base, they hired young fashion models that are popular on social media and among the younger generations. To know more, here is a list of the most popular models that helped shape the fashion trends of the 2010s.
Emily Ratajkowski is an American model who was born in London and raised in California, where she would start her career in modeling. She debuted as a cover girl for the March 2012 issue of the erotic magazine called “treats!.” It was because of “treats!” that she was able to appear in two popular music videos, namely “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke and “Love Somebody” by Maroon 5.
Ratajkowski would make her catwalk model debut at the 2015 New York Fashion Week for fashion brand Marc Jacobs. Then, Ratajkowski would model and walk for various brands, including Miu Miu (a subsidiary of Prada), Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana. Besides being a model and actress, Emily Ratajkowski is also an advocate for issues on women’s health.
Karlie Kloss is an American model who was considered by Vogue Paris as one of the top 30 models of the 2000s. While Kloss started her career in modeling in 2006, it was in the 2010s that her popularity reached its peak, especially when she became a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 2013 to 2015. The Victoria’s Secret Angel is a job given by high-profile remodels that have to wear Victoria’s Secret’s underwear collection for their annual fashion show.
In 2015, Karlie Kloss resigned as a Victoria’s Secret Angel in order to have more time to pursue her studies at New York University, although she still accepted modeling projects for other brands. After studying at the said university, Kloss hosted the reality TV show titled “Project Runway” in 2019. As of 2023, Karlie Kloss has appeared on 40 international Vogue magazine covers.
Cara Delevingne is arguably one of the most recognizable faces of the 2010s, and it is not just because of modeling, as she is also an actress who appeared in numerous popular movies, like Anna Karenina (2012), Paper Towns (2015), and Suicide Squad (2016). She signed with a renowned British model agency called Storm Entertainment in 2009 after leaving school, and from then on, she would become one of the most successful British fashion models. Delevingne won the Model of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards in 2012 and 2014.
By 2015, she decided to reduce her modeling projects because of fatigue, and this resulted in a long modeling hiatus where she focused more on her acting career. Besides working as an actress, Cara Delevingne also wrote a novel titled “Mirror, Mirror,” which was released in 2017.
Anna Ewers is a German fashion model who rose in prominence after being featured on the 2015 version of Pirelli Calendar, an annual trade calendar published by UK tire manufacturing company Pirelli. Ewers was discovered by iconic fashion designer Alexander Wang when he saw Ewers’s photo on a blog. Wang would then send the image to casting director Anita Bitton, who did her best to find Ewers and give her an opportunity to model in different countries around the world. By 2014, she had already modeled and walked for Balenciaga, Prada, Alexander Wang, and Dolce & Gabbana.
As of 2023, Anna Ewers has been in more than 100 lookbooks and magazines, including W, Vogue Paris, Vigue Italia, and Numero China. Despite being relatively popular in the fashion industry, Anna Ewers has been able to keep her personal life very private.
Liu Wen is a Chinese model who was born in Hunan, China and is considered the country’s first supermodel. At a young age, Liu Wen was encouraged by her mother to model so that she could improve her poster, as she developed the habit of hunching her back because she was much taller than her classmates. By the age of 17, she was already offered to model in Beijing, one of China’s most popular cities, and from then on, she would be discovered by international companies and fashion designers.
Liu Wen was the first Chinese model to walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and she was also the first Chinese model to appear on the front cover of American Vogue. After her appearance in the May 2023 issue of American Vogue, Liu Wen is the first model of Chinese descent to be featured in the said magazine three times.
Kendall Jenner is an American model who rose to fame due to appearing in the reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which focused on Jenner’s family, including Kim Kardashian (her half-sister) and Kris Jenner (her mother). Keeping Up with the Kardashians became one of the longest-running reality TV shows in the US, and Kendall Jenner has appeared in all 20 seasons of the show that aired over the span of fourteen years.
Jenner started her modeling career at the age of 14 by appearing in print ads and photoshoots. Then, she became one of the most in-demand fashion models in the industry by the mid-2010s. She would walk in various fashion weeks in Paris, Milan, and New York, and she would also appear in different magazine covers for Vogue and British style fashion magazine LOVE. In 2015, she was included on Forbes magazine’s list of top-earning models, as it was estimated that she has an annual income of $4 million.
Ashley Graham is an American model known in the 2010s for being one of the most popular plus-sized models, and it was through her efforts that the modeling industry became more open to who they can hire as fashion models for magazine covers and runways. Graham came into prominence with her debut on the cover of the 2016 swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. She would later model for renowned fashion designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, and Prabal Gurung.
In the late 2010s, Ashely Graham became an advocate for body positivity, appearing for various movements and projects that promote size acceptance. In 2017, she appeared on the cover of Vogue, thus becoming the first plus-sized model to be featured in the magazine.
Bella Hadid is an American model who has appeared in more than 25 international Vogue covers. Hadid began her modeling career at the age of 16 and made her debut at the 2014 New York Fashion Week. In 2016, Bella Hadid was chosen as the Model of the Year by many critics and professionals for Models.com. Then, by 2017, Hadid was able to break the record for the most Vogue September covers in a single year by appearing in five international editions of Vogue magazine, namely the ones published in China, Australia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Brazil, and Spain.
Because of her success as a fashion model, Bella Hadid has garnered fans from all over the world, and she also has a big following on social media. In addition to modeling, Bella Hadid has also appeared in a couple of music videos, including The Weeknd’s “In The Night,” which was released in 2015. She also played a guest character named Lena in the third season of the comedy-drama TV show Ramy.
Gigi Hadid is the older sister of Bella Hadid who is also a very popular model in the 2010s. Gigi Hadid started as a child model for Baby Guess in 1997, and in 2013, she made her New York Fashion Week debut. In 2016, Gigi Hadid was named International Model of the Year by the British Fashion Council. As of 2023, Hadid has already made 45 appearances in international Vogue magazines. Her success in the modeling industry is evident by the fact she was one of the highest-earning models.
Throughout the 2010s, Gigi Hadid has modeled and collaborated with dozens of different brands, which included Balmain, H&M, Valentino, Fendi, and Versace. In 2022, Gigi Hadid announced that she was launching her first solo clothing line called Guest in Residence.
So, those are nine of the most popular fashion models of the 2010s. Some of these young models have already made their mark in the modeling industry, and they have already become an inspiration for aspiring models who want to be as successful as them.