We’ve been following mega-influencers like Chiara Ferragni and Aimee Song for years, watching as they grew from humble fashion bloggers to multi-millionaires. But as they launch their very own brands and start families, it’s time to look to the next generation of It Kids.
With their unique styles, flourishing careers and savvy social skills, these rising stars provide a steady stream of Insta pictures with a purpose. From traveling the world to fronting glossy magazine covers and campaigns to boutique-hopping in search of rare vintage gems, these up-and-coming influencers give us a new lens with which to view the world — or at least a new way to get dressed.
We’ve gathered a lift of social media pros who are quickly becoming big names in the fashion and beauty worlds. Many of them are already working their way up the ladder, with designers, brands and big-name publications eager to get their hands on some fresh talent. We suggest you start following them now.
Yolanda Foster brought not one, not two, but three gorgeous humans into the world. Of course, the first two — Gigi and Bella Hadid — are well-known by now, having earned their positions at the top of the modeling food chain. But their baby bro, Anwar, who signed with IMG Models just last year, is already making a name for himself in the fashion industry at age 18. The youngest Hadid has done campaigns for Hugo by Hugo Boss, Tommy Jeans and Zadig & Voltaire and walked the runway for brands like Moschino and Philipp Plein. Plus, he’s romantically attached to actress Nicola Peltz and he can pull off a mean dangly earring.
Argentinian-born Candela Pelizza and her twin sister came to Milan when they were 17, where they both landed a shoot for Italian Vogue with Bruce Weber. After making it into the legendary glossy, Pelizza started traveling the world and met her husband, architect Fabio Novembre. She’s since settled in Milan with her two kids — she’s definitely a cool mom — and counts Chiara Ferragni as one of her closest friends. You can spot the stylish influencer with a bright, red lip seated front row at fashion weeks, draped in vintage maxi dresses and horizontal stripes.
Federico Spinas is an Italian provincial boy-turned-model who, in a very short period of time, skyrocketed into the big leagues with some Dolce & Gabbana and Versace campaigns and Armani and Vivienne Westwood shows. (He’s also one of the men smooching on Italian Vogue’s September cover.) And when he’s not landing coveted editorials, he’s hanging out with other male models on-the-rise, like Luka Sabbat.
From acting as a Louis Vuitton muse to fronting the covers for Vogue Australia, ELLE UK, i-D and Teen Vogue, 22-year-old Fernanda Ly is becoming one of fashion’s most talked about faces. The Japanese model, who hails from Australia and studies architecture, has gained a rapid following thanks to her gothic style and powdery pink-colored hair.
Philly native Gabrielle Richardson models for Pat McGrath and Urban Outfitters, but her main role is founder of the Art Hoe Collective, a movement dedicated to providing a platform for all members of underrepresented communities to showcase their art. Naturally the 23-year-old’s Instagram is filled with paintings and the occasional gap-toothed selfie, but there are also some glimpses at her modeling work.
Discovered on Facebook, 25-year-old Hannah Donker is commonly referred to as The Weeknd’s muse for her starring role in the music video for his single „Secrets.“ The Wilhelmina-signed beauty can also be found in ELLE Canada and in a major Garnier campaign. Off-duty, Donker practices facial yoga, which undoubtedly helps her kill the no makeup game.
Leyna Bloom is an Illinois-grown model and former dancer — her lean, muscular body is the result of her many years spent studying ballet. We first spotted this up-and-coming talent strutting down the runway at Chromat and the Blonds; she has, hands down, one of the fiercest walks in the biz. And when she’s not dominating catwalks, she’s making headlines for her work in print: In October, Bloom became the first out transgender model of color to be featured in Vogue India.
At 20 years old, Lori Harvey is part of the next wave of celebrity offspring to watch. The daughter of talkshow host Steve Harvey is a champion equestrian, as well as being one of Dolce & Gabbana’s millennial favs, having walked the brand’s runway three times. In addition to making her papa proud, Harvey hangs with Teyana Taylor and attends fancy gatherings like the recent Bal des Debutantes in Paris, where she came out in society wearing an Elie Saab gown.
Miquela Sousa, otherwise known as Lil Miquela, is a computer-generated Instagram model and musician from California. Real or not, Miquela boasts almost 500K followers with her prolific selfie game and avant garde makeup looks. Even though she’s a computer simulation, she can still be reached via DMs — swapping beauty tips with fans and sharing Insta stories of her VIP access into rap shows.
Madelynn Furlong runs her blog Wide Eyed Legless from snowy Minneapolis. Best known for her minimal style and simple approach to design, Furlong is a refreshing content creator who’s nature-based posts provide a much-needed break from the vast majority of influencers headquartered in urban centers. But don’t let the backdrop fool you: She’s just as in tune with designers and trends as city-dwellers.
Last year, we included the 21-year-old Atlanta-based brains behind @double3xposure, Reese Blutstein, in our influencers to watch roundup. In 2017, we started seeing a lot more of Reese’s chic twin Molly. Together, the stylish sisters champion double the indie fashion labels and spot twice as many under-the-radar cool-girl Insta brands. Definitely a duo to watch!
Swedish model Sabina KarIsson started her modeling career at the ripe age of four. At age 17, and after years working with a number of high-end designers, KarIsson was told she was too big by casting agents, which led her to give up on modeling. Luckily, she returned to the industry, this time as a plus-size model. She’s since become an activist for body positivity, having joined fellow plus-size trailblazer and stunner Ashley Graham in Lane Bryant’s Plus is Equal campaign. KarIsson’s voluminous ginger curls, full pout and generous sprinkling of freckles have booked her numerous jobs for brands like H&M, Christian Siriano and Chromat.
Meet another Sabina on-the-rise: Sabina Socol is a former social media editor at a major French publication, so she’s an expert on engagement and has the whole „effortless Parisian girl“ look nailed down. From street style snaps to mirror selfies with a digital camera (far more chic than using your iPhone), Socol provides an endless supply of Jane Birkin outfit references — basket bags, pretty tops and lots of denim — all while looking like a mini Brigitte Bardot.
Sadie Sink is the newest Demogorgon-slayer — some even say she stole the show when she made her Hawkins debut in season two of „Stranger Things.“ The red-haired teen hails from Texas, but has spent the past few years starring in Broadway productions and making movies before jumping to fame in the hit Netflix series. She now juggles high school with starring in Miu Miu campaigns and pink-suited editorials for W magazine. Fellow „Stranger Things“ star Millie Bobbie Brown certainly had a breakout fashion year, so we’re betting Sink is the next fashion maven — better get on that, Nicolas Ghesquière.
A photographer shooting a feature for Paper magazine discovered 19-year-old Salem Mitchell through her overripe banana selfies on Instagram. A year and a half later, the freckled-faced SoCal beauty has signed with Ford Models, starred on the cover of Numéro Berlin and shot ads with Converse, Aerie, Gap and Gucci, among others.
Ever since opening Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2016 show, Selena Forrest has become the „it“ girl among fashion circles. She’s bagged campaigns for Céline and joined Pharrell in an editorial shot by Mario Testino for Vogue. Meanwhile, her social media presence still dabbles in adolescence with the frequent McDonald’s snack and „curly hair matters“ captioned selfie. But unlike most teenagers, she’s also one of the most in-demand models, so most of her feed highlights her incredible editorial and runway work.
Violette, a French makeup artist and Estée Lauder’s new Global Beauty Director, has an Instagram feed filled with incredibly colored eyelids, glittered brows and rouged lips — it’s a boundary-less makeup palette of inspiration pulled from nature, art and everyday life that perfectly sums up her „anything goes“ makeup mantra. Having worked on photoshoots for years, Violette’s has quite the novel-long list of ways to craft the ultimate beauty routine, which she generously shares with the world through her YouTube channel.
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