By now, you must know how we feel about diversity in fashion modeling: We've tracked the number of women of color we spot on runways as well as the number of WOC on mainstream fashion magazines.Naturally, we're excited to see three of our favorite models of color — Lineisy Montero, Imaan Hammam, and Aya Jones — covering the August issue of Teen Vogue.
Decked out in denim and simply smoldering under the headline"Fashion's New Faces," these three young women of the world are changing industry standards. Read on to learn more about fashion's new faces.
Backstory: Not to brag, but we called this months ago: In February, the Dominican beauty walked the runway for Prada — a brand that has had a notoriously racially homogenous catwalk — alongside her fellow Teen Vogue cover star Aya Jones, and it was a sign that Lineisy's success in the industry was imminent.
Declared the season's "breakout star" by Vogue, the cat-eyed stunner with the adorable baby afro has now walked for a slew of shows, including Louis Vuitton, Celine, Stella McCartney, and Givenchy.
These turns immediately led her to booking big fashion spreads like the Paris Vogue shoot with Grace Bol, Damaris Goddrie, and Amilna Estevaõ — and to a campaign with Prada.
Hometown: Santo Domingo
Claim to Fame: Walked the Prada Fall 2015 runway in February, creating a social media stir and launching her career. Oh, and that adorable little afro.
How do you say that?: Lineisy's name is pronounced "Lin-a-see"
Fashion has been a whirlwind for her: As she told Models.com, she was discovered in an amusement park in her native Santo Domingo.
She's grounded as fuck: "I want to have a clothing line after I have my modeling career. Right now, I just want to work hard, have financial security and be able to help my family."
What she's doing right now: According to her Instagram page (@lineisymontero), she walked the Dior couture show this morning.
Backstory: Imaan's story reads like your textbook modeling discovery story: An unsuspecting 14-year-old is approached in a train station in her hometown, and with wide-eyed abandon goes on to enormous success. However, she's hardly your run-of-the-mill cover girl. Landing Givenchy ads, walking Victoria's Secret runways, and nabbing the Vogue September issue in just four short years, she's etching a name for herself and refusing to be competitive about it. As she told Teen Vogue, "I always thought models would be jealous and focused on trying to be more beautiful than the next one. But what I've seen more of is girls becoming friends, giving each other tips."
Claim to fame: Landing the September 2014 Vogue cover obviously never hurts a girl's career! One of the 9 models featured, Imaan went on to nab a Givenchy campaign, her enviable curls on full display, and to walk in the Victoria's Secret show.
She knows exactly who she is: When the Moroccan and Egyptian model is often misidentified as "Middle Eastern," she boldly pushes back, declaring, "No, I'm black. I am proud of my culture, proud of who made me, proud to be here."
How do you say that?: Is it any coincidence she and another African modeling icon share the same name? Hardly! However, Imaan pronounces her differently: "Ee-men" she tells Teen Vogue.
What's she doing right now?: According to her Instagram page (@hammamimaan), she's surfing with her bae, Turkish model Naleye Junior.
Backstory: 47. Yes, forty-seven. That's the golden number of shows the gorgeous Parisian put under her belt last season as one of the most in-demand models. From Valentino to Prada to Dior, the fashion industry fell quickly and hard for that "bee-stung pout" and "doe-eyed" expression of hers.
Hometown: Paris, France
Claim to fame: Did we mention the 47 shows the tireless beauty walked for the Fall 2015 season alone? Or the exclusive debut she secured with Prada for the Spring 2015 season, ushering the newbie into instant fame and an eventual Pre-Fall 2015 campaign with the historically whitewashed label?
The Paris-Ivory Coast connect: Although a Paris native, the model still stays connected to her father's Ivory Coast roots through their family-owned traditional Ivorian cuisine restaurant, La Banane. In the family for over 25 years and located in the Eleventh Arrondisement, Jones told Vogue it serves the best West African fare.
What's she up to right now: According to her Instagram (@iamayajones), she's been busy celebrating the Teen Vogue cover, her features in American Vogue, Vogue Japan, and walking in the Burberry resort show.
Marjon Carlos is a style and culture writer for Fusion who boasts a strong turtleneck game and opinions on the subjects of fashion, gender, race, pop culture, and men's footwear.