America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) returns to network television after a year’s hiatus. In this ANTM incarnation, the newly revamped ANTM is minus Tyra Banks and some very familiar judges—Kelly Cutrone and Jay Alexander.
Since its cancellation in 2015, many fashion and entertainment pundits felt that the model competition show in its 22-season cycle needed a makeover. That makeover includes a new network, VH1, host Rita Ora replacing Tyra Banks, curvy supermodel Ashley Graham, celebrity stylist Law Roach, and Drew Elliot, chief creative officer of Paper magazine. And there is also a bevy of guest judges DJ Khaleed, French Montana, Tinashe, Zendaya, Director X, supermodels Stacey McKenzie and Chanel Iman, Jason Derulo, Amber Rose, and others. And Tyra Banks, who still serves as executive producer makes a few surprise appearances on the show this season.
That said; Fashion Reverie looks back at the 13-year model competition show that gave insight into the modeling industry like no other show of its kind. And though many fashion industry professionals complain that ANTM was more entertainment than fashion, it cannot be denied that consumers loved it!!
When Tyra Banks launched ANTM in 2003, few believed it would be successful. Banks could find very few fashion industry professionals to appear on the show in its inaugural season, so Banks had to call on fashion friends and a few favors just to get the ball rolling. Original judges included supermodels Kimora Lee Simmons, Janice Dickinson, and model scout Beau Quillian. By season two Banks had employed model scout/stylist Nole Marin as a regular judge and Nigel Barker as the show’s main photographer. Nole Marin suggested Barker, who had been a top male model, to Banks.
The first few seasons received such high ratings that top designers/brands like Betsey Johnson, Zac Posen, Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Cynthia Rowley, Pamella Roland, Alice + Olivia, Kevan Hall, Osklen, Nanette Lepore, and many others made guest appearances or lent clothes to the show. And the list of judges grew from the original cast of Kimora Lee Simmons, Janice Dickinson, and Brett Quillian to Nole Marin, Andre Leon Talley, Twiggy, Paulina Porizkova, Kelly Cutrone, Jay Manuel, Bryan Boy, Rob Evans, Yu Tsai, and Nigel Barker.
Still, what of the model contestants? While very few of the contestants have established huge careers in fashion and entertainment industries, there are some notable models that have used ANTM as launch pad to respectable careers as models.
1) Perhaps, the most successful former ANTM alumnae is Leila Goldkuhl from cycle 19. Leila is signed with NEXT Model Management in New York, Milan, Miami, and Los Angeles. She is also signed with Chic Model Management in Sydney. She was chosen by designer Riccardo Tisci to walk in the Givenchy Spring 2016 collection as a worldwide exclusive, and appeared in Givenchy’s spring/summer 2016 advertising campaign, which was shot by Mert and Marcus and became the face of fall ready-to-wear campaigns for Dolce & Gabbanaand Just Cavalli In 2016, she appeared in editorials for Japanese, German and Australian Vogue, W (magazine), Harper’s Bazaar and CR Fashion Book. In addition, she has walked for Versace, Fendi, Tom Ford, Hermes, Stella McCartney, Kenzo, Giambattista Valli and Max Mara.
2) Fatima Siad from ANTM cycle 10 is currently signed with IMG Models in New York City, Paris, Milan, and London, and Ace Models in Athens, Greece, as well as with Munich Models in Munich, Germany. She has walked the runways for GiorgioArmani, Hermés, Ralph Lauren, Dries Van Noten, Emilia Wickstead, Moncler Gamme Rouge, J. Crew, Dennis Basso, NanetteLepore, Alexandre Vauthier, bebe, Tracy Reese, Betsey Johnson, Anne Valérie Hhas, and St. John. She has appeared in advertising campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Hervé Léger, Tiffany & Co., Liz Claiborne, BCBG, Tracy Reese, Express,Talbots, Neiman Marcus, Urban Decay, Aveda, Pantene, L’Oreal, Avon, Armani Exchange, Sephora, Cynthia Rowley, and Coca Cola. Siad has a contract with the Swiss cosmetic company, Arbonne and is one of the new faces for Arbonne FC5, appearing in ads for the products.
3) Though Yaya DaCosta seldom models these days, since her runner-up finish on ANTM cycle 3, DaCosta after a successful career as a commercial model, successfully moving on to a career in film, theatre and television. DaCosta breakout film role was in the dance film “Take the Lead” in 2006, and has since had a reoccurring role on “All My Children,” a featured role in “The Butler,” the lead role in the Lifetime biopic about Whitney Houston, and in 2015 a recurring role on “Chicago Med.
4) Other ANTM alumnae who’ve achieved some traction in the fashion industry include Chantal Jones, cycle 9, who is signed to Muse Model Management in NYC. Jones has s a consistent runway presence during New York Fashion Week and New York International Bridal Week, modeling for Barbie, Galia Lahav Bridal, Anne Barge Bridal, and RIVINI Bridal.
Sophie Sumner, winner cycle 18 is signed to New York Models works regularly in Asia. Phil Sullivan, male contestant on cycle 20, is signed to Ford Models, has a regular presence on runway and presentations during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. Stacy-Ann Fequiere, cycle 10, is signed to NEXT Models in Miami and State Model Management in NYC, has a consistent presence on runways and presentation in NYC, modeling for Alice + Olivia, Chromat, and Rinat Brodach. She has appeared in Seventeen, and Glamour South Africa. Gabrielle Kniery, cycle 14, is signed with Fenton Model Management in NYC and is a regular model for Alice + Olivia fashion shows.
“America’s Next Top Model” cycle 23 airs on VH1 on December 12 at 10pm EST.
—William S. Gooch