Models to Watch for the Spring 2022 Season: New Faces, the Men and the Women

Images courtesy of CM Model Agency

For this second edition of “models to watch,” we enlisted the help of two of the fashion industry’s top casting agents, Chad Thompson from Communa-k (communa-k.com), and Maurilio T. Carnino of MTC Casting (mtccasting.com). Chad has been an ace model casting director for over 15 years as has Maurilio. Both generously shared some of the new faces they have their eyes on with Fashion Reverie.

Chad and Maurilio pointed out that agents are having to scout aggressively in the USA, which they support. They see this as one of the silver linings that has emerged from the “new normal” fashion is grappling with. Fashion, they say, is becoming more regional due to travel restrictions. The result is that agents are considering models coming out of local US markets and smaller feeder agencies including some in Mexico. Prior to COVID, these models were eclipsed by international models who made the circuit from New York to London, Paris, and Milan. Says Chad, “More Americans are finding opportunities to model but the look that everyone is favoring is still very multicultural and diverse, like the US population trends in the most recent census findings.”

Images courtesy of nydailynews.com

Although most castings are still virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, things are heating up again now that we have some live shows to look forward to. Maurilio estimates that he looks at 150-180 models a day prior to shows, for the three most intense days of casting before the meeting with the designer. At that point, he and the designer look at 50-60 models. Although Maurilio is not casting for the upcoming NYFW, he has been busy all summer working on ads and photoshoots. At the time we spoke, he was working from Turin, Italy.

Both agents confirmed that a vast majority of their castings have been virtual. Instagram serves as many models’ portfolios, which also fits nicely into the new “no touch” restrictions. What’s new from last season is the increased use of the TikTok platform, which serves as an additional way for models to express themselves and their unique personalities. Agents find the platform valuable as it also highlights how the models move. One thing that has not changed; however, is preferences for certain heights. For female models, 5’11” is still what’s desirable. For men, the target height is 6’2”. There are of course exceptions, such as James Baek, who we feature below. Size wise, they state that the trend for designers including a girl of alternate size in their shows continues. Overall, Chad and Maurilio believe that this NYFW will prove to be a very diverse runway, and base this on the European men’s shows, which are known for being fashion forward and directional.

Meet our freshman class for fall 2021!

The Men

Image courtesy of Instagram

Adonai

Agency: NEXT Model Management

Instagram: @adxonai, 808 followers

So far, Adonai has done the JW Anderson Persol campaign and has a great character face.  This, coupled with his darker skin and fashion’s ongoing interest in diversity, is one of the trends the agents think we will continue to see. Adonai has an abundant mop of hair that can be styled like a Seventies’ afro or a futuristic sculpture, as was done for JW Anderson.

Images courtesy of Instagram

James Baek

Agency: DNA Model Management New York/ Select Los Angeles.

Instagram: @jamesbaekk, 4,063 followers

James is based on the West Coast where Chad saw him at a casting in LA. James has a Greg Lauren look book for spring/summer 2022 and fall/winter 2021 under his belt and has also done Hugo Boss with Russell Athletics. This would be his first fashion week for this slight model who, at an even 6 feet, falls slightly short of the desirable 6’2” mark. His strength is that he can morph from a tough guy in a tank and leather jacket to a modern day prepster with only an outfit change and by altering his facial expressions.

Images courtesy of Instagram

Jequiel Sykes

Mother Agency: Wilson Model Management/New York, The Society Management/Milan

Instagram: none

Jequiel is mega model Jecardi Sykes’ little brother. While Jecardi (@cardaveli) has a refined studious look, his little brother presents as tougher, and more brooding, not unlike a young James Dean. Jequiel has his work cut out for him; Jecardi has already walked for Off-White, Fendi, Iceberg, Prada, and Ermenegildo Zegna, to name just a few of his clients.

Image courtesy of Instagram

Niccolò Geuna

Mother Agency: Elite Paris

Instagram: @011.nico, 1,351 followers

One of Maurilio’s new favorites is this handsome Italian seventeen-year-old he calls “one of the hottest new faces in Europe.” Nicolo’s gorgeous bone structure and mop of wavy hair firmly place him in the “pretty boy” category. Despite the diversity on runways and ads, Maurilio believes there will always be work for handsome men on the skinny side such as Niccolò, particularly at brands such as Dior, Givenchy, Gucci, and Prada. Although he’s a newcomer, he’s already getting traction in Europe and is already a favorite at Etro and Fendi and has shot the DSquared fall/winter 2021 men’s look book.

Image courtesy of INYIM Media

Tyler “Ty” Hogan

Mother Agency: Marilyn New York

Instagram: @official_ty_hogan, 822 followers

This young model hails from Georgia. He has appeared in T Style magazine and the JW Anderson Persol Campaign. He has long strawberry blonde hair which is unique now and shows fashion’s ongoing interest in androgyny. 

 

The Women

Images courtesy of Instagram

Adesola Adeyemi

Mother Agency: One Management, New York

Instagram: none

Although this Nigerian beauty has only been in the modeling game for slightly under two years, and most of it in the pandemic, she has already shot the Saks Fifth Avenue spring/summer 2021 look book with Brendan Wixted and walked two Bibhu Mohapatra shows. Her symmetrical features and arresting almond shaped eyes have already landed her work with MAC Cosmetics for their Mac Pro spring 2019 ads. We look forward to seeing more of Adesola in the coming months on the runways and in fashion editorials.

Images courtesy of Instagram

Hallie Hummer

Mother Agency:  New York Models

Instagram: @halliehummer, 1,263 followers

Like Ty Hogan, this Saint Louis beauty has red hair, which makes her stand apart from other models.  She can appear as regal as a young Queen Elizabeth I in full-face makeup or as accessible as someone’s cute little sister in a torn pair of jeans, with her naturally wavy hair and little to no makeup. Hallie has already appeared in the Prada fall/winter 2021 show and video that took place in Milan last season. As Chad says, “Anyone who does Prada their first time at the rodeo, well, that’s a good indication of a career that will be successful.”

Image courtesy of Instagram

Jolie Chang

Mother Agency: The Identity Models Inc., New York

Instagram: @jolie_chang

This Asian beauty shows a sense of humor on her Instagram page and describes herself as “Comedian” in her bio. Jokester or not, she takes her career seriously and has appeared on the cover of Marie Claire Taipei, and walked for Dolce & Gabbana. Furthermore, she possesses the elegance to work as a fine jewelry model for the likes of Bulgari and Cartier.

 

The Mexicans: Tindi Mar, Sara Esparza, Marsella Rea

Tindi, Sara, and Marsella (below) are among the group of Mexican models that has benefitted from the pandemic. As stated earlier, Mexico was not widely looked at as a place to find new talent, prior to COVID-19.  Ford Models discovered Sara and Marsella, who work well together and have appeared in an editorial for the February 2021 issue of Vogue.

Image courtesy MX Models Forum

Tindi Mar

Mother Agency: The Industry New York

Instagram: @tindi.mar, 12k followers

TIndi’s career is off to a promising start, and she has one of the highest Instagram followings in our freshman class. Her pretty looks make her a shoo-in for beauty work as well as walking the runways. She had already had a runway exclusive for fall/winter Louis Vuitton and has shot with Ethan James Green for Dazed.

Image courtesy of facebook.com

Sara Esparza

Mother Agency: Ford Models

Instagram: @saraesparz, 15.2K followers

Sara has the classical face of a sixteenth century Spanish princess combined with the strong Aztec cheekbones and generous lips also make her a contender for beauty and eyewear work.  This coupled with her boyishly slim physique makes everything from a black bikini top to a couture dress look elegant and elevated. She’s already a favorite at Mexican Vogue and we look forward to seeing her appear in other issues in the franchise soon.

Image courtesy of Instagram

Marsella Rea

Mother Agency: Ford Models

Instagram: @maresellarea, 6,226 followers.

Marsella rounds-out the group and is perhaps the most compelling of the three women.  Her look is strongly androgynous, yet she can morph into a pretty socialite as she did at London Fashion Week 2020 in a ruffled red dress and hat. Her lanky physique makes her the perfect clothes hanger for anything from the classic camel coat she wore at the Theory fall 2020 presentation to the all-black ensemble she wore to walk for The Row.

*A big thank you to event producer, Christina Neault, for the introductions she provided which made this piece possible.

—Vivian Kelly

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