Towards the end of any year, questions always arise about what’s next.
Who’s going to be the next name in fashion? Who’s face is going to be splashed across magazine covers, Instagram stories and new campaigns?
And most importantly, in the age of model activism, who’s going to make a mark in the next few months?
We’ve selected four faces you’ll be seeing more of in 2018.
Emma Breschi, model and film maker.
Breschi only signed with Models 1 in November 2016, and it has been an eventful 13 months year for the face who is used to being in front and behind the camera.
“2017 has been one of the most life changing years in my life,” she told HuffPost UK.
“It’s interesting because I honestly didn’t have any real expectations at the start. I fell into a career I never ever in a million years thought I’d have.
“I was just fresh out of uni, figuring out my next steps as a young creative, and the next thing I know I’m posing for the front cover of Harper’s Bazaar, eating cake with one of my heros, Juergen Teller, posing for Vivienne Westwood, Andreas Kronthaler and being shot for Vogue Italia by the incredible Solve Sundsbo!”
Though Breschi understands that she has been “lucky” in her opportunities and her experience is unusual - especially for models who are not a size six and caucasian, she has also noticed their are some people who are actively trying to improve diversity in the industry.
“There are some incredible people and brands that are doing everything in their power to influence, encourage and promote positive changes in fashion,” she said.
“And I am excited to see a fashion world that will be celebrating diversity in all its glory!”
When asked what her wishes for 2018 are Breschi states she hopes the fashion industry moves away from the numbers and the basics.
“It isn’t only about how many followers you have, what size you are, what your colour or ethnic background is, but instead what matters is who you are as a person... a human being,” she said.
“We should be celebrating models of all shapes, sizes, colour and backgrounds/ I think 2018 is the year when models are #morethanamodel.”
Helene Selam Kleih, model and presenter at Bad Canteen.
After being chosen to be a presenter on Bad Canteen by Kyra.TV, Kleih was recently featured in Stella McCartney’s fragrance video and LOVE Magazine.
She is also an outspoken advocate for issues of diversity.
“I’m looking forward to seeing fashion houses actually push the boundaries instead of using ethnic minorities as tokens and being championed for it,” she said.
Kleih is happy to finally see the industry change to begin to allow models to also have a voice and stand for their beliefs without being worried that they will never be booked for a job again.
“A lot of models now are not just faces and kept ‘hush hush’,” she said.
“So many women and men are being valued for their brains as well.
“Thats what I’m most excited about: everyone being recognised for their hard work. Everyone has their place on the team, fashion week can’t work with one cog missing.”
When describing her 2017, Kleih mentions how it has been a “rollercoaster”.
“There have been extreme highs and lows,” she said.
“I’ve had an awakening to take joy in the little things. I’m currently curating a book on mental health and men called ‘Him and His’ so I’m excited to put that together.”
Jiahe Zhang, model and illustrator.
Zhang has recently been selected for both MissGuided’s #KEEPONBEINGYOU editorial and ASOS’ Christmas campaign.
She is very clear on what she wants to see in 2018.
“I want to feel like I have equal opportunity as a white model,” she explained.
“I hate feeling like I’m that ‘token Asian’ model in shoots so I’m hoping to see more diversity in fashion in 2018, I know people say it every year but it’s something that’s very important to me.”
Model, illustrator and student Zhang hopes creatives and models are frankly treated better in the new year.
“2017 had so many set backs in terms of the treatment of models that I feel like this must be the bad before the good," she said.
“The whole Terry Richardson thing just about sums it up, and I have experienced it personally this year on two separate occasions, where I have had people who are in a position of power feel like they can just say or do whatever disgusting thing they want to whoever they want and that's just not okay, no matter who you are.
"I’m really excited about finishing university and getting my illustration degree in May. Modelling-wise, I am looking forward to meeting new people and having new bizarre experiences. Fashion is always a bit mad and that’s something I really love about it!”
Kelly Knox, model.
Walking in runway shows for designers such as Teatum Jones, Kelly Knox is growing to be a recognisable face in fashion. She is also an advocate for normalising the representation of models with disabilities.
Knox is enthused by the idea of seeing an evolution of fashion in 2018 - continuing the changes she’s seen in 2017.
“Being signed by MiLK Model Management is my personal career highlight for 2017,” she said.
“I know together, we will continue to break barriers in the industry, crush stereotypes about disability and challenge the beauty ideal.
“MiLK (in my eyes) are leading the way in regards to representing diversity in fashion in the UK. With models and influencers such as Tess Holiday, Felicity Hayward and Sonny Turner, I feel super proud, lucky and grateful to be represented by MiLK.”
Knox lets us in on what she wants to achieve next.
“I would love to be made the face of a well-known beauty or fashion brand and really shake up what society perceives disability to be,” she said.
“To show disabled people are: beautiful, strong, fashionable, empowering and worthy”.
“Disability is the last barrier to break in fashion and I feel 2018 could be our year.
“Diversity isn’t going anywhere, it’s not a trend, it represents modern Britain and diversity sells! We all deserve representation in the industry.
“2018 feels like an exciting time and together we are paving a way to a more inclusive, beautiful, equal and diverse fashion world.”