Guest Models Ruled New York Fashion Week’s Fall 2014 Runways

This year at NYFW the clothes seemed to take a backseat to nearly everything else. Not that there wasn’t anything interesting being shown on the runway—there was just a lot going on: the polar vortex, the longer-than-ever trek from show to show, the Instagram bait sets at Marc Jacobs, where a layer of gray clouds canopied the audience, and Opening Ceremony, where Belgium chocolate dripped from the walls in sync with L-VIS 1990’s live soundtrack. Yet the biggest non-sartorial talking point was the models who wore them. Designers put more energy than ever into casting this year, which made for a lot more surprises throughout the week.


Kendall Jenner walks at Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week show.
Photo: Getty Images

Marc Jacobs has an eye for budding young stars. He helped put Miley Cyrus on the fashion industry’s radar early last year when he sat her front row at his Fall ’13 show, dressed in a head-to-toe look from the then-current season, and recently tapped her for his Spring ads. So the designer’s decision to cast Kendall Jenner must mean that he sees potential in the reality TV star-turned-model. Not to mention the surprise of seeing her with bleached brows, a sleek bob, and in a sheer top. PR gold.


Gigi Hadid walks at Jeremy Scott’s Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week show.
Photo: Getty Images

As Kendall Jenner’s appearance will likely prove, NYFW can make a model’s career, and this season Gigi Hadid got her big break. The 18-year-old model—whom you might recognize as the daughter of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster—opened and closed Jeremy Scott’s sporty show as well as walked in Desigual. Judging by her current CR Fashion Book coverand Sports Illustrated swimsuit spread, we’ll be seeing a lot more of her.


Anna Cleveland walks at Zac Posen, Christian Siriano, and The Blonds’ Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week shows.
Photo: Getty Images

Another NYFW mother-daughter passing of the baton happened between legendary model Pat Cleveland and her daughter, Anna. Young Cleveland was a standout at Zac Posen, Christian Siriano—where she theatrically walked with her dress hem pinched between her fingers—and at The Blonds, where she playfully knitted herself into her dress.


Juju and Cam’ron close Mark McNairy’s Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week show.
Photo: Getty Images

It’s a sad fact of NYFW that menswear designers often get overlooked, but Cam’ron and Juju made sure that Mark McNairy’s show wouldn’t be forgotten. The rapper and his lady friend sweetly held hands as they walked in the finale. But the biggest takeaway was getting to see the first glimpse of Cam’ron’s forthcoming cape line with Mark McNairy. It was tweed and fur-lined, and would look killer with a tux—basically everything a cape should be. In Cam’ron’s words, #HateNowCapeLater.


Le1f walks at Eckhaus Latta’s Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week show.
Photo: Getty Images

Eckhaus Latta, the emerging brand of Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, also tapped a rapper to walk their runway: NY rapper Le1f, who modeled a lavender turtleneck and matching pants and a cascading grey vest. Juliana Huxtable also modeled, which brings us to… DKNY.


Angel Haze, Chelsea Leyland, and A$AP Illz walk the DKNY Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week runway.
Photo: Getty Images

DKNY was all about guest models at their 25th anniversary show, which was one long parade of familiar faces as well as New Yorkers. Her diverse group of models included Juliana Huxtable, rapper Angel Haze, A$AP Mob’s A$AP Illz, and Chelsea Leyland, to name a few. Donna Karen let them choose their beauty looks and the whole show was a welcome change at NYFW, where the models hardly ever get to reveal their personalities.


Vogue dancers at Hood y Air’s Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week show.
Photo: Getty Images

Hood by Air’s show was another exception to the norm: The finale models were actually shirtless vogue dancers who closed the show with a hair-whipping performance to the beat of a rowdy club track. Even after these fall collections fade from stores, we’ll still be remembering the models who first wore them.

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