NYFW Fall 2012: Catwalk Queens

These breathtaking beauties were New York Fashion Week's strongest strutters.
ESSENCE.COM Feb, 09, 2012

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Joan Smalls is now the New York Fashion Week vet. When the Puerto Rican beauty stepped out in a spicy red dress at the DVF show, one thing was clear — she separates the girls from the ladies.


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It’s hard not to work a dress like this, and Matonhodze did it with ease. The 17-year-old Zimbabwe-born model may be young but she certainly knows what she’s doing. You may recognize her face from Versace’s pre-Fall collection or last year’s Louis Vuitton ad campaign, and get used to it — she’s just getting started.


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This Jamaican catwalk queen worked — and we mean worked! — the Naeem Khan runway. Last season the IMG model caught the fashion world’s attention at the Balenciaga and Isaac Mizrahi’s shows and has since been photographed by big shots like Karl Lagerfeld and Steven Klein. Her strength: the alluring confidence she exudes.


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4 of 8 Michael Rowe

Cole is a rising star signed to Major Model Management. Cole burst onto the scene at last season’s L.A.M.B show, but her cool buzz cut had the front row divas chattering about this wide-eyed beauty at the William Okpo show and Mimi Plange show. She’s definitely one to watch.


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This Jamaican beauty, known for her long legs and sexy lips, has been modeling for five years. “My favorite thing about fashion week is traveling to New York, London, Milan and Paris,” said McDonald backstage at the Tracy Reese show. We can’t wait to see this muse’s sassy stride again!


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She’s the new kid on the block, in New York, at least. It’s her first season here, after several appearances on the European fashion week scene. “I feel like a real international model now,” gushed Tookes backstage at Hervé Léger. The golden-skinned beauty — who is a lovely mix of Black, White, Brazilian and West Indian — turned up the heat in this leather Léger look with a strut so strong we’re sure to see her back in New York in Septmeber.


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This Sudanese stunner made her presence felt while sashaying down the runway of William Okpo. Her exceptionally slender frame already sets her apart from the rest, but it’s her confidence that truly dominates.


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This French beauty from Ford Models has been ripping the runway for the past three years since she was discovered on the streets of Paris. “I was just a tomboy,” Anais admitted backstage. But there was no escaping what was already in her genes — her mom was also a model. Now she’s walking for designers including Peter Som and Jason Wu this season.


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