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Alek Wek for Luke Gilford

IMG Models: Top 10 Female Models of 2019

IMG Models is the house of some of the industry’s most elite models in the game. The agency has six offices located in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Milan and Sydney. We’ve compiled a list of their best and brightest — inclusive of new comers and super stars — that represent IMG’s diversity and talent.

By Natalie Dawson

1. Karlie Kloss

American super-model and 36-time cover girl for Vogue, Karlie Kloss is a force to be reckoned with. Unsurprisingly a household name, Karlie’s reputation proceeds her as she powers through the industry.

Discovered at a charity fashion show in 2006, Karlie quickly walked her first show for Calvin Klein and displayed her renowned strut. Karlie’s career history is full of generous figures and notable names.

During the 2008 New York Fashion Week she walked a massive 31 runways, opening for Carolina Herrera and closing for Marc Jacobs. Karlie eventually signed with IMG Models after being represented by Next Model Management. She has been in advertisements for Lacoste, Yves Saint Laurent, Victoria’s Secret and Adidas.

Photography Camilla Akrans | Porter Magazine

IMG Models | Karlie Kloss

2. Alek Wek

An empowering female figure within the modeling industry, Alek Wek consistently defies the odds. Alek suffered extraordinary losses as she was forced to escape her home country of Sudan due to the wreckage of civil war.

Her new home in London provided her with the opportunities to study Fashion Business and Technology. She was scouted in a market in 1995 and shortly thereafter appeared in the music video ‘GoldenEye’ by Tina Turner.

Alek is signed with IMG Models and has appeared on the covers of international magazines such as Vogue Germany and has previously been named “Model of the Decade”.

The positive representation inspired the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Lupita Nyong’o. “Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far-away gatekeepers of beauty,” Lupita remarked regarding Alek and her modelling career.

Photography Tyler Mitchell | Dazed Magazine

IMG Models | Alek Wek

3. Bella Hadid

Born into the hubbub of Hollywood, the Hadid’s have always been in the spotlight. Signed to IMG Models in 2014, middle child Bella had some big shoes to fill.

She currently holds contracts with brands such as Nike and Dior Cosmetics.The list of celebrity photographers she’s worked with is excessive and she’s walked in shows from New York to London and Milan to Paris.

Bella Hadid alongside her mother and brother are in a constant battle with Lyme disease. The illness can result in pain and fatigue alongside other neurological problems.

Despite this, Bella is unstoppable as she considered to be one of the modern world’s “new” supermodels alongside the likes of her sister, Gigi and friend Kendall Jenner.

Photography Sølve Sundsbø | Harper’s Bazaar USA

IMG Models | Bella Hadid

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4. Bianca Balti

The infamous Italian supermodel Bianca Balti has graced the pages of over ten international editorial magazines. From her first gig posing for L’Officiel, to her first notable campaign with Dolce & Gabbana.

Bianca has a world of experience to show off her sex appeal and astonishing versatility. She has appeared on the covers of fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan and posed for Victoria’s Secret and Playboy.

Iconic moments throughout her career consist of posing for Karl Lagerfeld for the 2011 Pirelli Calendar and two Vogue Italia couture supplements.

Bianca is signed to IMG Australia and represents them through her large body of campaigns, editorials and runway shows.

Photography Raf Stahelin | L’Express Styles

IMG Models | Bianca Balti

5. Paloma Elsesser

An advocate for plus size modelling and women of colour, Paloma Elsesser has social media to thank for her lucky break.

Discovered by the incredible Pat McGrath, Paloma’s career skyrocketed as she was hand selected for the Pat McGrath Labs makeup line.

Signed with IMG Models, Paloma has appeared in editorials for magazines such as American Vogue, Elle and Wonderland Magazine.

Sticking to her roots, Paloma still maintains an active social media presence and documents her journey and style.

The curve model actively speaks out about mental health and is a positive member of International Girl Crew (a group of women dedicated to supporting one another).

Photography Cass Bird | Vogue Mexico

IMG Models | Paloma Elsesser

6. Emily DiDonato

Between Emily DiDonato’s captivating eyes and sensual looks she was destined to grace the covers of international magazines.

Noticed by a family friend with an eye for young talent, Emily was no older than eighteen when she was signed as the face of Maybelline New York. Emily has been the face of the brand for upwards of seven years.

Emily walked for Victoria’s Secret in August 2009 and has also powered down the runway for Chanel, Balmain and Givenchy.

She has also appeared in campaigns for Miu Miu, Oscar de la Renta and Calvin Klein. Her unique look and talent in front of the camera dubbed her as Vogue Germany’s “top newcomer”.

Through her management with IMG Models, Emily has graced the June 2019 issue of Numéro Tokyo and Vogue Arabia.

Photography Zoey Grossman | Numéro Tokyo

IMG Models | Emily DiDonato

7. Ajak Deng

Raised in Melbourne, Ajak Deng is a Sudanese fashion model with a fantastic look and a love for the outdoors. Discovered at a finishing school for girls, Ajak impressed through her natural talent walking in heels.

Her big break came through a influenced change in style. Editor Edward Enninful and photographer Emma Summerton encouraged Ajak to dye her mini-afro platinum blonde. Her career took off after her i-D Magazine cover and before long she was posing for Vogue US and Italia.

Since then, Deng was signed with IMG Models and has modelled for campaigns for Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, MAC Cosmetics and Louis Vuitton.

In her spare time, Ajak enjoys hiking through her adopted homeland and has become an active follower of Australian Football League. During March of 2019, Deng wowed in an editorial for V Magazine.

Photography Nicole Maria Winkler | V Magazine

IMG Models | Ajak Deng

8. Shanina Shaik

A beautiful combination of her parents Lithuanian and Pakistani heritage, Melbourne born Shanina Shaik has made her mark on the industry.

Her unique look found her on a plane to New York City after she was noticed through an Australian “Make Me A Super Model” competition.

Her versatility and work ethic are widely known and appreciated as she takes on both high fashion and commercial jobs.

Through her representation with IMG Models Shanina walked for New York Fashion Week and has starred in advertisements for designers such as Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Victoria’s Secret since then.

Shanina now works on her passion for acting and has already worked alongside Tom Cruise in the 2017 version of “The Mummy”.

Photography Yossi Michaeli | L’Beaute

IMG Models | Shanina Shaik

9. Xiao Wen Ju

Scouted while running errands in her hometown in China, her career officially began in 2010 when she was signed with IMG Models. Xiao Wen Ju’s exuberance and humour makes her a lovely asset to the modelling industry.

Xiao has posed for the covers of international magazines such as Vogue, Elle, i-D Magazine and Numéro. Xiao was the first model of Chinese descent to be the face of Marc Jacobs.

Since her big break with Marc Jacobs, Xiao has modelled for Christian Dior, Lane Crawford, and Sephora. She was also the fifth Chinese model to walk for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Xiao incredible talent and beautiful features provide proud representation for aspiring models just like her.

Photography Leslie Zhang | L’Beaute

IMG Models | Xiao Wen Ju

10. Gemma Ward

Gemma Ward

Judges at a modelling contest urged Gemma Ward to enter due to her unique look. Shortly thereafter she was signed by an agency in her hometown of Perth, Australia.

Her career took off when she was 15 and Gemma’s modelling reputation quickly reached international waters. An IMG Model’s scout saw her photographs and eventually she was represented by the agency.

Gemma has since appeared in campaigns for Calvin Klein, Balenciaga and Dolce & Gabbana. Her unique ethereal look inspired a trend within the industry as she continued to find success in modelling.

Much like fellow Australian model Shanina Shaik, Gemma has taken a turn at acting and starred in films such as “The Strangers” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Photography Zoey Grossman | Numéro Tokyo

IMG Models | Gemma Ward

Gemma Ward

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