Vivien’s Models: Top 10 Female Models of 2019

As the second longest established agency in the world, Vivien’s Models has a well-earned reputation for quality and results. They have branches in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane—but their models are from all over the world. We at The Photo Studio have curated a list for who we think are their top female models of 2019!

By Elizabeth Harrington

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1. Sabah Koj

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When she was just a child, Sabah and her family emigrated from war-torn South Sudan to Melbourne. She grew up multilingual, speaking Arabic, Dinka and English

At 18, she entered the Miss South Sudan beauty pageant where she was scouted by Vivien’s Models. Since then, her career has blossomed. 

She’s a regular on international runways, walking for names like Armani, Marc Jacobs and Balmain. She made headlines in 2016 when she became the first African model to open a show in Australia. The response to this was so positive that she made it her goal to inspire diversity in the modelling industry. 

Sabah considers her career-defining moment to be when she made her debut appearance for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2018.

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2. Ava Coffen

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How to describe Ava Coffen? In one word: stylish. Ava lives and breathes vintage clothes. She’s the co-founder of Vesuvius Vintage Store in Melbourne, which specialise in psychedelic 60s and 70s attire. 

Ava is a Melbournian through and through. She considers Melbourne to be Australia’s most creative city. Before working in fashion, she was a part of the music scene, playing in bands and working in studios. Now she does everything from editorial shoots to runway shows. 

Ava’s not afraid to stand out with her style. That’s what we love about her. She’s confident wearing avant garde clothes, making her the perfect muse for editorial shoots.

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3. Mia Kang

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As a model, master’s graduate, Muay Thai fighter and a body positivity advocate, Mia Kang is a force to be reckoned with. 

Mia was born and raised in Hong Kong by a South Korean mum and a British Dad. Growing up, she had dreams of being a dancer, but when she was thirteen, her dancing teacher suggested she try modelling. Talk about great advice! Some of her career highlights include being on the cover of the Hong Kong versions of Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, and a feature in Sports Illustrated

But life wasn’t always so sunny for Mia. Since she started female modelling as a teenager, Mia battled with an eating disorder—something she has thankfully overcome. Mia reflected on these experiences in a heartfelt letter to her teenage self featured in Vogue Hong Kong. She’s grown up to become an inspiring role model for recovery and self-love.

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4. Emma Sanders

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How gorgeous is Emma Sanders? She was born in New Zealand but grew up in Germany, where she made headlines as the first plus-size model to be represented by her German agency, Motherwerk. She’s now represented all around the world, including Vivien’s Models in Australia.

Emma has fought her fair share of battles. She was put on Weight Watchers when she was only twelve, and at fifteen was forced to go on the cabbage soup diet. She was bullied throughout high school for her weight. It wasn’t until many years later that the world—and Emma herself—accepted her for the skin she’s in.

Emma is now one of the world’s top plus-size models. She’s been featured in Vogue and Elle, and has been in campaigns for H&M and ASOS. What we love most about her is journey. She’s gone from insecure girl to confident woman, becoming the role model she wished she had as a teenager.

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5. Andrea Lindström

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Andrea Lindström is more than just a pretty face. While you may recognise her from her Becca Cosmetics campaigns, this Stockholm-based model has an adventurous spirit

She’s a self-confessed “mountain lover” who loves everything from skiing to surfing to fishing. Her thrill-seeking even extends to her plate, where she’s known to devour insects for their protein. Colour us impressed.

As a model, Andrea is hard to beat. With her golden hair and cat-like eyes, she looks like she’s jumped straight out of a fairy tale. She’s represented by agencies all around the world, including Vivien’s Models  in Sydney. Be sure to keep an eye out for her in the future!

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6. Ajok Madel

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Ajok Madel has been on an incredible journey. She was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, where her mother fled after her father died in the South Sudanese conflicts. In 2008 they moved to Perth, Australia. While she worked part-time at McDonalds, customers were constantly telling her she should model. This prompted her to give it a go—and Vivien’s Models were quick to see her potential, too. 

Now, Ajok is on her way to becoming one of Vivien’s Models best. She’s only 19, and already she’s a regular on Australian runways and has been the face of campaigns for Camilla and Pat McGrath Labs. 

Ajok counts her mother and Naomi Campbell has her role models. She’s also inspired by other South Sudanese models in Australia, who are paving the way to a more diverse modelling industry. 

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7. Liv Pollock

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Liv Pollock has a glamorous life. When she’s not posing in a swimsuit, you can find her at a Hollywood party with her Stranger Things boyfriend, Dacre Montgomery. But she hasn’t forgotten where she came from.

This Perth model will always be a country girl at heart. She grew up helping out on her grandmother’s wool farm in Western Australia—something she still longs to do in her spare time. 

Liv Pollock has big dreams. She put her architecture degree on hold to pursue a career in modelling. Now living in the US, she’s living her dream as a successful swimsuit model and influencer.

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8. Jess PW

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Perth is a goldmine for models. Jess is one of the many beauties to come from Perth’s sandy beaches. 

Jess PW—otherwise known as Jess Picton-Warlow or her tongue-in-cheek Instagram handle saltyalien—has been on our radar for a while. She was a finalist in the 2012 Girlfriend Model Search, and she was scouted by Vivien’s Models in a crowd at the 2013 Big Day Out. She now models all around the world.

She’s walked for everyone from Alexander McQueen to Givenchy and has been in multiple editorials for Vogue. The modelling world loves her just as much as she loves them. Nothing makes her happier than the spontaneity of modelling, where one day she might be working in Paris, the next in New York.

With Jess’s talent and worth ethic, we’ve no doubt she’s here to stay.

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9. Jasmine Dwyer

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With her mysterious hazel eyes and stunning bone structure, Jasmine Dwyer was born to model. Jasmine was scouted by a photographer at a swimming pool, who convinced her to get signed by an agency. She has only been modelling since 2018, but she’s already one of Vivien’s Models top working models. 

Her first ever show was for Prada in New York, and it has only gone up from there. Recent highlights include walking for Dolce & Gabbana and a feature in Vogue China

Jasmine’s love for modelling is rivalled only by her love for dogs.  Her jet-setting lifestyle means she can’t keep any pets, so she fosters dogs wherever she goes. Her Instagram is filled with the adorable pooches and we can’t tell who is cuter—Jasmine or the dogs!

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10. Mahalia Handley

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When Mahalia Handley was growing up, she had no models who looked like her. With her Maori and Irish background, her mixed race appearance was at odds with the sea of models with blue eyes and golden hair. Her recent success as a model meant she’s now become a role model for others like her—something she is immensely proud of. 

Since she started modelling at 18, she has achieved tremendous success, including features in magazines like Vogue Italia and Cosmopolitan and campaigns for the Kardashian clothing line and Target. 

With over 42k Instagram followers, she uses the platform to speak out about issues like diversity, body positivity, education and the environment. Most dear to her heart is Shine4Diversity, which she co-founded to promote diversity and shed light on discrimination in the media.

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