Despite the fact that Naomi, Christy, Cindy, Linda, and Claudia show no signs of slowing down (read: Cindy's S Moda cover, Naomi closing Roberto Cavalli's Fall 2012 show), and we've passed the second wave of Supers (Alessandra, Kate, Doutzen, Gisele, Natalia, Miranda, Adriana and Heidi), it's probably about time to usher in the new generation. Clearly among the ranks are ladies like Karlie Kloss and Lindsey Wixson, but UK's Telegraph just published an article crediting Alice Dellal, Cara Delevingne and Lily Donaldson as their high-ranking comrades. I'm not sure I agree.
Karlie's been everywhere from the opening spot on Dior's runway to the cover of Vogue Italia. In fact, she's seen more than 115 issues of nearly a dozen Vogue editions in four years — the girl's legs alone are internationally recognized at this point — but as though it were destiny, the now-19-year-old got her start in front of Steven Meisel's lens for Vogue Italia's March 2008 issue. More then four years later, Kloss is still causing waves (no matter how likable) at the forefront of the industry. She's certainly a Super.
Similarly, Lindsey Wixson and her gap are internationally known icons. The 18-year-old Wichita native got her start with Lula mag's Fall 2009 issue, and made her way into W and Interview (both shot my McDean) just months later. Lindsey marched in more than two dozen fall 2012 shows (plus a highly coveted Tom Ford presentation), and pretty much nothing tops her ice-cream-to-the-eye i-D magazine editorial, shot by Uncle Terry himself. Ms. Wixson still has a ways to go, but girl is definitely Super material.
That leads me to Alice. The UK-born-and-raised punk beauty (with a half-shaved head to boot!) may be insanely talented, but I'm not convinced she has the Super gene. As the daughter to a Brazilian model (and the lucky heiress to a property tycoon!), Alice certainly has some enviable DNA, but aside from some big Chanel campaigns and a couple of Vogue appearances, the 24-year-old's CV doesn't exactly read like a Super's should. Save for Joanna Newsom, Ms. Dellal can revel in the fact that she's the reigning indie queen supreme. As for Cara and Lily, they're certainly getting there, but I'd love to see Cara star in more editorials, and Lily on the runway more. Maybe they'll head up the next generation with Daphne, Zuzanna and Nyasha.
So who else joins the ranks as the third generation? Because a supermodel is someone who's well-known across disciplines, age groups, social circles, I spent some time reading each proposed Super's name aloud to a pop culture-minded audience with limited fashion knowledge (read: my colleagues). After getting blank stares from names like Arizona Muse and Freja Beha, I hesitantly announced "Kate Upton" to a room full of nodding heads. UGH. Is Kate Upton REALLY a supermodel?! Does everyone really know her (and her boobs)? Goddammit, internets!
I mean, it sort of makes sense, but the 20-year-old model has yet to walk a runway. Is it really possible to be a Super without some serious runway presence? Take a look at some of these stats and decide for yourself: Are these ladies the third generation of Supers?
As if Karlie Kloss needs any sort of introduction, the now-19-year-old hails from St. Louis, MI. As a ballet student-turned-model, most of Karlie's appeal comes from her undeniable grace, both on the runway and in print.
Notable Covers Numero, December/January 2012 Vogue Italia, December 2011 i-D, Spring 2011 Vogue China, November 2010 W Korea, 5th Anniversary Issue
Notable Ad Campaigns Dior Beauty Spring 2012 Marc Jacobs Spring 2012 Oscar de la Renta Spring 2012 Donna Karan Spring 2011
The Takeaway Karlie starred in 16 campaigns in 2010 alone, and more than 115 Vogue editorials throughout her career. She also walked 15 shows during Fall 2012, when she was rumored to have "taken the season off" and nabbed more than two dozen for Spring 2012.
Russian beauty Natasha Poly (whose last name is actually Polevshchikova) has been around since 2004 when she made her runway debut for Ungaro. Since then, she covered French Vogue twice (consecutively!) and had an entire issue of MUSE magazine devoted to her in 2009.
Notable Covers Vogue Japan, May 2012 Antidote, S/S '12 Harper's Bazaar Russia, Nov. 2011 Elle France, May 2011 MUSE, FW 2009
Editorial Stats 10 editorial appearances in 2008, 30 in 2009, 20 in 2010, 23 in 2011, 8 in 2012.
The Takeaway Natasha walked in 17 shows during the Spring 2012 season and followed up with 9 runway appearances for Fall 2012. This is nothing compared to the 54 shows she racked up during her debut year, 2004. She's also scored a dozen campaigns so far this year (including much-coveted Jil Sander and Proenza Schouler Spring 2012), but racked up more than 31 more between 2008-2011.
A noted advertising campaign titan, Lara Stone has been the go-to girl for Calvin Klein and Tom Ford Beauty. The Dutch stunner famously avoids the runway (sometimes, with fail) because of her unusually small feet, but she's starred in 131 editorials since 2008 — on average, that's more than 26 per year!
Notable Covers: Vogue Turkey, April 2012 Love Magazine, S/S '12 GQ China, November 2011 T Magazine, October 2011 i-D Magazine, Spring 2012
The Takeaway Since 2008, Lara's starred in more than 50 ad campaigns, including DKNY Golden Delicious and CK's Naked Glamour Campaign, both in Fall 2011. Between 2009 and 2011, Lara racked up 98 editorials alone. In. Sane.
23-year-old Puerto Rican model Joan Smalls came up big in 2010 and has since nabbed dozens of campaigns with the likes of David Yurman, Estee Lauder, Gucci, Chanel and Giambattista Valli.
Notable Covers W Magazine, July 2012 Vogue Australia, May 2012 GQ South Africa, May 2012 V Magazine, November 2011 WWD, May 2010
Notable Campaigns Givenchy Fall 2012 Gucci Pre-Fall 2011 H&M Holiday 2011 Estee Lauder Spring 2011
The Takeaway Joan has starred in 37 runway shows for the Fall 2012 season alone, and racked up more than five dozen editorials since she hit the scene in 2010. Girl is popular!
Kate Upton got famous doing the Dougie. The end. A general newcomer to the scene, Kate Upton has yet to see a runway. That doesn't mean she hasn't taken the industry by storm.
Notable Covers GQ, July 2012 Fashion Week Daily, June 2012 MUSE, March 2012 Sports Illustrated, January 2012
The Takeaway She's starred in nine editorials, including spots for Harper's Bazaar, MUSE and Esquire. Even before she Dougie'd her way to internet fame, Kate had Dooney & Burke and Guess campaigns under her belt.
The 27-year-old Russian beauty took a break from the modeling scene to give birth to a baby girl in May, but before her 9-month-long hiatus, Sasha Pivovarova was an editor favorite, snagging at least a dozen magazine nods since 2008.
Notable Covers Vogue Paris, October 2011 Numéro China, November 2010 i-D Magazine, April 2010 Harper's Bazaar Russia, June 2009 Marie Claire Spain, December 2008
Notable Ads Campaigns Viva La Juicy for Juicy Couture Chanel Pre-Fall 2009 Longchamp S/S 2009
The Takeaway In addition to being an editorial maven, Sasha's racked up more than 80 editorials to date. Her Viva La Juicy spot has been a longstanding contract.
Lindsey may only be 18 now, but the Wichita native blew up at the tender age of 16 thanks to her distinctive gap. Since then, she's marched in what seems like trillions of shows, and was even given the honor of starring in the first Alexander McQueen ad campaign since his death in 2010.
Notable Covers Numero, June 2012 Style.com/Print Premiere Issue, SS12 W Korea, November 2011 i-D Magazine, August 2011
The Takeaway Lindsey nabbed almost a dozen campaigns for fall 2011, including Versace for H&M, Barneys New York, Alexander McQueen and Mulberry. She also in 29 shows for Fall 2012 alone, including Marc by Marc, Rodarte and Oscar de la Renta. She previously walked 20 shows in for spring 2012.
A Polish native, Anja started modeling full-time after she graduated from high school in Paris, paving the way for her international success. Since then, the now-29-year-old has been a runway mainstay, even appearing in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show for the past three years.
Notable Covers i-D Magazine, Winter 2011 Numéro, September 2011 Vogue Germany, June 2011 Marie Claire Spain, December 2010 W Korea, April 2010
Editorial Stats She's 6 short of 100 career editorials, with the bulk of her magazine reign around 2010-2011.
The Takeaway She's racked up 65 ad campaigns since 2008, including Elie Saab Le Parfum SS12, Giuseppe Zanotti SS12, Chloé Fragrance SS11 and Gap SS11, proving she can score everything from high-fashion beauty to commercial gigs. Anja has also walked 38 shows in the past four seasons, totalling up 20 for Spring 2012 alone.
Hailing from Beijing, Wen has been a runway fixture after she walked a total of 49 shows during the Fall 2010 season, including big names like Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga and Alexander Wang. Wen, however, became a household name thanks to her popular Estée Lauder campaign.
Notable Covers Vogue China, July 2012 T Magazine, March 2012 Vogue Portugal, November 2009 Vogue China, September 2011 Harper's Bazaar Korea, October 2010
The Takeaway After strutting on the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show runway last September, Liu racked up 47 more runway appearances for Fall 2012. She's starred in 7 Spring 2012 campaigns, including H&M and Calvin Klein (accessories, mainline and video).
Hailing from Stockholm, Frida's face just might be one of the world's most recognizable ones there is. The 19-year-old was the fourth most requested model for the Spring 2010 season, and has walked for everyone from Jean Paul Gaultier to Louis Vuitton.
Notable Covers Elle Sweden, May 2011 Vogue Italia, September 2011 Vogue China, May 2011 Bon Magazine, Summer 2010 L'Officiel, October 2009
The Takeaway As one of the industy's most recognized faces, Frida has starred in 50 editorials to date, and nabbed in 10 campaigns so far this year including Anna Sui, Mulberry and Sephora. She's H&M's go-to girl. Frida is also a runway titan, walking a combined 48 shows for Spring and Fall 2012.
So that's it, folks. Is there somebody you think I missed? Somebody that shouldn't have made the list (cough, Kate Upton, cough)? Should I have considered another factor? If you think you know who the third generation of supermodels is, let me know in the comments, and while you're at it, tweet us your suggestions! Also, my head hurts.