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by Jordana Urman | Impressionist

Life can change in an instant and in an age where everyone is five minutes away from being famous, Instagram has quickly become the new platform for models to strut their stuff and get discovered. It allows models to book ‘go-sees’ anywhere and with anyone. Casting directors and brands have taken notice as exampled by the recent casting of the latest DKNY campaign, which had 57,000 Instagram model submissions expressing who they are (whether using filters on their lives or not). Brand managers, pay attention. Here are The Impression’s top ten, “mystery free”, show what you got, up and coming, Instagram fueled models.

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Cailin Russo, with the elegance of Rosie Huntington Whiteley and the personality of Cara Delivigne, this is definitely a model to follow. Signed by three agencies stretching from San Fransisco to Manhattan, Russo uses instagram like any millennial would, to post pictures and videos of concerts, sayings, her boyfriend… except that she looks stunning in every last picture (#nofilterneeded). Unlike some models that solely post pictures from their latest shoot, Russo posts pictures that show her personality. Shattering the glass ceiling of a ‘mysterious model’ she lets everyone in on her everyday thoughts and actions. Only a matter of time before her face is plastered all over the fashion world.


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Following in cousin Ireland Baldwin’s stilettos, Hailey Baldwin is breaking into the modeling industry with grace. Aside from modeling for Top Shop, Baldwin models for instagram. Every picture posted looks like it was pulled from a cover girl campaign. With a little spunk and a lot of class she is climbing the ranks in modeling, with interviews ranging from the Huffington Post to articles on E! Online. And guess what? She is only 18 years old. Hailey uses her instagram as a tool to not only express herself, posting pictures with her friends, but also to promote herself. She shares pictures of photo-shoots as well as pictures of her in everyday life, looking downright gorgeous in every one.

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Alaia Baldwin, Hailey’s older sister, by three years, is also part of this new aged model club. Unlike her sister, Alaia uses black and white, and faded filters to create an indie, artsy persona. Featuring ‘selfies’ with the light hitting her in the way that would make Tyra Banks and Ms. Jay proud, she also posts pictures of her sister and cousin Ireland. Removing the mask, Alaia exposes her true artsy personality for the world to see.

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Say hello to Alexandra Spencer, a Kate Moss in the making. With her edgy, cigarette smoking, virtually nude pictures, it is a wonder she isn’t just called Kate Jr. The beautiful blonde uses instagram as a platform to post pictures from her travels and her shoots. However, she also posts provocative pictures, and you can tell, her unmasked persona is giving everyone the middle finger, girl does not care. Sure she can be dolled up and be the next cover of Vogue in a Ralph Lauren gown, but deep down, instagram lets you know who she really is. Gone are the days of mystery, Alexandra Spencer, we see you.

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Frida Aasen, a high fashion queen. Walking down the runway for Moschino’s fashion week helped solidify that title. She is one of those girls that make everything look effortless and luxurious. While she may be asked to be featured in a grungy, dark photo-shoot, her instagram lets you know, that the look is just one of the many personas she can play. At the core level, she is a girly, elegant, high fashion woman, who literally “woke up like this”.

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Stella Maxwell, another Moschino walker, also joins the ranks of the new era model. Her instagram features her work for different designers and magazines and is sprinkled with pictures of her and her friends, her travels, and a positive message or saying here and there. The pictures with the most likes are pictures of her in her everyday form. She appears to be edgy, posing with serious modeling stance in front of Magic Kingdom but she is also cute. She wants you to know that while she appears to only be merging in the spotlight now, which is where she has always been.

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Maggie Jablonski is a rising star in the modeling industry. Her runway gigs are off the chart. Looking at her instagram, it is obvious her print shots will soar right up to her runway level. Jablonski posts pictures of her shows as well as standard polaroid or headshot photos. While her viewers may believe they are just looking at a pretty picture, in fact they are looking at a great PR move. Jablonski is subtly putting her headshots and work on instagram as a form of portfolio. Meaning, if anyone from the industry decides to look at her instagram, her portfolio is right there. While she does post a few photos of friends and family, the majority of her photos are of her work.

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Lucky Blue Smith, a punk-chic white haired, blue-eyed young model is stealing the show. Like Jablonski, the majority of his photos are headshots and modeling work. While being a self-promoter may be tiring, Smith has no bags under his eyes. He does a wonderful job of building his instagram portfolio while showing his style and personality. It appears he doesn’t select photos just because it shows him at work, but rather, selects his favorites, pictures where his personality shine through. Watch out for this one: high fashion is this edgy model’s calling.

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Ben Bowers, a classic stud. Bowers is the type of guy that men and women alike cannot deny is good looking. He has a boyish charm about him that comes across in every single picture he takes. His instagram is filled with photos from his everyday life as well as model shots and his work. It is a nice mix of filling us in on what he is up to as well as filling the fashion industry in on what he is capable of. Bowers does a fabulous job of sneakily throwing in shots from his portfolio while appearing to lift the curtain and show who he is. With everyone constantly posting about his or her lives, personality has become a necessary part of the package. Look at Cara Delivigne. Bowers has the looks and personality.

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Last but certainly not least, Alexis Ren. Ren is the girl next door, an adorably gorgeous model everyone has been looking for. Every single picture of her can brighten your day. Her pictures include many of her work but also quotes and her day-to-day. No matter what she does, she’s modeling. Every picture of her exudes happiness and light. She promotes herself possibly without even trying. For photographers and fashion houses she is beautiful and also looks easy to work with. So keep an eye on her because this all American Barbie will surely win the fashion industry’s heart.