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2011 was an amazing year for models of color. We witnessed the meteoric rise of some new faces including Nyasha Matonhodze, Anais Mali and Jasmine Tookes. On the Spring 2012 runways, a slew of brands had a very diverse cast including Hermès, Elie Saab, Moncler Gamme Rouge, Paco Rabanne and Bottega Veneta. Out of the many beautiful faces who shined this year, six caught our eyes and captured our hearts.
Here are the nominees:
1. Chanel Iman
Though Chanel was very selective about her appearances, both on and off the runway, she still holds a spot as one of the world’s supermodels. She scored her very own ELLE cover for the September 2011 issue, as well as covering WSJ Magazine for December 2011.
On the runway, she walked in the Spring 2012 shows for Dw by Kanye West and Bottega Veneta and the Fall 2011 shows for DSquared2, Dolce & Gabbana, Blumarine, Gucci, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera.
2. Jourdan Dunn
This was a big year for British-born beauty Jourdan Dunn. She wasn’t afraid to speak out about those who didn’t know how to handle black hair and skin during Paris Fashion Week and she garnered campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, Burberry and Burberry Beauty.
Jourdan covered i-D magazine twice this year and was featured in glossies including Numéro, Dazed & Confused and Vogue US, as well as taking some pretty stunning shots for Damon Baker.
On the runway, Jourdan dominated. She strutted the catwalk for Burberry Prorsum, Christian Dior, Giambattista Valli, Hakaan, Moschino, Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne, Valentino, Versace, Louis Vuitton and the list goes on.
3. Joan Smalls
We just can’t get enough of Joan. She became one of the models known for her amazing off-duty style, as well as becoming the face of Gucci Fall 2011, David Yurman, Estée Lauder, Giambattista Valli’s line for Macy’s, and Chanel’s Spring/Summer campaign.
For editorial, Joan covered issues for i-D and V Magazine and was featured in high-fashion spreads for Dazed & Confused, W Magazine, Vogue US, Vogue Italia, Vogue Paris and Vogue Japan, among others.
Joan walked the runway for virtually every major brand this year including Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo, Givenchy and Isabel Marant.
4. Fatima Siad
Fatima has come a long way from America’s Next Top Model and is solidifying herself as one of fashion’s most coveted faces. She scored a print ad for Ojon Restorative Hair Serum and posed on the cover of Jones Magazine’s Summer 2011 issue.
She is starting to make her presence felt in the editorial world and she graced the pages of Essence, Arise Magazine and Gala Magazine.
She walked for some of the biggest names in the game including Hermès, Moncler Gamme Rouge and Dries Van Noten.
5. Nyasha Matonhodze
At just 17, Nyasha has done more than models twice her age. The Zimbabwean bombshell has designers all across the globe clamoring to dress her and this year she scored two huge campaigns for Louis Vuitton and Topshop.
Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Lanvin, Versace: just four of the shows Nyasha walked in this year. Oh by the way, she walked in over 40 for Spring 2012 alone.
6. Jasmine Tookes
Jasmine isn’t exactly new to modeling, but she is definitely a fresh face in high-fashion. Hailing from Cali, she got her start as a face for Abercrombie, but has left contemporary brands behind for luxury: Prada, Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Calvin Klein and Miu Miu, to be exact.
And let’s not forget editorial. Jasmine scored her very own cover for French Revue de Modes and got a coveted solo spread for Vogue Paris. Not bad huh?
So who should be Model of the Year for 2011?
Check out more from Chanel Iman here. For Jourdan Dunn, click here. Get more eye candy from Joan here. If you can’t get enough of Fatima, click here. Get more high fashion looks from Nyasha here. And for Jasmine, click here.