The New Models on the Block: Marihenny Rivera Pasible, Jasmine Tookes, Roberta Narciso, and more!

If you’ve had your eye on the catwalk this season, you’d notice a few more models of color getting their shine on in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. In addition to industry mainstays Joan Smalls, Ajak Deng, Melodie Monrose, Anais Mali, Nyasha Matonhodze and Jourdan Dunn, new girls like Marihenny Rivera, Fatima Siad, and Jasmine Tookes are also popping up on the runway, stomping with the best of them.
Here’s a quick rundown of five fresh faces.

1. Jasmine Tookes

The white, black, Brazilian, and West Indian Bombshell is a Cali native who was discovered while shopping with her celebrity stylist mom. Her first job was at age 14, posing for Bruce Weber.

Known for: Rockin’ body and lips.

Spied at: Jason Wu, Cushnie et Ochs, Jonathan Saunders, Versace, Jaeger London, Bottega Veneta, Missoni, Balmain, Calvin Klein, Prada, Peter Som, Salvatore Ferragamo, Nina Ricci, Miu Miu, and Louis Vuitton.

2. Marihenny Rivera Pasible

Born in the Dominican Republic, Marihenny cites reading the bible, playing volleyball, and cooking amongst her favorite activities.

Known for: Mile-long legs and an ever-present pucker.

Spied at: Duro Olowu, Giles, Aquascatum, Topshop Unique, Ohne Titel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Miu Miu.

3. Roberta Narciso:

Representing Angola, this 19-year-old newcomer signed with Elite Models in 2010 and made her runway debut at Valentino Spring Couture in January 2011.

Known for: Her sleepy, sultry eyes.

Spied at: Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, Elie Saab, and Maiyet.

4. Lais Ribeiro

The 20-year-old is also a new mom, and came on the scene with a splash for the Fall 2010 collections scoring spots at Roberto Cavalli, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, and Versace. She came back with a vengeance this season–and isn’t stopping soon.

Known for: Body, height, legs.

Spied at: Cushnie et Ochs, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Giles, Alexander Wang, and Oscar de la Renta.

5. Fatima Siad.

Yes, this Boston raised Somali-Ethiopian sphinx caught her break on America’s Next Top Model. While other former ANTM contestants have enjoyed TV success, she might be one of the few who is actually walking–not just in New York, but in the notoriously difficult European market.

Known for: Lithe limbs and an uncanny resemblance to supermodel Iman.

Spied at: Dries van Noten, Hermès, and Andrew Gn.

In addition to the newcomers, a few veterans also had very good seasons:

Joan Smalls

Spied at: Chanel, Stella McCartney, Hakaan, Chloé, Balmain, Gucci, Viktor & Rolf, Giambattista Valli, Jason Wu, Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, Isabel Marant, Nina Ricci, Gareth Pugh, Thierry Mugler, Gianfranco Ferré, Anthony Vaccarello, Roberto Cavalli, Moschino, Salvatore Ferragamo, Missoni, Bottega Veneta, Emilio Pucci, Etro, D&G, Dolce & Gabbana, MaxMara, No. 21, Giles, Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Narciso Rodriguez, Rodarte, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Victoria Beckham, Jason Wu, Rag & Bone.

Editorial Note: Joan Smalls might have to have had the best season ever.

Jourdan Dunn

Spied at: Louis Vuitton, Hakaan, Paco Rabanne, Valentino, Emanuel Ungaro, Giambattista Valli, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Kanye West, Christian Dior, Nina Ricci, Thierry Mugler, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Bottega Veneta, Emilio Pucci, Etro, Iceberg, Moschino, Versace, Alberta Ferretti, Gucci, Burberry Prorsum, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Anna Sui, J. Mendel, Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Rodarte, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Derek Lam, Tommy Hilfiger, Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu.

Ajak Deng

Spied at: Paco Rabanne, Hermès, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, Damir Doma, Mary Katrantzou, Todd Lynn, Erdem, Matthew Williamson, Ohne Titel, Jason Wu, Richard Chai.

Shena Moulton

Spied at: Gianfranco Ferré, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Jil Sander.

Nyasha Matonhodze

Spied at: Gianfranco Ferré, Givenchy, Elie Saab, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Hakaan, Lanvin, Loewe, Louis Vuitton.

This was a very good season for models of color. Here’s to many more!
Read more in our Model Manual.


Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style magazine in the world.

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