The Model Of The Year Isn't Who You'd Expect It To Be

Photo: MCV Photo.
Models.com released its annual Model of the Year Awards, in which over 250 industry insiders (like Katie Grand, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, and Bethann Hardison) and MDC readers cast their votes to determine the top faces of 2015. Each of the 11 categories, which include Model of the Year, Breakout Star, and Social Media star, has a female and male industry and Reader's Choice winner. And while fan-favorites Gigi and Kendall got shout-outs in this year's winner's circle, the top honor went to a different editorial regular.

Anna Ewers took this year's top honor — Model of the Year: Women — as voted by her industry peers. In second place was Gigi Hadid, who nabbed the Reader's Choice title in the same category. (Runner-up for Reader's Choice was Gigi's right hand gal, Kendall Jenner, of course.) A favorite of Alexander Wang, Ewers walked in the designer's first-ever show for Balenciaga, where he served as creative director until earlier this year. Since then, she's worked with Wang at his eponymous label, appearing on the runway and in his campaigns, as well as at Balenciaga. She ranks on Models.com's Top 50 list, and has recently been featured in ads for Hugo Boss, David Yurman, and H&M, among many others. She even has a few Vogue covers (and one Harper's Bazaar one) under her belt from 2015 alone — so, it's safe to say this year has been pretty big for the German model.

Jenner and Hadid — both highly sought-after brand ambassadors — dominated the Social Media Star group. Gigi won over the industry, Kendall the readers — then switching positions for runners-up in both categories. This comes as a surprise to no one: Kendall counts 44.2 million followers on Instagram; Gigi has 10.4 million. (The nominee closest in following power was Chrissy Teigen, with 4.3 million on the platform.) Their well documented friendship has seen many Fashion Weeks, has gotten the editorial treatment in Vogue, and had viewers eagerly anticipating their joint debut at this year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Plus, it was recently reported that Jenner and Hadid, along with other top-tier models with such large social followings, can (and do) make serious bank. Both models are already starting off 2016 with a bang, too (Kendall with a Vogue Brazil cover, Gigi with an upcoming fashion collaboration), so their influence certainly isn't waning.
Lucky Blue Smith won over both the industry and readers in the Model of the Year: Men category. And, as far as breakout stars go, you'll want to keep an eye out on Lineisy Montero, Bella Hadid, and Jordan Barrett — their stars are bound to shine just as bright soon enough.
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