In 2009, Vogue fell for Karlie Kloss. Hard. She was the most featured model that year, not only in the US edition (in which she appeared almost twice as much as any other model), but also in the combined pages of all the international editions. In the two years following, she remained solidly in the top three, but it appears that wasn't enough for the St. Louis native, as she has reclaimed the title of the number one model in Vogue for 2012.
It's been an exciting year for Karlie, filled with all the successes and controversies (both in and out of the fashion world) befitting a model at the top of her game. There was Karlie's Kookies, the MTV House of Style hosting gig, bonding with Olympians, abrupt agency swtiches, an insensitive turn on the Victoria's Secret catwalk, and the requisite photoshop controversy. It's been a busy year to say the least.
Last year's number one Vogue model, Arizona Muse, ran away with the title by excelling on two levels: quantity (high number of appearances, pages and only-girl editorials) and quality (working with top photographers in top editions). Karlie hit all these highs and more, appearing in original editorials for nine international editions, and appearing in a total of 20 issues. To top it all off, almost half of her appearances were in the big-selling March and September issues!
Only four women from last year's list repeated, making way for a few newbies and some top performers from years past. Can you guess who made the cut? Click through to see.
1. Karlie Kloss Age: 20. Agency: IMG. Provenance: USA.
Number one with a bullet.
2. Arizona Muse Age: 24. Agency: NEXT. Provenance: USA.
Last year Arizona rose to the top of the modeling industry at record speed. We had to wonder if this swift ascension was just a fluke or if she would repeat success. Shame on us for ever even asking. As if it wasn't enough to have continued campaign (we're looking forward to her debut as the new face of Estée Lauder) and cover success, Arizona arrives comfortably in second place this year following the same narrative she established in 2011: plenty of appearances shot by top photographers while rarely having to share the spotlight.
3. Toni Garrn Age: 20. Agency: Women. Provenance: Germany.
Speaking of meteoric rises... Despite the fact that Toni has been in the modeling game for about five years now, she has barely registered a blip on the Vogue radar, at least until now. And what a way to debut! Toni owes her success to significant appearances in Vogue Italia, Japan, Paris, Spain and her native Germany.
4. Kati Nescher Age: 28. Agency: DNA. Provenance: Germany.
This mother of one, and former German/Russian translator appeared almost out of nowhere last year making a huge splash at the Spring 2012 shows. Kati made her first appearance in British Vogue's February issue in a multi-girl editorial by Daniel Jackson, and since then has steadily increased her profile with repeat appearances in the German, Paris and US editions. Vogue Paris actually featured her three times in their November issue, two of which were only-girl editorials by Inez & Vinoodh and David Sims. Slow down, Kati! Save some for next year. We definitely want to see more of you in 2013.
5. Isabeli Fontana Age: 29. Agency: Women. Provenance: Brazil.
Isabeli is the kind of Brazilian model royalty who gets consistent Vogue covers and editorials every year, but only ever enough to keep her in the top 20. Perhaps it was being so close yet so far from the top 10 last year (she was number 11) that lit a fire under her. Whatever it was, it worked. With lots of love from her native Brazil (their June issue was practically dedicated to her) and an impressive page count, she safely lands at spot number five.
6. Joan Smalls Age: 24. Agency: IMG. Provenance: Puerto Rico.
Joan was ranked number one model in the world by Models.com earlier this year. It's kind of a big deal. And what a coincidence that it was the same year she finally scored her first Vogue cover (and for Italia, the girl is no slouch!) as well as her second and third (Australia, Turkey). She's a Vogue US favorite who makes worthwhile pit-stops at editions like Italia, Paris, and UK, and shoots with the best of the best photographers. However, Joan lacks the consistent page numbers of her peers and appears in multi-girl features more often than not: two things keeping her out of the top five.
7. Liu Wen Age: 24. Agency: Marilyn. Provenance: China
China's current top model made it to spot number nine in 2011, and we're thrilled that she's making her way up the list with another year of great appearances in Vogue China and US. However, there are a few things holding her back: she made it into the fewest international editions and graced the smallest number of pages compared to the rest of the top 10. Perhaps these are a few things to work on for next year, but if there's one thing we want for Liu in 2012, it's a solo Vogue cover!
8. Aymeline Valade Age: 27. Agency: Women. Provenance: France
2012 has been very good to Aymeline. Not only was she hitting the high campaign notes of a top model (Donna Karan, Chanel, Giorgio Armani), she also wasted no time in the editorial department. Like Kati, Aymeline shows that getting into the modeling game in your mid-to-late 20s is not the impossible dream. She typically shared her page space with other models, but it's hard to complain when it happens, for example, in Vogue Paris shot by Mert & Marcus.
9. Kendra Spears Age: 24. Agency: NEXT. Provenance: USA.
Kendra made some worthwhile appearances in Vogue Paris, Germany, Russia, and Spain, to name a few. Not to mention getting a couple of covers under her belt. Like Toni, Kendra's appearances in Vogue prior to this year never managed to get her a place in the top 25, but we're glad to see her this year, and hoping she'll stick around.
10. Eniko Mihalik Age: 24. Agency: DNA. Provencance: Hungary.
We have a tie for 10th place! First up is Eniko.
While she may not book the same big campaigns as the other models on the list, she is still one hell of a workhorse. She made it to fifth place in 2010 and somehow fell off the top 25 entirely last year, but is back with a vengance. Eniko's power lies in the quality of each editorial. About 90% of her work is solo with above average number of pages per editorial. That means that, on average, Eniko appears on twice as many pages as Arizona Muse per spread. Also, Vogue Italia loves her. Always a plus. Unfortunately, Eniko is the only model on the list without a Vogue cover this year, but this is a tune she's heard before, as it was also the case in 2010.
10. Malgosia Bela Age: 35. Agency: NEXT. Provenance: Poland.
And finally, the lovely Maglosia. She's in the same boat as Eniko with quality editorials in quality Vogue editions. Vogue Paris has always loved Malgosia and has been dead set on dedicating a part of almost every issue to her stunning, angular face. And we must add that it's nice to see a model in her mid 30s make the top 10. You don't see that every year.