As the call for diversity in fashion grows ever louder, brands are tapping into our desire to see ourselves reflected in the women who rock their wares. Designers want their brands to feel honest and inclusive. They’re also cognizant of the fact that the greater our voyeuristic interest in what goes on in their models’ lives once the camera stops snapping, the more attention we’re likely to pay their paid achievements. Thus, the “real girl” model, aka nodel, is on the rise.
From Marc Jacobs‘ long-winded (but much-appreciated) testimonies on how each member of his clan earned a place in his heart and, in turn, his campaigns to the band of New York natives who strolled DKNY’s Fall 2015 catwalk to Pat McGrath’s horde of ethereal, fiercely independent muses, fashion has cemented the value of its players’ personas in recent years. Why? Because consumers are getting smarter and more discerning. We’re over Photoshop and all that’s artificial (for proof, just look at Aerie’s very #Real sales stats).
You can spot a nodel a mile away. Her sartorial choices are striking. Her personality leaps out from her eyes, words and Instagram page. We could all use more of these fierce, inspiring women in our everyday lives, but we’ll settle for having them among our social media set. Click through the slideshow above for 11 captivating “real girls” we — along with the rest of the fashion world — can’t stop watching.