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Top 10 Most Unique Models in the Fashion Industry

Script written by Katia Vaccaro The fashion industry is VERY superficial. Yet, some people still manage to stand out despite their different looks! For this list we are counting down our picks for the top 10 most unconventional models! We’ve included models like Ashley Graham, Madeline Stuart, Melanie Gaydos and more!

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Top 10 Most Unique Models in the Fashion Industry

The fashion industry is VERY superficial, so you’ve got to be unique to stand out! Welcome to MsMojo and today we are counting down our picks for the top 10 most unconventional models.

For this list, we’re considering anyone with a unique look, regardless of their age and gender. These people defy the rules of the fashion world and command respect.

#10: Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham is a plus size model with voluptuous curves. She is especially known for having broken the pre-established rules set for models of her size. She was featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue magazine: a solid first for this magazine. She was also on the cover of British Vogue AND posed nude for Grazia magazine. Graham immortalized her killer body by creating her very own Barbie doll, so that little girls finally get to play with dolls of more than one shape and size.

#9: Andreja Pejic

Previously named André, Andreja Pejic is an Australian Bosnian-born transgender model. Modeling both masculine and feminine clothing, she was featured in Vogue magazine wearing a Jean-Paul Gaultier wedding gown. She created controversy in the US when she appeared topless on the cover of Dossier magazine. In 2014, she transitioned into a woman and decided to work exclusively as a female model. Whereas on the other hand, Olympic swimmer Casey Legler is the first woman to work exclusively as a male model. These are two great examples which shows that gender does not always define a person.

#8: Jillian Mercado

Jillian Mercado is a model and journalist with Muscular Dystrophy. She was first discovered after being featured in a campaign for Diesel. She decided to participate as a joke, thinking she would never get chosen, but Beyoncé chose her as a model for her online clothing line. Further to this success, Jillian decided to turn her disability into a positive thing and launched her career as a professional model and in 2015, she signed with IMG, a famous New York modelling agency. Kudos to Jillian for defying the odds.


#7: Molly Bair

Since 2015, everyone has been talking about Molly Bair. Her alien-like shaped head, as some describe it, her big ears and extremely thin frame are stirring up controversy. Nicknamed the “Praying Mantis,” she’s attended all the New York Fashion week events and even walked the runways for Chanel. Molly, who compares herself to a 13-year-old boy, does not quite understand all the hype. Pegged as an anorexic, she is the poster girl for Pro-ana, a group of young girls who starve themselves to achieve an unhealthily low bodyweight. Her stature is reigniting the ongoing debate in the world of fashion, which has favoured extremely thin models in the past.

#6: Daphne Selfe

This 88-year-old model is still modelling for top designers like Dolce & Gabbana and is featured in magazines such as Vogue. She claims she’s never used plastic surgery to preserve her looks. Her career began in 1949, but it was only at the age of 70 that it really took off. Her male alter ego is Chinese model, Liu Xianping. In 2012, at 72 years old, this Chinese grandfather showed off his granddaughter’s creations, which became all the rage in China. In this day and age where the young are praised, it’s refreshing to see that there’s still room for aging and natural beauties out there.

#5: Shaun Ross

Shaun Ross is the first albino supermodel. Although he was aiming to become a dancer, he was recruited at 16 years old and began his career in modelling. He has modelled for, among others, Alexander McQueen and Givenchy and he also made appearances in music videos for Katy Perry and Beyoncé. He created the movement “In My Skin I Win” which promotes self-acceptance, regardless of how different you look. Diandra Forrest is the female equivalent of Shaun. Forrest was also born with albinism, and has become an example to many young women born with this condition.

#4: Madeline Stuart

Madeline Stuart was born with down syndrome, but that doesn’t stop her from living out her dreams. All she did was post pictures on Facebook to attract attention from Curvy-Friendly, an athletic clothing company. This jump-started her career and she later walked the New York Fashion week runway for FTL Moda. She even launched her own label named “21 Reasons Why” which references the 21st chromosome related to down syndrome. Madeline broke the stereotypes of the fashion industry and has inspired many people around the world.


#3: Winnie Harlow

Winnie’s distinctive skin color is what makes her stand out. Since the age of 4, this supermodel has lived with a condition called Vitiligo, which causes depigmentation of the skin. Growing up, she was subjected to insults such as being called “cow” or “zebra,” but she used this to to allow her to stand out in the modelling industry. Several years later, she has become the muse for Desigual and frequently models for Diesel. That’s some sweet revenge! Beauty truly comes in all forms. 

#2: Rick Genest

This Montrealer, also known as Zombie Boy, has a true passion for body art. At 19 years old, he took on the crazy endeavour of completely covering his body with tattoos. Currently 90% covered, his tattoos represent a decomposing body, hence the nickname. The total cost of his tattoos? Nearly $10,000, but it’s all well worth it. In 2012, he was recruited by the CEO of Thierry Mugler, which launched his career in modelling. He gained fame by featuring in Lady Gaga’s music video for “Born This Way,” and did an ad for L’Oréal in which makeup is used to completely hide all of his tattoos.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

- Alex Minsky

- Moffy

#1: Melanie Gaydos

Our number one pick gets our utmost respect. This model and actress has ectodermal dysplasia, a disorder that affects the skin, hair and teeth. She has enormous strength, after having had a very hard childhood which saw her undergo about 30 surgeries. But, she beat the odds by pursuing a career in modelling. She started her career by responding to classified ads for photographers. She has since become an in-demand supermodel around the world and has done several music videos for groups such as German rock band Rammstein.

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