The Next Face: Anna Piirainen

For any new model, walking for Givenchy is an early sign of great things to come. Givenchy leans toward models who redefine popular looks. If the face of the moment is a wide-eyed doll, they’ll zero in on the girl with puffy lips. Provocative models are cast for both their shows and ads—tapping, for example, the first transsexual model, Lea T., for their Fall 2010 campaign, and later picking albino male model Stephen Thompson to star alongside Daphne Groeneveld, Mariacarla Boscono, and Iris Strubegger in an ad campaign. One used to look to Jil Sander to anoint the future It Face, but now the industry is watching what fresh meat has been chosen to walk for Riccardo Tisci’s label. Therefore, judging from this algorithm, the one to watch this season is Anna Piirainen.

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Classic faces will always be in style, but waves of It Looks will be more apparent in the industry. In the early 2000’s Brazilians took over, followed by fresh-faced freckles, like the still beloved Caroline Trentini, Elise Crombez, and Julia Stegner. Daria Werbowy and her brigade of waifish, wide-eyed, birdlike models (see: Lily Donaldson) then stalked runways and glossies en masse, ushering in the eerily beautiful doll-face looks of Jessica Stam, the bow-lipped Coco Rocha, and today’s Lindsay Wixson—all perfectly paired with the Mad Men fashion that owned the last few seasons. So what’s the next look?

Anna Piirainen. Feline rather than doll-faced, chiseled instead of cherubic, her “look” seems perfect for the sleek, minimalist version of “ladylike” dressing on the runways of late. The Finnish beauty is new to the industry, starting in late spring of 2010 after finding representation with Paprazzi Models in her home country, and recently signing with Brave in Milan and Iconic in Hamburg. Her debut was with Roccobarocco during the Sping/Summer shows in Milan, followed by Givenchy in Paris. She also landed the lookbook for Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti. Now all she needs is major contract with a hard-hitting New York agency like IMG or Women Management to pick up speed.

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