The Most Surprising Models of Fashion Week Fall 2022

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Serena Williams walking the fall 2022 Off-White show
Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage via Getty Images

Fall 2022 has delivered what’s felt like some of the first real fashion weeks in ages, which of course also means the runways are back to hosting some unexpected guests. Eckhaus Latta celebrated their tenth anniversary with everyone from actor Hari Nef to fellow designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh, who delivered a surprise of her own by casting the author Ottessa Moshfegh and musician Okay Kaya in the latest from her namesake label. Meanwhile, Julia Fox got a brief break from the many headlines about her breakup with Kanye “Ye” West by making her runway debut at LaQuan Smith in a matter of hours after the news broke. Watch this space for who else will give modeling a go or make a comeback in the weeks to come, following in the footsteps of Idris Elba and Serena Williams.

Serena Williams
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain via Getty Images

Blink twice, and you easily could’ve missed Serena Williams at Off-White. The tennis star was the first surprise guest on the catwalk at Off-White’s tribute to the late Virgil Abloh. And while she may be new to modeling, Williams is no stranger to wearing the label: She memorably wore a black tutu and sneakers that read “queen” while competing in the U.S. Open in 2018.

Jim Jones
Photo by Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

“I’m a model for real,” the rapper Jim Jones said backstage at Off-White, marveling at getting his nails and makeup done at the same time. “Runway, Paris, don’t play with me.”

Ama Lou
Photo by Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The musician Ama Lou also tried her hand at modeling, toting a skateboard and hat with large fuzzy horns.

Sigrid Agren
Photo by Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Sigrid Agren, who was a runway regular in the late aughts, returned to the catwalk for the first time in seven years (and first time ever as a mom).

Honey Dijon
Photo by Estrop via Getty Images

DJ Honey Dijon, who starred in Off-White’s fall 2021 campaign, shouted out the show’s Chicago energy on Instagram. She shares the city as her hometown with Abloh, Cindy Crawford, and Jeff Mills, who took charge of the soundtrack.

Hunter Schafer
Photo by Estrop via Getty Images

Euphoria star Hunter Schafer closed out Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’s tribute to models at Prada fall 2022, marking her second surprise appearance this season.

Jessica Stam
Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage via Getty Images

“Thanks for the warm welcome back to Milano,” the aughts-era Canadian supermodel Jessica Stam posted after returning to the runway for the first time since a one-off appearance in 2018 at Max Mara.

Idris Elba
Courtesy of Ozwald Boateng

The Ghanaian-born Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng returned from a 12-year hiatus with a runway presentation he characterized as “a culmination of thirty years of representation of his] African heritage.” He put on such a show that Idris Elba (second from left) blended right in.

Parris Goebel
Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Rihanna-approved choreographer Parris Goebel’s runway appearances had almost entirely been limited to Savage x Fenty until she turned up at the Blonds on the final day of New York Fashion Week.

Tommy Dorfman
Charlie Engman for Collina Strada

Collina Strada’s Hilary Taymour put Tommy Dorfman front and center in her label’s presentation and reality TV parody The Collinas (which translates to The Hills in Italian). The latter finds the 13 Reasons Why star playing an intern inspired by Lauren Conrad—and wearing plenty of eye-catching Collina looks while doing so.

Rowan Blanchard
Charlie Engman for Collina Strada

Rowan Blanchard is no stranger to fashion campaigns, but had only otherwise appeared in a Rodarte lookbook prior to joining Dorfman at Collina Strada.

Chloe Wise
Charlie Engman for Collina Strada

The artist Chloe Wise, who’s long been known for her style, also made the leap from the front row to the catwalk at Collina Strada.

Cory Kennedy
Charlie Engman for Collina Strada

Have you been doubting the return of what’s become known as “indie sleaze”? Well, look no further than the multiple cameos that Cory Kennedy, former “It” girl and muse to the party photographer The Cobrasnake, made alongside her for proof that it’s the real deal.

Hunter Schafer
Courtesy of Sarah Schecker

Schafer first returned to her modeling roots this season at Gogo Graham’s outdoor fall 2022 showing in Ridgewood, Queens. “She and I had a discussion and she told me she was interested in helping with my brand financially,” Graham, who specializes in bespoke designs for trans women, told W. “She believes in having everyone being paid adequately, which is really awesome. Over the years, I’ve been learning about how a lot of industry models get nothing when they’re in shows, which is really hard to imagine. I came up with a budget and then Hunter was like, ‘Let’s pay all the girls more.’”

Julia Fox
Photo by Fernanda Calfat via Getty Images

Julia Fox made her runway debut at LaQuan Smith to a chorus of cheers. “[It was] very serendipitous,” the actor told W backstage. “Not planned at all—like everything else in my life.”

Ottessa Moshfegh
Photo by Albert Urso via Getty Images

You’d have to be a real literary buff to recognize Ottessa Moshfegh on the runway at Maryam Nassir Zadeh, and even more so to know that she surprisingly signed to Midland Agency last October. The author of the critically acclaimed 2018 novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation also made an appearance of sorts at Proenza Schouler, where designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough provided showgoers with a copy of her short story Where Will We Go Next?

Okay Kaya
Photo by Albert Urso via Getty Images

Musician Okay Kaya turned up at both Maryam Nassir Zadeh (seen here) and Eckhaus Latta.

Beverly Johnson
Photo by Noam Galai via Getty Image

Supermodel Beverly Johnson made a comeback at Sergio Hudson (who technically showed a spring 2022 collection) in a pale pink dress with a peplum trim. The 69-year-old trailblazer last walked the Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya show at Paris Fashion Week in 2019.

Gisele Zelauy
Photo by Noam Galai via Getty Images

You may not recognize Gisele Zelauy’s name, but if you’ve ever been down an old fashion show YouTube rabbit hole, Hudson’s other casting coup may very well look familiar. The gray-haired 54-year-old was a favorite of Karl Lagerfeld back in the ‘90s, which was also when Franco Moschino christened her the new look of the decade.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Photo by John Lamparski via Getty Images

A few days after she delivered a surprise of her own by casting Moshfegh, designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh gave the runway a go at Eckhaus Latta’s 10th anniversary show.

Hari Nef
Photo by John Lamparski via Getty Images

Fresh off her delightful cameo as Rabbi Jen in the finale of And Just Like That..., Hari Nef also showed her support for longtime friends Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta.

Frankie Rayder
Photo by John Lamparski via Getty Images

Last but not least, they were joined by 47-year-old Frankie Rayder, who was a runway staple in the 2000s. The model is a close friend of the artist and Eckhaus Latta muse Susan Cianciolo, who also walked the show.


Former Hood by Air designer Shayne Oliver debuted his namesake label with a little help from the Eartheater, whose performance served as the grand finale. The experimental multi-genre musician has some experience with the catwalk: She walked the spring 2021 Mugler show alongside Hunter Schafer and Bella Hadid.

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