The Most Surprising Models of New York Fashion Week Spring 2023

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A bare-chested Shohei walking the spring 2023 Peter Do NYFW show
Photo by Al Zeta via Getty Images

It took just a handful of hours into the first day of New York Fashion Week’s spring 2023 schedule for a designer to deliver a casting surprise: The first to hit the catwalk of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s latest Proenza Schouler showing was the musician Arca. The next came just a couple of hours later, when Jemima Kirke hit the Collina Strada runway amid a parade of professional models. Per usual, the unexpected cameos have continued—both newbies and vets. Linda Evangelista closed out Fendi and Marc Jacobs with a bang by popping up at what made for her first runway show in 15 years (though she opted to stand next to the designers as they took their bows rather than walk.) Keep track of who else has been turning showgoers’ heads so far, here.

Courtesy of Peter Do

Peter Do partnered with SM Entertainment to showcase his spring 2023 designs (and first-ever menswear) on some of the biggest names in K-pop. The first to step onto the runway was Jeno of NCT, whom Do praised as the embodiment of “the Peter Do man” in the press notes.

Courtesy of Peter Do

Eunseok of SM Rookies soon followed in one of the collection’s several black-and-white looks.

Courtesy of Peter Do

His bare-chested bandmate Shohei came along for the ride.

Peter Ash Lee
Courtesy of Peter Do

An appearance from Peter Ash Lee of Burdock Media, an arts-and-culture platform that spotlights AAPI artists, writers, and creators, made for a non-K-Pop related surprise.

Cecile Richards
Photo by Greg Kessler for Gabriela Hearst

Cecile Richards has laid relatively low since stepping down from her role as president of Planned Parenthood. She stepped back into the spotlight at Gabriela Hearst wearing black from head to toe.

Xiye Bastida
Photo by Greg Kessler for Gabriela Hearst

Hearst seems to have had politics on the mind when designing her latest collection, which was inspired by the Ancient Greek poet Sappho. She also enlisted the 20-year-old Mexican climate activist Xiye Bastida, who no doubt approved of Hearst’s use of upcycled and deadstock materials.

Lauren Wasser
Photo by Greg Kessler for Gabriela Hearst

The model and women’s health advocate Lauren Wasser returned to the runway, joining the rest in wearing black and gold.

Serena Williams
Photo by JP Yim via Getty Images

The first edition of Vogue World was all about celebrities. In fact, the magazine review of the show barely mentions the close. Around six months after she joined the supers at Off-White’s tribute to the late Virgil Abloh, Serena Williams led a parade of models that included Mikhail Baryshnikov and Erykah Badu.

Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz
Photo by JP Yim via Getty Images

As well as newlyweds Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz, who had a date night for the books.

Lil Nas X
Photo by Arturo Holmes via Getty Images

Just like the rest of us, Coach’s Stuart Vevers has fallen in love with Lil Nas X. After dressing him for his tour and appointing him brand ambassador, the designer sent him down the runway in a black leather ensemble juxtaposed with pink jelly sandals.

Donna Jordan
Photo by Taylor Hill via Getty Images

There was so much focus on Travis Barker closing Tommy Hilfiger’s New York comeback with musical performance that you may have missed Donna Jordan, former Warhol superstar and “Antonio [Lopez] Girl,” also making a comeback.

Tyler Mitchell
Courtesy of Marni

The fashion and fine art photographer Tyler Mitchell stepped out from behind the camera and onto the runway of Marni’s first New York show.

Kate Beckinsale
Photo by Theo Wargo via Getty Images

No one expected Kate Beckinsale to be the last of Naeem Khan’s otherwise ordinary cast of models to hit the runway. The actor helped Khan close out the show covered in metallics from head to toe, and while she’s certainly modeled in the past, the show marked the first time she’s ever done so on the catwalk.

Linda Evangelista
Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage via Getty Images

While Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington have been no strangers to modeling since they became known as part of “The Trinity” in the ’90s, the trio’s other member, Linda Evangelista, has scarcely been seen in recent years. Last September, the 57-year-old supermodel explained why: She had undergone a cosmetic procedure that left her, in her words, “brutally disfigured.” Slowly but surely, she’s been returning to the public eye. Her appearance at the very end of Fendi and Marc Jacobs’s celebration of the Baguette bag made for her first runway show in 15 years.

Jemima Kirke
Photo by David Spector

Jemima Kirke made what appears to have been her runway debut at Collina Strada’s showing in a sprawling, picturesque garden in Brooklyn. Like the rest of the models, the actor-slash-artist embraced the collection’s butterfly theme by wiggling her fingers as she circled the wooden walkway.

Photo by Arturo Holmes via Getty Images

A year or so after first delving into modeling by booking Loewe and Calvin Klein campaigns and making a cameo in Bottega Veneta’s pre-fall 2021 look book, the musician Arca made sure Proenza Schouler’s show started off with a bang—by being the first to showcase Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s latest.

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