The Most Surprising Models of Fashion Week Spring 2023

Originally Published: 

HoYeon opening the spring 2023 Louis Vuitton show in a monochrome ensemble
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain 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 at 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). And since the shows have crossed the pond, the surprises have just kept coming—most notably in the form of Cher. Keep track of who else has been turning showgoers’ heads so far, here.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain via Getty Images

Before she broke out with the hit Netflix show Squid Game, HoYeon modeled for many a major fashion label—including Louis Vuitton. The actor and brand ambassador returned to her roots by opening its spring 2023 show in a monochrome ensemble six years after creative director Nicolas Ghesquière first enlisted her for the runway.

Miranda July
Photo by Filippo Fior

It took a second for show goers to recognize Miranda July at Miuccia Prada’s latest show for Miu Miu. For what appears to be her second-ever turn on the catwalk (following her appearance at Gucci’s 2021 Love Parade), the multi-hyphenate straightened her typically curly mop of hair.

Ethel Cain
Photo by Filippo Fior

Mrs. Prada got up to some more stunt casting by enlisting the singer-songwriter Ethel Cain.

FKA Twigs
Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images

Last but certainly not least, FKA Twigs closed out the show in the mini-est of miniskirts. The musician-slash-dancer’s only other runway appearance to date seems to be a surprise performance at the fall 2023 Valentino menswear show.

Mj Rodriguez
Photo by Richard Bord via Getty Images

Anyone who’s seen Pose knows that Mj Rodriguez has what it takes to hit the catwalk and then some. It’s no surprise, then, that Thom Browne put the actor front and center on his spring 2023 runway, sending her out in three different looks.

Photo by Richard Bord via Getty Images

The third was by far the most major. With the help of four fellow models, Rodriguez zoomed down the runway in a mock pink convertible.

Gwendoline Christie
Photo by Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Browne also enlisted none other than Gwendoline Christie to let the audience know that they were about to witness his take on Cinderella. “In Thom Browne’s world, all boys, all girls, everyone fits in the shoe,” the 6’3” actor said as she joined Rodriguez for the grand finale.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images

Christie isn’t the only Game of Thrones star who’s hit the runway this Paris Fashion Week. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau made his second L’Oréal appearance to date, looking casual in a zippered grey boiler suit.

Gemma Chan
Photo by Pietro S. D'Aprano via Getty Images

Gemma Chan joined the actor, returning to her modeling roots by making her first runway appearance at one of the beauty brand’s Le Défiles.

Kanye West
Courtesy of Balenciaga

The love story of Kanye West and Demna continues. The rapper kicked off the designer’s latest for Balenciaga show by stomping down a catwalk covered in mud.

Kelly Mittendorf
Courtesy of Balenciaga

It’s been eight long years since we last saw Kelly Mittendorf make a fashion week appearance. The Arizona-born model jumped back into the game by also walking Balenciaga, making for her first trip to Paris in a decade.

Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images

Olivier Rousteing must have been over the moon when Cher confirmed that she was down to close his spring 2023 Balmain show. Attendees certainly were upon seeing her, as were onlookers all across the world. The 76-year-old icon emerged in a skin-tight spandex body suit to help Rousteing take his bow after present more than 100 looks.

Post-catwalk, Cher naturally took to Twitter to celebrate. “JUST HAD BEST TIME, ON STAGE…FELT GREAT,” she wrote in part.

Paris Hilton
Photo by Estrop via Getty Images

What’s one more wedding dress when you’ve already worn seven? Less than a year after she went all out at her three-day wedding to Carter Reum, Paris Hilton stepped out in no. 8 to close out Versace’s Milan Fashion Week showing. Her latest bore a bit of resemblance to her most iconic look: the glitzy Julien Macdonald chain-mail dress she wore to her 21st birthday party.

Photo by Andreas Rentz via Getty Images

If Future needed advice for how to keep calm on the catwalk, he didn’t have to look far. The rapper hit the runway of Boss’s 2023 Milan showing alongside Naomi Campbell.

Paris Jackson
Photo by Pietro S. D'Aprano via Getty Images

Philipp Plein loves a spectacle, and his latest Milan show was just that—with a little assist from Paris Jackson, who kicked things off in head-to-toe metallics.

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.

This article was originally published on